The Rising Stars Grand Final will see a firing Marist College outfit look to secure the silverware against an exciting Ainslie Tricolours line-up.
In AFL Canberra’s tightest competition, just one win separated first and fourth on the ladder, with both second-placed Ainslie and third-placed Marist falling just short of claiming the Minor Premiership.
Ainslie will be searching for the club’s seventh Under 18’s flag, and their first since their stunning 2013 premiership win.
Marist will be striving to return to the top of the pedestal with their ninth premiership victory, with their last coming in 2010 – the third of a remarkable three-peat.
Marist star Dean Simpson has enjoyed a dominant season, having been named in his side’s Best on Ground a staggering twelve times in just sixteen appearances.
Two Marist sharpshooters have sit inside the competition’s top four leading goal-scorers, with Jack Ellis and Rhys Pollock both nailing 26 and 25 majors respectively.
Jack Powell has almost reserved a spot in the Rising Stars’ Team of the Week, after being judged as one of the best afield nine times in thirteen games.
Tricolour Josh Hogan has slotted thirty goals in a stellar individual season, leaving him perched in to the competition’s top two.
The two sides have met three times this season, with Ainslie victorious in the two most recent clashes between the premiership hopefuls.
Marist’s lone win over the Tricolours came in Round 2, as they snuck home to topple their opponents by a mere four points.
In the highly anticipated Round 7 rematch, only one point separated the sides heading in to the second half, before the Tricolours kicked clear in the third term to win by thirteen points.
The Tricolours put their best foot forward in Round 13, shooting out to an insurmountable 27-point lead in the early stages, eventually claiming a comprehensive 38-point victory.
There is no denying that any of the competition’s top four would have been deserving of lifting the trophy in September.
The winners of two straight do-or-die finals clashes, Marist come in to the Grand Final having won eight of their past nine games, with their one loss coming to their Grand Final opponents.
The students stunned Eastlake in extra-time in the Preliminary Final, suggesting that they will fight until the final siren has sounded.
The Tricolours have dropped just one game from their last seven, with their most recent win coming in convincing fashion against minor premiers Eastlake in the Major Semi-Final.
This clash is sure to be one for the ages.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR AFL CANBERRA