THE Bomaderry Tigers and Gerringong Breakers are well accustomed to facing one another come Shoalhaven Football finals time.
Less than 12 months ago, penalties were needed to split the pair in last season’s grand final – which the Tigers spectacularly won.
Since then, the Tigers have gone the whole 2018 season without losing a game, while the Breakers have only dropped three matches – one which was to Bomaderry (1-nil) on July 14.
Despite that statistic, Bomaderry coach Nathan Aldridge expects nothing short of a fierce contest.
“Every single match between Gerringong and us is a tight one and I can’t see this weekend being any different,” Aldridge said.
“I know they’ll be desperate to get the win but my boys just know how to win – they have an ability to get themselves up for every single game.
“My boys do all the little things right, from training, to warm-up, to the way they play the game – which is why we have been so successful and will continue to be.”
The Tigers come into the match off the bye, which Aldridge believes is a ‘positive’ thing, because he knows how taxing final matches are.
“It’s up to us to dominant as many areas on the field as we can,” he said.
“In particular, we need to take our chances because, you don’t get too many in matches like this.
“If we can play the way we want do, I can’t see why we can’t continue our exceptional season and achieve another goal of reaching the grand final.”
His counterpart Jadon Lavington, from the Breakers, is just as excited for the match, as this opportunity is what his team have been working towards all season.
“We’ve had a great preparation leading into the major semi-final,” coach Lavington said.
“The whole club is buzzing and can’t wait to see both men’s teams playing finals football.”
Despite not having beaten the Tigers in their past three encounters, Lavington is confident his squad can win on Saturday at Ison Park from 3pm.
“We’re a completely different looking squad compared to last time we met,” he said.
“Our season has been a bit up and down but it feels like it’s coming together at the right time of the year.
“We know it’s going to be tough and this match is all we are focused on right now.”
In order to give his team the best chance of winning, Lavington acknowledges his team must limit the threat of a number of the Tigers stars, including strikers Jordan Haddow (25 goals this season) and Brendan Kellett (23).
“There’ll be a number of great battles which will take place all across the park,” he said.
“In particular, Bomaderry have had some incredible goal scorers this season and we will need to stay on top of them.”
Also on Saturday will be the third grade clash between Culburra and Huskisson-Vincentia (11am) and reserve grade battle between Huskisson-Vincentia and Callala (1pm).
Sunday’s action at Ison Park will see Bomaderry battle Callala in third grade (11am) and Bomaderry face Gerringong in reserves(1pm) before Culburra and Huskisson-Vincentia face off in first grade (3pm).