Major Semi-Final: Belconnen Magpies vs Tuggeranong Hawks
The Belconnen Magpies will host the Tuggeranong Hawks in the Major Semi-Final after an undefeated season saw them claim the minor premiership in a canter.
Coming in to the 2015 season, Magpies coach Jeremy Rowe set his side the goal of getting early wins on the board, to take some momentum in to the back half of the year.
The star-studded Magpies outfit certainly did so, finishing four wins clear of the second-placed Hawks on the competition table.
The Magpies have reigned supreme in three meetings between the two sides this season, opening the season with a four-goal win over the visitors at The Nest.
Round 6 served up one of the most exciting battles of the season, with the ladder-leaders coming from behind to record a thrilling eleven-point victory away from home.
The most recent clash between the competition’s premier teams saw the experienced Belconnen line-up claim a twenty point win in front of the Magpie faithful.
Statistically speaking, the Magpies finished the regular season as by far and away the competition’s best attacking and defensive team.
Belconnen’s Chris York has enjoyed a breakout season, booting 80 goals in just fifteen games, but the competition’s leading goal-scorer is quick to credit the side’s brilliant midfield for their efforts.
Led by the Bennett brothers, the Magpies midfield has been on fire throughout the 2015 season, and they will have to be on song to get the better of a firing Hawks side.
The Tuggeranong midfield have the ability to spread quickly, which is something that could give their side the edge in this massive contest.
Ben Symons has enjoyed a brilliant season to date, and along with teammate Ben Cleaver could hold the key to securing the Hawks a Grand Final appearance in a fortnight.
It will be an uphill battle for the Hawks, but anything can happen in September. Expect the Magpies to get over the line in a tight contest.
Minor Semi-Final: Queanbeyan Tigers vs Ainslie Tricolours
The Queanbeyan Tigers will head in to the Minor Semi-Final at Allinsure Park as comfortable favourites, having finished five wins clear of the fourth-placed Tricolours.
The Tigers experienced a massive player turnover following a successful 2014 campaign, and one of the competitions finest in Tigers player-coach Kade Klemke was forced to consider his future.
Faced with the prospect of moving on or taking on the unenviable task of guiding an inexperienced side in to the unknown, Klemke chose the latter.
It looked an inspired decision as a stellar run of form reminded the competition that this Tigers outfit was one to be reckoned with.
However, a broken hand derailed the representative star’s season, and has forced a number of young Tigers to step up and fill the void.
Ainslie have also relied on youth to bolster their playing stocks in 2015, with Josh Maynard and Matthew Boak shaping up as two key players in the business end of the season.
The pair have enjoyed outstanding seasons, and will be looked upon to lead the proud club to victory.
The three meetings between the two sides have served up some of the most memorable games in the competition this season, with just fifteen points being the largest margin.
A confidence boosting victory for the black and gold’s over the Tricolours in Round 1 was a perfect way to start the season as they completed an eight point win at Allinsure Park.
The Round 6 clash between the two clubs saw Queanbeyan sneak home in a thriller, winning by a solitary point to extend the gap between the two on the competition table.
The final game between the two premiership hopefuls in the regular season came in Round 11, where Queanbeyan continued their dominance over Ainslie in 2015 with a fifteen-point win.
The prospect of finally toppling Queanbeyan at home may just be too much for the Tricolours in this do-or-die contest, but now is as good a time as any to pull it off.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR AFL CANBERRA