Lions and Eagles in battle for QWAFA crown

By Rebecca Palma

It’ll be a north side derby in the QWAFA grand final, with the inaugural premiership to go to one of Caboolture or Zillmere tomorrow.

Finishing on top of the 2014 QWAFA ladder, Caboolture boasts an almost flawless season record with 10 wins and 1 loss.

Their only loss was in Round 12 when they came up against Zillmere and fell short by a 25-point margin.

The Lions and Eagles have met three times in the 2014 season, with the Lions leading the head-to-head 2-1.

The Lions downed the Eagles by 31-points in Round 3 and again in Round 7 by 112-points but Zillmere bit back and got the better of the competition favourites in Round 12.

The final series saw the Lions and Eagles meet once again for the Preliminary Final.

The Eagles soared in yet another close scoring battle, 29 points ahead of the Lions to land them the first place up for grabs in the Grand Final.

The Lions will have the chance to redeem their pride in their top of the table matchup with the Eagles this weekend.

In what will be an intriguing Grand Final clash, Caboolture’s dominance in 2014 will see them start deserved favourites, however Zillmere are not to be counted out, coming into form at the perfect time of the season.

It’s been a developmental year for the Eagles who’ve managed to win their last five games.

Eagles player-coach Madi Crowley said the team had grown stronger as a group as the season progressed.

“The majority of players had only just moved up from Under 18’s,” she said

“It’s taken a bit for the girls to get used to the standard.

“After a successful second half of the seasons and a couple of wins to Caboolture we’re feeling pretty confident, without being over-confident.

“In this game you can expect to see a commitment to all the things that we’ve been working on this year.”

For the Lions the run across the finish line has been met with a couple of hurdles.

Lions’ player-coach Monique Lepri said despite this they’ve tried to put a positive spin on their losses.

“A loss is good to learn from,” she said.

“We’re looking to see a lot of our girls stepping up instead of relying on a couple of key players to make the game work.”

Despite this, Zillmere still see Caboolture as the benchmark in the competition.

“They’ve been our strongest competitors, with a broad range of players that have really set the standard and given us a challenge.”

With the recent rain it’s expected that the ground at Coorparoo will still be soggy.

“We will be going harder at the ball,” Monique said.

“We’ve struggled a bit in the wet weather.

“At this point it’s not about perfecting skills, it’s about being first to the ball and being hungry for it.”

These kinds of conditions may better suit the Eagles as the last two times they’ve beat the Lions it’s been in the rain.

“I think we will do well, it may have helped us in our last two games,” Madi said.

“When it was more of a mental game, it gave us a bit of an edge.” 

The wet may not be enough as the Lions claim they’ll be bringing something or someone to the game that the Eagles have never seen.

“We’ve got a little bit of a surprise up our sleeve.”

All will be revealed tomorrow at 9AM when Caboolture take on Zillmere in what should be an exciting Grand Final clash at Coorparoo AFC.

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