GRAND FINAL PREVIEW AND PREDICTION: Platinum Division Reserves
Written by Michael Shillito
Platium Division Reserves Grand Final
Southern Power vs. Western Magic – Sunday, 8 September at 3.50pm at Blacktown ISP Oval 1
A twilight thriller on Sunday will be the Platinum Division Reserves Grand Final, which will see Southern Power taking on Western Magic at Blacktown, starting at 3:50pm.
Seven teams competed in the Platinum Reserves competition this season, with a final four system being in operation. Southern Power, defending their title from last season, have been the front-runners in 2019 and finished the regular season as minor premiers. Of the 14 games they played, they got to sing the song 12 teams; and finished with a percentage of 319.66.
They continued the impressive form into the finals, recording a comfortable 24-point win over Macquarie Uni in the Major Semi-Final; earning themselves a week off before the Grand Final.
Throughout the season, the Power have had plenty of avenues to goal, and have created the chances to kick a winning score. Luke Jansson has topped the goalkicking with 29, although he hasn’t played since late July. Connor McGee with 24 goals and Liam Davis with 23 have also stood up and been counted when it comes to getting the points on the board this season; and will be looking to do so again.
Liam Davis has been a star contributor around the ground for the Power, and has featured eight times in the list of best players this season. Chris Briody and Tom Edwards have also figured prominently, being listed six times. It’s been a year of consistent team performances by the Power that have landed them in this strong position.
But the job’s not done yet, and a strong and in-form opponent in Western Magic stands in the way. The Magic finished third after the regular season, winning 11 of their 16 games with a percentage of 182.47. A 65-point win over Penrith in the Minor Semi-Final was followed up with a flying start taking them to 15-point result against Macquarie Uni in the Preliminary Final. The Magic have form and momentum on their side.
Pat Barclay has spearheaded the charge up forward this season to record 39 goals. Luke Hyland has chipped in with 22; while Manoj Yuvarajan and Michael Papageorgiou have contributed 12 apiece. They will need to fire up on the forward line if the Magic are to accumulate a winning score.
Andrew Carey has been a ball magnet for the Magic, featuring in their list of best players 12 times this season. Aaron Hill has appeared nine times; while Ben Tranter, Daniel McIntyre, Michael Papageorgiou and Matthew Leeds have each appeared six times. The Magic will be looking for one more big performance from them in this match.
The two sides have met three times this season. In the second round at Waratah Oval, Southern Power dominated from start to finish to record a 77-point win. But it was a lot closer when they met again at Waratah Oval in round 9; with the Power getting up by 13 points.
Then in the last round of the regular season, Western Magic turned the tables at Blacktown No 2, getting up in a thriller by two points. There won’t be much in this one either. The Magic have form and momentum on their side, and a win against the Power not long ago. But the Power have been the best side all season, and should have just enough to get up in this one.
Prediction – Southern Power by 9 points.