FINAL WORD: It all comes down to this

RACE AGAINST TIME: Nick Stagg (right) walks laps at training on Tuesday night.LW: It all comes down to this, Bourkey – Strathfieldsaye v Sandhurst for the 2014 Bendigo Football League premiership on Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

They are certainly two fitting grand finalists having been the clear standout sides of the year.

As good as Sandhurst has been this year in getting to the grand final with an 18-3 record, all signs point to it being a historic day for the Storm and the club winning its first senior premiership.

AB: It’s hard to tip against a side that is 18-1 and coming off a seven-goal second semi-final win.

The Storm have had their injury concerns, but Sandhurst’s issues with Tim Martin and Nick Stagg hurt more.

With the way the Dragons are limping into this game, I reckon a Sandhurst win would be the biggest BFNL grand final upset since Kangaroo Flat knocked off Kyneton in 1996.

LW: Biggest upset for nearly 20 years… are you under-selling the Dragons just a bit here?

But as we spoke about last Sunday, there’s no doubt the footy Gods have conspired against the Dragons at the wrong time of the year on the injury front.

You always felt the Dragons were going to need everything to go right for them to challenge the red-hot Storm and to be potentially down two of their inter-league reps in Tim Martin and Nick Stagg is one of the reasons why they’ve blown out to $6 with Sportsbet.

Amazing to think those Sandhurst odds of $6 are longer than the $5 Bears Lagoon-Serpentine were at ahead of last week’s one-sided LVFL grand final against Bridgewater.

Plenty of selection intrigue still to come, with the two sides picking a combined 49 players in their squads on Thursday night.

AB: I watched the Storm train on Thursday night and Tommy Bartholomew did everything right.

However, the fact he hasn’t played since July 19 makes it mighty hard to pick him.

As good as Bartholomew was in last year’s finals, it’s too big a risk.

With the way the Storm forward line has been functioning of late I can’t see any reason to change it.

Daniel Geary or Jake Dickens would be mighty stiff to miss out.

As for the Dragons, as much as I’d like to see Martin and Stagg play, teams who risk injured players in grand finals usually come off second best.

You might be able to get away with one, but not two.

Throw the fit kids in at the deep end and try to run the Storm off their feet.

LW: My tip is a Storm win by 40 points… just too much class and strength all over the ground.

And Milney to add the Nalder Medal to his Ron Best and Derrick Filo medals that he has already won.

I’m backing Milney to snag eight goals.

What does your crystal ball say?

AB: Storm by six goals, Milne to kick six and Matt Smith to win the medal.

Wedderburn to get the biscuits in the NCFL decider.

I know you’re super excited about Sunday’s MCDFL grand final.

Who wins?

LW: Could be the closest grand final of the three. Navarre by about 15 points to go back-to-back.

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