Shepparton North enters its preliminary final against McEwen Reserve on level pegging.
McEwen had top spot on the ladder for much of the year before succumbing to Old Students last week, but the side will look to return to its pre-Christmas form.
McEwen captain Tim Comer said while it would have been ideal to finish at the head of the table, the match provided the best lead in to the finals.
‘‘We were a bit disappointed, but all the sides are pretty even so going into this week it doesn’t matter too much, it was going to be tough either way,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re feeling pretty good, it was a tough game last week, but it’s a good hit out going into finals.’’
They have the advantage of playing at their home courts, with six of the eight finals scheduled at McEwen Reserve, but that should not play into Shepparton North’s mindset too severely.
North has solid form against McEwen Reserve this year, with the wins split between the pair.
McEwen claimed the initial match up 7-51 to 3-37 as North warmed slowly into the season.
In round 10, Georgie Moore, Helen Jackson and Evan Cooknell brought their side a narrow three-game victory.
As a result of how closely the sides match-up, Comer said who progressed to the grand final would all come down to who coped with the finals pressure better.
‘‘I wouldn’t say we’re favourites, they beat us the last time we played, so it will be a pretty close game,’’ he said.
‘‘They play pretty consistent across the whole side and are strong in both men and women, so we’ll all have to play pretty well to beat them.’’
In the second preliminary final, Old Students will be looking for a shot at back-to-back premierships when they meet St Brendan’s.
The Students are in scintillating form, leaving Brendan McMullan and Xavier McBain to step up their game even further to secure a grand final berth.