An enthralling weekend of MC Labour Division 2 finals action is upon us as four teams battle it out to keep their premiership chances alive.
The two powerhouses of the competition will lock horns for the third time this season when Diamond Creek and Eltham meet this Saturday for the first spot in the Division 2 Grand Final.
Following one of their most successful campaigns to date in recent years, the Creekers would certainly fancy themselves as favourites in this game. They have failed to taste defeat since Round 5 and have won their last five matches by an average of 58 points, highlighting the serious momentum they’re taking into September.
Diamond Creek’s defensive game will likely be on show again this weekend, they have still failed to concede 10 or more goals to any opposition in 2023. It’s been an effort led by the likes of Ryan Donaldson, Billy Bedford, Nathan Searl and Joel Randall just to name a few.
They’ve also had some impressive contributors at other ends of the ground. That includes their ruckman Nicholas Barro who has been named in his side’s best in 12 of 18 games in 2023.
Up forward, no team has scored more this year and while they do have players in the side that can take the game by the scruff of its neck, they have been able to find multiple avenues to goal with 11 players kicking 10 or majors in 2023.
They will still find themselves with a big test this weekend as they face an Eltham team who are arguably in the best form they’ve been in all season.
The Panthers have won four consecutive games by 60 points or more which included an enormous Qualifying Final victory over St Mary’s last weekend.
It was a match that saw their stars shine such as Finnbar Maley, who has been a revelation for the side since returning from VFL duties. He has been named as his side’s best player for two straight weeks and has also produced four majors in the same period.
He will form a dynamic ruck duo with Tom Goodwin who continues to impress in recent week, making their battle with Nicholas Barro even more mouthwatering.
Jesse Donaldson has missed his side’s best in just three of his 13 games this year and also played a pivotal in his side’s victory last weekend alongside Ben Montanaro who has been in terrific form himself.
This will be the first final between the two sides since the 2022 preliminary final where despite the Creekers’ best efforts to continue their stellar finals run, Eltham prevailed by just seven points to reach that year’s decider.
And while there will still be a chance for either side to live out their dream with a loss on Saturday, this second semi-final should give us a good indication of who will be the team to beat in a fortnight’s time.
Hear a broadcast of the MC Labour Dvision 2 second semi-final between Diamond Creek and Eltham on 88.6 Plenty Valley FM.
Join Nicholas Sacco, Zac Sharpe and Tim MacDougall from 1:45pm Saturday to hear all the action from the Epping Recreation Reserve.
The team will also bring you score updates from around the grounds throughout the broadcast.
Tune in to the broadcast on 88.6 Plenty Valley FM or listen online via the link below or the NFNL TeamApp.