Two premiers will be crowned on the first grand final day of 2018 at Windsor Park.
First, perennial reserves champions St Pats will face Evandale in the opening title fight at 11am, before both the Eagles and East Coast look to end two-decade premiership droughts in the seniors decider.
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James Storay’s Eagles haven’t lost in seven weeks chasing their first silverware since 1993, while Ned Hyland’s Swans are three months unbeaten in pursuit of their first NTFA flag and first premiership since the St Helens era.
GAME DAY SCHEDULE
- Reserves: St Pats v Evandale, 11.25am
- Seniors: Evandale v East Coast, 2pm
If you can’t make it to Windsor Park, we will have regular updates here:
UPDATE 4.40PM: After the disappointment of last year’s grand final loss, EAST COAST are 2018 NTFA division 2 premiers. The Swans came from behind to defeat Evandale 8.14 (66) to 8.2 (50).
UPDATE 4.32PM: 25 minutes has elapsed, Swans by three points.
UPDATE 4.27PM: ANOTHER. Will Stoltenberg off the ground has put East Coast up by two points. OH BOY!
UPDATE 4.24PM: After a 15 minute patch of congested play, the Swans broke clear to find Nick Child on the lead 40m out. He went back and drilled it to make it a four-point ball game with 18 minutes gone in the fourth. Evandale lead 8.2 (50) to 6. 10 (46).
UPDATE 4.10PM: Evandale coach James Storay, who has hardly been seen all day, delivers when it matters. A brilliant snap from 40 metres on a tight angle has put his side up by two goals.
UPDATE 4.05PM: You can feel the tension in the air. Fourth quarter under the way.
UPDATE 4PM: On the cusp of three-quarter-time, Tom Chugg sends through his fifth. It was Evandale’s second goal after quarter time but they lead at the final break 7. (44) to 5.8 (38). An interesting final term coming up.
UPDATED 3.55PM: East Coast answer back with a crucial goal from Michael Murfet. It was a solid lead, mark and goal that just passed the goal line before Evandale defenders were able to touch it. Good resistance from East Coast who will have the wind behind them in the last. Murfet’s goal could be premiership deciding. 38 apiece.
UPDATE 3.49PM: Tom Chugg marks 20m out and converts his fourth to give Evandale a six-point lead. 22 minutes have passed in the third.
UPDATE 3.39PM: Warrick Johnson, who has been Evandale’s best, has woken up the big crowd here with a great goal on the run from 50 to tie things up at 31 points apiece.
UPDATE 3.35PM: It is a lacklustre affair here with the East Coast appearing to be in control, which could be a bonus given they will be kicking with the wind in the final term. The Swans have had several inside-50 entries with no luck.
UPDATE 3.28PM: Just two quarters remain in 2018 with a big prize at the end for one of these teams. The third quarter has begun.
UPDATE 3.08PM: Half-time at Windsor Park and the Swans lead 4.7 (31) to 4.1 (25). A minor scuffle broke out after a lengthy 29-minute term, which was played entirely in East Coast’s half.
UPDATE: 3.02PM: East Coast have hit the lead thanks to Ethan Goldfinch’s second. The Swans have dominated play – holding Evandale scoreless. 24 minutes have expired. Corey Bosworth has been outstanding.
UPDATE 2.56PM: It has been a boring congested 10 minutes here with little scoring opportunities. 19 minutes have passed in total.
UPDATE 2.46PM: Swans best and fairest Corey Bosworth take a bow. Another long-bomb-goal from outside 50. Four-point ball game with eight minutes gone in the second.
UPDATE 2.42PM: Wowee! Ethan Goldfinch takes two bounces, runs to 50 and unloads to get East Coast to within 10 points. Game on!
UPDATE 2.39PM: Swans coach Ned Hyland has asked his team to kick the ball more, move the ball faster and use the wind to get back into the match during the second stanza. The term is underway.
UPDATE 2.32PM: Quarter time here at Windsor Park with Evandale leading East Coast 4.1 (25) to 1.3 (9) in the NTFA div 1 decider. The Swans have managed to wrestle their way back into the match, but have been unable to hit the scoreboard. Will Stoltenberg has been moved into defence to try and stop Tom Chugg.
UPDATE 2.26PM: 2018 NTFA division 2 champions crowned – Full story here
UPDATE 2.22PM: Chugg’s third has given Evandale a handy buffer, they lead 4.1 (35) to 1.2 (8) at the 21-minute mark. Can the Swans stop him?
UPDATE 2.12PM: East Coast gets on the board after a second Eagles goal through Tom Chugg. Michael Murfet was taken high in a tackle and kicked truly from 30. Ten minutes in, Evandale 2.1 (13) leading East Coast 1.0 (6).
UPDATE 2.05PM: And we’ve kicked off in the seniors grand final. Jordan Harris has kicked the first goal of the match - as he did in his Evandale’s last game - and as he has done many times on this ground for the Blues.
UPDATE FINAL SIREN: St Pats have defeated Evandale 10.17 (77) to 7.8 (50). That’s the Saints’ fourth flag in five years, huge effort.
UPDATE 1.30PM: Siren two minutes away, another flag coming for St Pats!
UPDATE 1.20PM: Phil Hazzlewood gets on the end of a chain of handballs and nabs one from the goalsquare to seal the result. Still 11 minutes to go but you can start engraving the cup. St Pats 10.17 (77) leading Evandale 6.7 (43).
UPDATE 1.10PM: Three minutes in, Geoff Stick goals from 30 to cut the margin back to 29. I mean, they couldn’t, could they?
UPDATE 1PM: Three-quarter time. A 50m bomb from Nathan James has stretched the margin out to 35 points and you’d have to say it would take some kind of miracle for the Eagles to come back from here. St Pats 9.16 (70) leading Evandale 5.5 (35).
UPDATE 12.55: Evandale took nearly 15 minutes to register an inside 50 but eventually goaled when Damian Wrankmore dummied the man on the mark, ran to 20 and goaled. Ten scoring shots to one this term, St Pats 8.15 (63) leading Evandale 5.5 (35).
UPDATE 12.45: The answer is St Pats. Matthew Lynam goals in the first minute, two posters follow before Liam Brown dribbles through his second. Another to Jono James and the Saints are flying. Nine minutes in, St Pats 8.11 (59) lead Evandale 4.5 (29).
UPDATE 12.35PM: Second half about to get under way. The Saints were already lined up in their positions when Evandale returned to the ground. Who will come out stronger in the premiership quarter?
UPDATE 12.20PM: Half time. Saints skipper Andrew Scolyer ran into an open goal just before the siren to stretch the lead back out to nine points. St Pats 5.8 (38) leading Evandale 4.5 (29). Juicy second half coming up!
UPDATE 12.15PM: Another 50m penalty brings James Miller within 15m and the Eagles are back within three points after looking out of it earlier in the term. St Pats 4.8 (32) leads Evandale 4.5 (29).
UPDATE 12.08pm: Two goals in two minutes has Evandale just 10 points back halfway through the second term. St Pats 4.8 (32) leads Evandale 3.4 (22).
UPDATE 11.25am: Reserves grand final underway between St Pats and Evandale
UPDATE 11.11am: Evandale reserves run out on the ground