This weekend the seemingly irresistible force of the Alma Goats takes on the immovable object that is St Joes in what is the showpiece match for the Broken Hill Soccer Association, the Men’s A Grade Grand Final.
St Joes have been brilliant this year. Joeys A-Grade has gone through the season undefeated and look impressive as they lace up the boots going into the premiership, but they’re taking nothing for granted.
“This is the toughest competition we will face all year,” St Joes coach Rob James says.
“It will be an entertaining match, and a lot closer than people expect.”
St Joes club legend George Callegher has not been well in recent weeks, and Rob thinks the boys will be fired up to perform for George on Grand Final day.
“He is a talisman around the club.”
That won’t be the only incentive for Joeys.
“The opportunity to go undefeated all the way through to a Grand Final win is unprecedented,” the coach James says.
St Joes player Isaac Clarke reckons, “the boys are starting to feel a little bit of pressure because we have gone through the season undefeated.”
You can’t count out Alma in this fixture, that’s for sure.
The Goats have played some of the most exciting football we have seen in the back half of this season and their tricky wingers Jvargo Hebbard, and Codey Ralph are sure to give Joeys defenders nightmares if they are given any space in behind.
“They’re undefeated for reason,” Ralph says. “So, we’ll go out there and give it our best shot. After the weekend’s result, we are feeling pretty confident.”
Alma A Grade coach Will Hebbard is certainly not counting his side out, despite facing the St. Joes juggernaut.
“Finals time is always about who wants it more on the day,” Hebbard points out.
He did concede it would be a close-run thing, before adding a caveat.
“If we play like we did last week, we can give anyone a run for their money.”
Alma vs St Joes Men’s Grand Final today – Saturday – at O’Neill Sporting Complex at 4pm.
Get down there and support your team, it is going to be a cracker of a match.
PICTURE: Codey Ralph and Issac Clarke.
BHSA Women’s Grand Final Preview
This Saturday at 2pm, the BHSA Women’s A Grade Grand Final reaches its climax when West Panthers take on Alma, the latter fresh from a nerve-wracking semi final against St Joes last week.
West booked their spot in the Grand Final by finishing top of the women’s standings.
You’d forgive West for being supremely confident heading into the Final as minor premiers. That notion is dismissed out of hand by coach George Bujega.
“We’ll just go out there, play our best and hope we’re the better team,” Mr Bujega says.
“Jessie Cox will be crucial in attack. Brady McLeod and Jasmine Mitchell have been sensational in defence all year. Jasmine is our longest serving sweeper ever.”
Alma is riding a wave of momentum that saw them win through to the Final for a third straight year. They took the tricky route of the penalty shootout before they could book their spot, but now they are there the Goats are looking for their third straight premiership.
This season will be even more impressive if they can achieve it because it would be a league/cup double for the Goats’ women.
Elle Joy Yamono will look to continue her sensational form. She was brilliant in the semi final and was our player of the match in the shoot out victory against St Joes last week.
Addie Isedale is also expected to do well and will have to be amongst the goals again if Alma are to raise the trophy.
Goalkeeper Mahana Hebbard told us, “we’ve been playing pretty well this season and we are feeling pretty confident ahead of the game this Saturday”.
Lakeisha Sloane has the x-factor required to perform on the big stage and more importantly has experience scoring match winning goals in Grand Finals. Her performance will go a long way to deciding which way this game goes.
Alma coach Will Hebbard says his team is focusing on playing their own game.
“As long as we don’t start like we did against St Joes [in the semi-final] last week, it’ll hold us in good stead. It won’t be individual performances [that decides the game], it will be a team effort.”
This should be a blockbuster of an encounter, fitting of its Grand Final status. You don’t want to miss this one, today at 2pm at O’Neill Sporting Complex.