Grab some loose change for a hotdog and a jacket for the evening chill, because it’s Friday night finals time. It’s the perfect backdrop for a shootout between the QFA Division 5 competition’s two leading goal kickers in Mayne’s Tom Ditchburn and Collingwood Park Power’s Ryan Major.
As players from the Griffith Moorooka Roosters can attest, Major is capable of kicking a ‘major’ haul if he’s given a bit of time and space, like when he kicked 15 goals against the Roosters in round 16.
Collingwood Park coach Rex Watts understands the type of weapon he has at his disposal, heading into the big game.
“I think he will play very well. He is good leader, hard marker and can dominate the inside 50’s. If he does these things then he will have a big part to play the game,” Watts said.
Mayne will have to pay him close attention, but they have their own scoring machine in Tom Ditchburn, who finished just behind Major on 45 goals.
Mayne won on all three occasions these sides met this year, but the Tigers were lucky to escape in round five, getting over the top of the Power by just two points. Dylan Oats has been important for the Tigers this season and has been named in the best players on eight occasions; just as Brendan Kucks has been influential for the Power with 10 mentions in the best.
“He (Kucks) is our number one ruckman at the moment. He is always covers the grounds and is always at every stoppage, so he plays a big part,” Watts explains.
Power haven’t been able to score over 50 points against Mayne, in their last three contests, so it’s possible they’ll need to coax the Tigers into an old-fashioned scrap. If the Power can defend well and slow the game down; keeping possession of the footy when they get it, then they’re capable of dragging the Tigers into an arm wrestle and stealing a result. On the other hand, they may choose to throw caution to the wind and back themselves to take the game on.
“In the first final, nerves got the better of us. I think we only played one quarter of football to get back into the game but hopefully we can play four quarters this week and change the result,” coach Watts said.
“We just have keep to our structures. We need to make sure we hit targets and play the game the way we know how we should be playing it.
“We think we know how to combat their game plan this time so we will keep our fingers crossed,”Watts said.
Now set to play each other for the fourth time this season, there will be a few familiar faces on gameday and not too many surprises, which means this one could be ready to go right from the first siren.