Sport

Rest to hold Panthers in good stead

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September 13, 2017

The Benalla All Blacks could top off an incredible, and unpredictable, season by winning the Ovens and King Football League grand final on Saturday.

Glenrowan will be the side to try and spoil the Panthers’ fun in Saturday’s grand final.

The Kelly Tigers overcame flag-winners Tarrawingee in the weekend’s knockout semi-final 93-80 away from home to earn their berth in the titanic clash.

Tigers attacking duo Matt Duffy and Matt Robinson each bagged three goals against the Bulldogs, while teammate Nick Lawrence was best on ground.

The Tigers lost one more game than the Benalla side in the normal season — missing out on points against Goorambat, the Panthers and Tarrawingee.

But the Tigers redeemed themselves, going on to demolish the Panthers at Friendlies Oval in their second meeting in round 16.

Panthers head coach Harry Moran predicted the Tigers would be the side to challenge for the premiership, even after they lost to Tarrawingee in the normal season.

‘‘We’re looking to recoup and get the blokes’ bodies fit and recovered properly,’’ Moran said.

‘‘We’ve had a relaxed and fun time before the big game because for us it’s more about keeping our boys sharp before the final.

‘‘I reckon it’ll be Glenrowan we face, they have a lot of big boys, and Tarra won’t be at their strongest when they play.’’

Riley Moran agreed, saying they were expecting the Tigers to get up against the Bulldogs.

‘‘To be honest yes, we probably did expect it to be Glenrowan we would face,’’ Riley said.

‘‘It’s a grand final, so anything can happen, and whoever we come up against we’ll just look to play our game.

‘‘I played in the under-18s grand final at the Saints, but that wouldn’t compare to a senior grand final I think.

‘‘So it’s new to me and it’ll be new to a lot of the team as well.’’

The advantage the Panthers have over the Tigers is their week’s rest after their semi-final win over the Bulldogs.

‘‘This week off has been very good for us, we had a good session on Saturday,’’ Riley said.

‘‘But we’ve tried to keep everything as normal as possible, so as not to go out changing anything before the final.’’

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