Waaia, Berrigan clash in PDFNL blockbuster

By Alex Mitchell

In one of the most intriguing and potentially revealing games of the Picola District Football League season, Waaia will host Berrigan on Saturday in a clash that will earn the victor second position.

The powerhouse duo has a combined 21-3 record this season, the Bombers sneaking ahead of the Saints in their last contest with a 45-point triumph against Katunga.

It waw their fifth consecutive win, form that has once again catapulted them into premiership consideration, now having won 30 of their past 32 games dating back to the beginning of last season.

But one of their biggest tests in that span was round two’s trip to Berrigan, where the Bombers had to dig deep for a 16-point win.

The Saints led throughout stages of the contest and have only improved since, compiling a brilliant 10-2 record that includes an average winning margin of 76.6 points.

In recent weeks, they have rarely allowed the opposition to score, averaging just 27.8 points against in their past five games, showing the sort of football that has them boast the league’s second-ranked defence.

Berrigan enters off a bye, but was in ripping form before the break, smacking Yarroweyah by a cool 160 points, with Matthew Mahon, Ted Walliss and Harley Middleton in good form, Walliss in particular starring with nine goals.

A key task for the Bombers’ resolute defence will be finding match-ups for the Saints’ firing forwards, with Walliss (35 goals in 11 games), Middleton (28 in 12) and Jake Beams (20 in 12) all making the goal umpires work overtime when on song.

But — in what shapes as a genuine test of each side’s firepower — Waaia also possesses a string of attacking weapons, with Mark Meyland (36 goals in 11 games), Charlie Burrows (34 in 12), Connor Brown (20 in 11) and Mark Brown (14 in five) all showing how good they are throughout this season.

The contest appears to be the Bombers’ last genuine test before finals, with Blighty (4-8), Yarroweyah (5-8) and Tocumwal to come in the regular season’s closing three weeks, suggesting they will be up for the challenge this weekend and keen to make a real statement.