Is this the year of the Burra?
Riddell District Football League fans will know in two weeks after Diggers Rest won through to its fourth successive grand final.
Clearly the best team all season, the Burras enter the final decider as the team to beat. But they’ve been here before, and have lost the past three.
Burras coach Shaun Sims thinks they have a better squad than last year when they lost by 10 points to Romsey.
Sims said the outside run added by Michael Evans, Cale Morton and Taylor Hine had complemented their inside game. “Ultimately, the goal is putting yourself in a position to be in a grand final and we’ve done that,” he said. “Our game style has changed and we’ve brought in some guys who make us better. The players we already had have got better, too.”
In Saturday’s semi-final against Broadford, the Burras left their best till after half-time.
It was a similar story against Macedon the week before in the qualifying final.
Last Saturday, the Burras kicked the final eight goals to win 15.18 (108)-5.9 (39). Sims said turnovers were the story for his side in the first half.
“It was a bit of a grind through that half,” he said. “Broadford’s bigger bodies made it tough … We had 20 turnovers in the first quarter and a fair few in the second. Once we cleaned up disposal we played on our terms.”
The Burras benefited from Broadford being a player down after one was sent from the field.
“Tom Gleeson stopped them going forward every time,” Sims said. “It wasn’t about them scoring, more about us being able to counter- act.”
Burras’ Cameron McCabe starred up forward, kicking five goals, while Brandon Kilty, Jason Williams and Taylor Hine managed two each. Stephen Ruane was judged best-on-ground.
Sims said they would look closely at how to prepare for the grand final.
He said much of the first week off would be about recovery, with several players pulling up sore.
“If we’d had to play this weekend, a couple of blokes likely wouldn’t have made it.”
The Burras’ reserves also have a week off after beating Sunbury in their preliminary final.