TWL North grand final 2018: Weagles seek revenge, Scottsdale eyes flag double

GRAND FINAL FOES: Evandale's Courtney Grice and Kylie Downie and Scottsdale duo Miranda Oliver and Cara Howlett. Picture: Paul Scambler
GRAND FINAL FOES: Evandale's Courtney Grice and Kylie Downie and Scottsdale duo Miranda Oliver and Cara Howlett. Picture: Paul Scambler

Scottsdale and Evandale will meet in this year’s TWL North grand final amid very similar circumstances to last year’s inaugural decider.  

Yet both profess to be different sides to the outfits that played out a five-goal win to the Magpies. 

The Weagles’ only two losses this season have come at the hands of Cabel Hall’s Scottsdale, who remain unbeaten since a round two loss to Evandale in 2017.

Last Friday’s low-scoring draw against South Launceston marked the Magpies’ sole blemish in more than a year, and Weagles ball-mover Kylie Downie knows her side will have to be at its best to push the reigning premiers.

“It’s going to be a tough game I think - it always is against Scottsdale,” the 29-year-old said. 

“We enjoy playing them and both teams play well against each other – there’s no aggressiveness, no mouthing out there so we love playing against Scottsdale.”

HIGH HOPES: Evandale's grand final squad. Picture: Supplied

HIGH HOPES: Evandale's grand final squad. Picture: Supplied

The Weagles led early in last year’s decider but could not go with the Magpies for four quarters. 

“Last year is last year I think - it was hurtful last year but this year it’s a new season and we’ve got new people involved.

“I think last game we played them (round five’s 22-point loss) was our closest game since the game where we beat them last year and I think sometimes at the end we give up a little bit and get a bit tired, so we want to give 100 per cent for four quarters and keep running.”

Saturday’s clash will see another battle of the competition’s top two forwards as Evandale’s Emily McKinnell and Magpie Gemma James (21 goals apiece) go head-to-head for the goalkicking award.

Scottsdale tall Miranda Oliver won last year’s ruck battle but will face an in-form Sophie Townsend, while inspirational skipper Alex Hall will again pose a problem for Stewart Nankervis’ Weagles.

Both sides will face the unenviable task of picking a team from a playing list of 30, with Evandale boasting nine players who have played every game this year and Scottsdale four.

Back Row: Marc Nunan, Denham Hall, Kresta-Lee Davis, Neil Oliver, Jessica Casey, Pamela Roles, Gemma James, Stacey Taylor, Lauren Carter, Freya Edwards-Fitzsimons, Rebecca Irwin, Brittney Woolley, Georgie Dare, Kelly Davis, Raylene Taylor, Jo Hayes, Lisa Kettle

Middle: Hannah Viney, Cara Howlett (vice-captain), Alex Hall (captain), Cabel Hall (coach), Miranda Oliver (vice-captain), Ashlee Kerrison, Mikayla Binns, Tess Moore(Trainer)

Front: Jayna Aitken, Gemma Blackberry, Hollie Viney, Rebecca Nichols, Raigan Kettle, Helen Oliver, Danielle Kelly, Letitia Johnston

Absent: Talisha Woolley, Katherine Richardson, Rebekah McDougall. Picture: Supplied

Back Row: Marc Nunan, Denham Hall, Kresta-Lee Davis, Neil Oliver, Jessica Casey, Pamela Roles, Gemma James, Stacey Taylor, Lauren Carter, Freya Edwards-Fitzsimons, Rebecca Irwin, Brittney Woolley, Georgie Dare, Kelly Davis, Raylene Taylor, Jo Hayes, Lisa Kettle Middle: Hannah Viney, Cara Howlett (vice-captain), Alex Hall (captain), Cabel Hall (coach), Miranda Oliver (vice-captain), Ashlee Kerrison, Mikayla Binns, Tess Moore(Trainer) Front: Jayna Aitken, Gemma Blackberry, Hollie Viney, Rebecca Nichols, Raigan Kettle, Helen Oliver, Danielle Kelly, Letitia Johnston Absent: Talisha Woolley, Katherine Richardson, Rebekah McDougall. Picture: Supplied

Magpies vice-captain Cara Howlett said sharing the load had been a crucial part of her side’s success so far this season.

“We have a new team every week with our rotations because our numbers are high … you never have the same team,” the 29-year-old defender said.

“We had a long solid preseason and then we went and played in Melbourne for a practice match and that was really good.

“We’ve always got each other’s back and we’re a tight, close-knit group - everybody’s local, we know everyone through and through and their family so that’s been fantastic as well.”

The grand final gets under way at 11.20am at Rocherlea Football Club and will be followed by presentations.

ON THE UP: South Launceston's Grace Walker. Picture: Phillip Biggs

ON THE UP: South Launceston's Grace Walker. Picture: Phillip Biggs

BULLDOGS IMPRESS IN MAIDEN YEAR

South Launceston and George Town have made a bright start in their first TWL North season and will be tasked with doing so again when the third-place playoff gets under way at 9.50am Saturday at Rocherlea. 

The two sides joined for the competition’s sophomore season and have both impressed, recording five and four wins respectively.

The Bulldogs have gone 1-1 in their two clashes with George Town but will be full of confidence after holding undefeated Scottsdale to a draw last week.

“We’re really happy with it, it’s awesome,” Bulldogs coach Emily Perkins said.

“Considering it’s our first year to have made a final, we’re really excited to see how it goes. 

“I think our first-year players are probably the ones that have impressed me the most, just with their determination. 

“They’re getting to training all the time and are willing to take on feedback and improve themselves and the amount they have improved is awesome.”