Tatyoon has been one of the most dominant forces in modern Mininera District Football League history and they will have a chance to continue their run of success this weekend.
The Hawks are just one win away from a 12th senior MDFL grand final appearance since 2005, with just Penshurst standing in their way.
The Bombers will play Tatyoon in Saturday’s preliminary final at Willaura, both teams brimming with confidence.
It has been an up and down year for the Hawks, losing just three games in the first 13 rounds before finishing the home and away season with three losses from four games.
They snuck into the top five but have not looked back since. In the first two weeks of finals they eliminated reigning premiers Lismore-Derrinallum and sent Glenthompson-Dunkeld home in straight sets.
The Hawks go into the preliminary final full of confidence.
“We have always believed we are a top three, maybe top two side and have always been confident we can be competitive against the best,” Tatyoon coach Simon Brearley said.
A chance at redemption is on the cards for the Hawks, with Penshurst ending their 2017 season in last year’s elimination final.
The Bombers also got the better of the Hawks when the sides played their sole game this season, winning by 21 points.
“We were very undisciplined in that game,” Brearley said.
“We just need to be more disciplined this time around. We were very competitive in the loss, leading for a fair part of the match.”
The Hawks are likely to lose Nathan Mahoney for the preliminary final with a hamstring issue but will regain forward Adrian Pilgrim who was unavailable last weekend.
“We might not risk Nathan with his hamstring, we can’t afford to take someone into a preliminary final with an injury cloud hanging over their head,” Brearley said.
“Having Adrian (Pilgrim) available again is a huge bonus, he is one of a couple of guys who have kicked more than 30 goals and add great versatility up forward.”
The Bombers played their losing semi-final against Wickliffe-Lake Bolac at Tatyoon last weekend, with many Hawks watching on closely.
Brearley said they were able to pick up on little details about how Penshurst plays.
“Justin Eales looked like their barometer, he was on fire early and helped them out to an early lead,” he said.
“We just need to focus on executing our game plan as well as we can.
“By all reports the ground at Willaura is big which plays into our hands well.”
Despite a six-day turnaround between Tatyoon’s semi-final and preliminary final, Brearley is full of confidence his team can come away with the win and advance to the grand final.
“We have recovered well and are excited about what lies ahead,” he said.
“There are no excuses from our end if we lose, we will be going out there with full intentions and confidence of winning.”
The preliminary final between Penshurst and Tatyoon will take place at Willaura at 2.15pm on Saturday, September 8.