Grand Final Preview – Premier Division Reserves
Written by Michael Shillito
The second game in this Grand Final day is the Premier Reserves Grand Final. Like the Under 19s game which will be played immediately before it, this match will also see North Shore Bombers taking on Uni NSW-Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs.
Both teams only lost one game during the season, with the Bulldogs pipping the Bombers at the post to finish minor premiers by a minute percentage margin. But the Bombers hit back to take a 51-point win over Pennant Hills in the Qualifying Final before striking a key blow with a hard-fought 14-point victory over the Bulldogs in the Major Semi-Final to earn a week off before this playoff game.
The quest for a winning score will need a big contribution from Nick Hill, who has been a handy target up forward for the Bombers this year to have kicked 27 goals to date. At the other end of the ground, James Cubis has been outstanding in defence this year, and will again be called on to keep the Bulldog forwards quiet.
The Bulldogs had won straight through to the Major Semi-Final, but their loss in that game forced them to play the Preliminary Final. It was a close-fought affair, but the Bulldogs got home by 10 points to make it through to this Grand Final.
If the Bulldogs are to record a winning score in this clash, they’ll be leaning on Tom Chichester to make a key contribution up forward, something he has consistently achieved this season. In general play, keep an eye out for Kaia Reynolds-Erler, who has been a consistent ball magnet for the Bulldogs this season.
The two teams have faced off twice this year, with the Bombers taking the game on both occasions. In round 5 at Henson Park, the Bombers were untroubled in recording a comfortable 30-point win. It was closer in the Major Semi-Final, but the Bombers kicked the goals when they needed to and recorded a 14-point victory.
These teams look evenly-matched around the ground; and there shouldn’t be much in this. But the Bombers have got it done against the Bulldogs twice before this season, and should have what it takes to get it done again.
Prediction – North Shore by 10 points.
Covid-19 Protocols and Ticketing
To enable AFL Sydney to effectively implement and operate a COVID safety plan, Grand Final days will be ticketed to ensure crowd numbers stay at or under 500 at any time. Tickets are not available to the general public and will not be issued on the gate. The only tickets available have been allocated to each competing team which they will share among players, officials and spectators. Entry into the venue will only be permitted to ticket holders. Contact your club for more information on how to secure a ticket, otherwise you can stream all the action live on our Facebook page.