OLD FOES: Stanthorpe United and Ballandean will go head to head once again in a grand final.
OLD FOES: Stanthorpe United and Ballandean will go head to head once again in a grand final. Contributed

ONE TO GO: Adversaries face off again in grand finale

TWO teams, all too familiar with one another, will contest Football Stanthorpe's biggest game of the year.

Stanthorpe United and Ballandean have won the right to take each other on in the men's final. The same two sides met in last year's grand final, with United picking up another trophy for the cabinet after a two-nil win.

But with a much changed side from the one that lifted the trophy, United know they're in for a tough encounter.

"We lost four players from the starting team from last year's grand final and they have been replaced with three players who have never played football before,” United coach Steve McEvoy said.

"All credit goes to the players, they have really put in the effort this year - the players initiated training in January, which confirms their great attitude.

"The young players took over the leadership role once captain George Merritt left in May and they have really committed themselves during the season.

"It would be great to see them go all the way and win on Saturday but we know that task will be very difficult.

"Ballandean is always hard to beat and they have a strong team, but I know the United boys will give 100 per cent and as a coach, that is all I ever ask.”

Ballandean coach Neil Newman said his side have been in red hot form in the lead up to this game, but won't take their opposition lightly.

"Our streak has come through a consistent line-up with an all round team performance,” Newman said.

"We're on an unbeaten 10 game streak, only conceding four goals in that time whilst scoring 31.

"We'll be hoping that our tough finals matches against Inter and City has us match fit but we acknowledge we'll have to lift to another level to overcome a well-drilled United side.

"We will be looking to our senior players, Jamie Carnell and Aiden Halford, to lead by example while watching out for player of the year Hunter Murphy and Matthew Purcell's influence in the midfield for United.

Newman said the game is certain to be a "blockbuster”.

GAME TIMES

Subject to extra time and penalties

Fillies: Inter v Carlton from 9.30am

Junior Colts: United v City from 10.50am

Senior Colts: City v Ballandean from 12.30am

Ladies: Ballandean v Tenterfield from 2pm

Men's: United v Ballandean from 3.40pm

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