Semi Final 1 Review
GLADSTONE VS YEPPOON
After 15 rounds of home and away games, the real action starts today with the first of the semi finals taking place in Gladstone between the Gladstone Mudcrabs and Yeppoon Swans. By 5pm this afternoon the season will be over for either Gladstone or Yeppoon, while who ever is successful will live to fight another day and book their place in the preliminary final in 2 weeks time.
On paper these 2 sides are very evenly matched, but anyone who has been involved with football should know that talent alone counts for very little in finals football. The side that baths in the glory of victory is the side that is able to stand-up under the pressure and weight of expectation, willing to push beyond the pain barrier when your body has nothing left to give, make the most of their opportunities, respect everything but fear nothing, and most importantly stand side by side with their mates at every contest.
The Mudcrabs and Swans have played each other 3 times this year with the Swans holding the advantage with 2 wins. While both sides go into the game with confidence knowing they can beat their opposition, the 2 teams couldn't reflect more contrasting pictures. Over the last 5-6 games the Mudcrabs have been slowly building some momentum and consistency that will make them dangerous in the finals, while for Yeppoon they only notched up their first win in several months in round 15 which might prove to be the kick-start they needed to make a serious assault on this years premiership.
If we take a closer look into the 2 teams we can see they have something in common, they both have talented youngsters across the field that have the flair, dash, confidence and skill to tear the game a part. For Yeppoon they have the likes of Sam Nicholls, Matt Wallin, Cam Watkin, Daniel Watkin and Leigh Cossens. While for the Mudcrabs Shane Eiola, Stephen Eiola, Ricky Windridge, Cam O'Grady, Chris Foura, Aiden Hearne.
The midfields look very evenly matched, with both sides possessing quick midfielders that like to push forward and kick goals. Who will push back and help their defence?
Yeppoon appear to have a slight advantage up forward possessing some big targets that if they get their confidence going can be very hard to stop. On the other hand Gladstone's forward line is one that is versatile and shares the goals around and doesn't really contain a main focal point.
In the backline, both teams have played under-size all year and rely on being able to cause a contest and bring the ball to ground were they have good running re-bounders. Can either team's forward line nullify the defensive rebound?
As for the coaches will they try anything different or stick to what has got them this far, this could be the most important match-up for the day.
While winning will require effort from all 22 players, I have singled out a player from each team that I believe holds the key to their team and could be very influential in defining today's result.
Gladstone - Cam O'Grady
Yeppoon - Daniel Watkin
This game is all setup to be a cracker and it is too close to call, however the passionate home crowd could be enough to get the Mudcrabs home.
Prediction: Gladstone by 7 points
Round 4 - Yeppoon 12-9 (81) defeated Gladstone 7-15 (57)
Round 8 - Yeppoon 19-12 (126) defeated Gladstone 8-5 (53)
Round 15 - Gladstone 14-12 (96) defeated Yeppoon 11-7 (73)
KICKING GOALS WITH RAZ!!!