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In this bumper edition of the Pepper Money Preview, SMJFL contributor Owen Leonard has previewed all 20 Grand Finals for this Sunday 26th August.

The SMJFL wishes all players participating in this weekends Grand Finals all the best and encourage the SMJFL community to get along to the matches.

 

ESSEX RESERVE

9AM, U/11 MIXED YELLOW, AJAX V CAULFIELD

The two powerhouses of this season’s under 11 mixed yellow league are hard to separate. Ajax demonstrated their scoring power throughout the season and claimed a percentage of goliath proportions, at 217.9. Both sides kept their opponents goalless last week, with Ajax enjoying an easy 29-point win, while Caulfield were made to work for their 10-point victory. These sides haven’t met since round 11, when the visiting Ajax escaped with an eight-point win over the Bears. Ajax go in with slightly better form, but expect an arm wrestle.

10.45AM, U/11 MIXED ORANGE, ST BEDES/MENTONE V BRIGHTON BEACH

Another Grand Final which sees the league’s top two teams competing for a flag. St Bedes/Mentone made light work of St Kilda City last week to secure a berth in the decider, while Brighton Beach’s inaccurate kicking — two goals coupled with seven behinds — kept Beaumaris in the game, before coming out on top, to the nail-biting tune of six points. St Bedes/Mentone would go in as favourites, but Brighton Beach will certainly test the Tigers.

12.30PM, U/12 MIXED GREEN, HIGHETT V MURRUMBEENA

An extraordinary pair of semi-finals, where both these underdogs created massive upsets, sets up a mouth-watering finale to the U/12 Mixed Green season. Interestingly, both teams won in comfortable fashion, with the 4th placed Highett defeating the minor premiers in East Malvern, who only lost one game for the season, by 21 points. The form of Highett is nothing short of incredible, but Murrumbeena’s 10-2 win-loss record for the year makes them the more reliable team. This match is almost impossible to predict after Highett’s thrilling semi-final.

2.15PM, U/12 MIXED BLUE, SOUTH MELBOURNE V BRIGHTON BEACH

Season ladder-leaders South Melbourne tackle Brighton Beach, who enjoyed a 14-point win over Beaumaris last week. But they’ll have to take their game to a new level in order to challenge the rampaging South Melbourne, who defeated Ajax in the semi-final by 53 points, with a stunning 22 scoring shots to 4. South Melbourne have earned red-hot favouritism to take out the flag, but anything can happen in finals football.

 

HIGHETT RESERVE- OVAL 1

9AM, U/12 MIXED RED, MORDIALLOC-BRAESIDE V ST KILDA CITY

The so-far undefeated Mordi-Brae will have to sustain their unblemished record in order to claim the premiership, which would be a monumental achievement. And, after recording a 34-point win over East Sandringham in the semi, where they restricted the Zebras to just one goal, they’re well placed to complete the flawless season. St Kilda City claimed a hard-fought win over St Bedes/Mentone last week but will need to up their game this Sunday in the big dance.

10.45AM, U/12 MIXED ORANGE, EAST MALVERN V MORDICALLOC-BRAESIDE

East Malvern are undefeated heading into the decider, after easily accounting for Dingley last week with a 20-point win, a margin which could have been a lot larger if it wasn’t for poor kicking. Mord-Brae, however, will provide East Malvern with a tricky assignment, who despite finishing third for the season, belted Oakleigh in the penultimate semi-final by 34 points, with 16 scoring shots to 2 in another game that could have been ugly with better accuracy in front of goal. Expect an intriguing contest- East Malvern will not want their only loss for the season to be the Grand Final.

12.30PM, U/12 MIXED MAROON, EAST SANDRINGHAM V EAST MALVERN

East Sandringham have proved head and shoulders above their rivals this year, completing the season undefeated with a gargantuan percentage of 352.5, before easing past St Peters in the semi-final. East Malvern, in comparison, dropped four games this season. However, with the pressure of the big day, anything can happen.

2.15PM, U/13 MIXED DIV 5, AJAX V MORDIALLOC BRAESIDE

The top two sides of the season will fittingly square off in the decider on Sunday, with both are coming off easy semi-final wins. Mordi-Brae are represented by two of the top five goalkickers, but Ajax’s Jude Goldfarb will be hard to stop, with a goal tally of 29 for the year. A huge game, 1v2, the best of the league, with the result an unpredictable one.

 

KING GEORGE RESERVE- OVAL 1

9AM, U/12 GIRLS GREEN, ST KILDA CITY V BEAUMARIS

A 1v2 clash for the decider. Beaumaris belted Bentleigh to the tune of 51 points last week, while St Kilda City restricted Mordi-Brae to a sole point to book their date with destiny. St Kilda City are still yet to be defeated, while Beaumaris have loss just one game, so expect a thriller.

10.30AM, U/12 GIRLS BLUE, SOUTH MELBOURNE V EAST BRIGHTON

11 goals, 13 behinds for a total of 79 points. That was South Melbourne’s score-line last week, who take on the red-hot East Brighton Vampires in the Grand Final on Sunday. It’s another 1v2 clash, with South Melbourne probably the favourites- but only just. Jorjia Haeta of East Brighton has a comfortable comp goal-kicking lead and is crucial to the Vampires’ chances.

12PM, U/12 GIRLS PURPLE, CAULFIELD V DINGLEY

Anika Stehbens is perhaps all you need to know for the decider. Has kicked 38 goals this season for Caulfield, including five bags of four goals and two efforts of five. However, she has also been kept goalless on two occasions, which should tell Dinley’s defence that she’s not unstoppable. However, if they don’t find a way to curtail the influence of Stehbens, this one could get ugly. The undefeated Caulfield will be expected to win, so it will be a question of whether they can handle Grand Final pressure, because Dingley will be hungry for an upset.

1.30PM, U/12 GIRLS YELLOW, PORT MELBOURNE V PRAHRAN

While Port Melbourne kept Hampton goalless in their semi-final win to triumph by 15 points, Prahran managed a 33-point belting over St Peters. Port Melbourne have been the best team all year, so still deserve favouritism, but Prahran may have hit form with impeccable timing. Anything can happen in a Grand Final and this Grand Final has it all.

 

KING GEORGE RESERVE- OVAL 2

8.55AM, U/11 MIXED BLUE, MORDIALLOC BRAESIDE V EAST BRIGHTON

In another strange Grand Final, the third placed Vampires take on the fourth placed Mordi Brae, who both recorded emphatic upset wins in their semi-finals. East Brighton, in particular, look to have discovered immense form, having defeated Caulfield by 38 points last week, who finished second for the season. Mordi-Brae, however, defeated minor premiers Oakleigh, showing they have what it takes to snare a flag. Another match where anything could happen.

10.40AM, U/11 MIXED PURPLE, HAMPTON V EAST MALVERN

1v2. Hampton have lost one game this season, while East Malvern have lost a pair. Both teams had belting victories on the weekend, with Hampton’s 22 shots on goal highlighting their scoring prowess. The Rovers will expect to win, but East Malvern will also fancy their chances. The key to this match is the midfield battle, whoever gets on top around the contest will go a long way to victory.

12.25PM, U/11 MIXED BRONZE, EAST MALVERN V PORT MELBOURNE

East Malvern are undefeated this year but face their greatest challenge yet with their Port Melbourne Grand Final assignment on Sunday. Thomas McMullen of Port Melbourne leads the league goal-kicking comfortably, and is joined by teammate Bailey Rudd in the top five. The dynamic duo is pivotal to the team’s chances of creating an upset in the decider, and represent the most prominent threat to East Malvern’s hopes at an undefeated campaign.

2.10PM, U/11 MIXED RED, DINGLEY V BENTLEIGH

Dingley enjoyed a monumental upset win in last week’s semi-final knocking off the minor premiers, but have had to quickly turn their attention to the big dance this week. Bentleigh are also in form, having destroyed their rivals by 54 points last week. Flip of the coin this match and expect a classic.

 

MURPHY RESERVE- AANENSON OVAL

9AM, U/13 MIXED DIV 2, ST PETERS V ST BEDES/MENTONE

St Bedes/Mentone inflicting a crushing victory over Brighton Beach last weekend, so will approach the decider with significant confidence. St Peters, who finished fourth, somehow managed a huge boil-over victory in the semi-final to earn their place in the Grand Final. The flag is truly up for grabs here.

10.45AM, U/13 MIXED DIV 1, BEAUMARIS V EAST BRIGHTON

After tasting the sweetness of an impressive semi-final victory, East Brighton shouldn’t lack confidence going into the big clash on Sunday. Beaumaris, however, have lost just one game in 2018, and will count on comp leading goalkicker Jett Butler to deliver once more. Both sides are in great form, so this should be a genuine thriller.

 

MURPHY RESERVE- JW WOODRUFF OVAL

9.30AM, U/13 MIXED DIV 4, EAST MALVERN V CHELTEHAM

Both teams had massive wins in their respective semi-finals, with this Grand Final shaping up as one of the more interesting games of the week. It’s 1v2, the two best sides all year. Jack Armstrong has 21 goals for Chelt, the most of any player in the league, and may hold the key to premiership glory. Can the Knights do their own damage up forward? This will be an exciting encounter!

11.15AM, U/13 MIXED DIV 3, BENTLEIGH V ORMOND

Ormond recorded an expected win on Sunday to cement their spot in the Grand Final, while Bentleigh inflicted a significant upset against the season’s ladder leaders in Waverley Park. Even the Bureau of Meteorology would struggle to forecast this one. Let hope it rains goals in an end to end epic! A blockbuster affair not to be missed.