By Ant Wingard
It’s quite fitting that the season’s penultimate game – and by far the most important for either side competing – will be played between two of the competition’s most revered and tenured clubs.
This weekend’s Preliminary Final pits two south Brisbane colossus against one another for what will be their 21st meeting in the QAFLW since it’s reformation ahead of the 2014 season.
Since that reformation, the two clubs have produced a thrilling catalogue of games including the thrilling 2017 Grand Final – a game one by the Devils.
The history between the two slightly favours the Kings who hold a 12-8 lead in the overall ledger however when Yeronga win, they tend to win big with an averaging winning margin of 45.3 points.
This weekend’s contest looms as yet another chapter in a rivalled history but with a place in the Grand Final on the line, it could perhaps be the most thrilling yet.
On paper, it would suggest Yeronga, who finished second in the overall standings, would be the more likely team to advance to the big game next week but Coorparoo enter this weekend in perhaps the better form.
The Kings, over the past month, have produced perhaps the competition’s most prolific scoring attack with wins of 53-points and 130-points while also showing a knack to close out nail biters with wins of three and five points also.
Coorparoo have produced their best form of the season at the perfect time, but that same truth may not bare as accurate for Yeronga.
The Devils have been a beacon of consistency throughout the year and thoroughly deserve their place in the second week of post-season action.
Like the Kings, they’ve shown a capability of closing out big games and emerged mid-season as a genuine finals-bound team.
Over the past month however – the same timeline where Coorparoo has hit form – Yeronga have taken their foot off the gas – most notably through the injury to their leading goal kicker Jade Ransfield.
Ransfield has booted 24 goals in the red and black this year but hasn’t played for the Devils since their Round 12 win over Aspley.
Her loss to the team though, despite their other goal scoring options in Demi Leach and Courtney McDonnell, is significant.
Throughout the season, Ransfield booted two or more goals on eight different occasions. In those games, Yeronga averaged 43.5 points and won five of them.
Since her injury, the team has averaged 27.3 points, a difference of nearly three goals per game and have won just one of the three games.
At the selection table, Coorparoo have named an unchanged line-up for the clash including Tahlia Hickie, who has proven herself as a reliable key defender since re-joining the Kings following the national Under 18 program mid-year.
Yeronga on the other hand, have lost a pair of goal-kicking midfielders in Dee Heslop and Jacqui Yorston for the big showdown, who have been replaced by Erin Sargent and Nicole O’Loughlin.
Image: David Layden Photography