Dogs out to bite Cougars

Kate Withers

FOUR will become three after Sunday’s North Gippsland football first semi-final between Churchill and Sale City.

The winner of the match at Woodside will earn a preliminary final berth, while the season will be over for the loser.

Sale City won its way through to first semi-final after fending off Rosedale in a see-sawing elimination final, while Churchill, after a qualifying final loss to Traralgon-Tyers United, will be hell-bent on making the most of its second chance.

The Cougars got the better of Sale City in round four, looking a force to be reckoned with on their way to a 47-point win. The round 13 rematch was a more low-scoring affair, but Churchill again took the points — this time by four goals.

TTU will play in the reserves and thirds, playing Gormandale and Heyfield respectively.

AFTER a week’s rest as reward for claiming the minor premiership, Yarram will face Traralgon-Tyers United on Saturday for a spot in the grand final.

The second semi-final will be played at Rosedale.

The Demons took out both games against the Bombers this season. They were 33-point winners in round 14, but TTU came within nine points in round five.

The Bombers fended off Churchill for the second time in as many weeks at the weekend, and coach Michael Duncan said his side was primed for the test against Yarram.

“Yarram have been the benchmark of the competition for probably two years and they’ve only lost the one this year, and at the pointy end of the year if you want success you’ve got to be able to beat the best,” he said.

Adam Bailey, Scott Zuehlke and Luke Middleton all returned for the Bombers on Saturday and slotted back in with ease, and Duncan said the Bombers were looking “pretty settled”.

“I think everyone put in a good performance on the weekend and I think we’ll be unchanged,” he said.

Yarram president Anthony Rodaughan said the Demons enjoyed a “solid work-out” during training at the weekend and were ready to go tomorrow.

“They trained for about two-and-a-half hours in the sunshine, so they were all puffed out, which is what we wanted,” he said.

“We’ll have a full list to select from and the reserves are also playing, which means everyone can play and provides a bit more freedom for selection.”

Matt Scholz won’t play, but will coach and has been back training according to Rodaughan, who said the Demons were rightly wary of TTU.

“They’ve got some great players and their midfield has a fair bit of pace and skill, and the way they deliver into the forward line, especially like they did in the second half on Saturday, was very impressive,” he said.

“They’re the real deal and both games have been arm wrestles, so we’re not thinking it’ll be anything different this weekend.”

In the reserves, minor premier Heyfield will meet Yarram.

Churchill and Glengarry will play for the first spot in the thirds grand final.

Second semi-final, Saturday at Rosedale Recreation Reserve:

Football, seniors: Yarram v Traralgon-Tyers United, 2.15pm; reserves: Heyfield v Yarram, noon; thirds: Churchill v Glengarry, 9.45am.

Netball, A grade: Rosedale v Churchill, 2.15pm; B grade: Glengarry v Woodside, 1pm; C grade: Traralgon-Tyers United v Sale City, noon; D grade: Sale City v Heyfield, 11am; under 17s: Heyfield v Yarram, 10am; under 15s: Sale City v Traralgon-Tyers United, 9am.

First semi-final, Sunday at Woodside Recreation Reserve:

Football, seniors: Churchill v Sale City, 2.15pm; reserves: Traralgon-Tyers United v Gormandale, noon; thirds: Traralgon-Tyers United v Heyfield, 9.45am.

Netball, A grade: Cowwarr v Heyfield, 2.15pm; B grade: Heyfield v Churchill, 1pm; C grade: Cowwarr v Heyfield, noon; D grade: Rosedale v Traralgon-Tyers United, 11am; under 17s: Sale City v Traralgon-Tyers United, 10am; under 15s: Cowwarr v Glengarry, 9am.