The Murrumbateman Eagles will this weekend head into their first ever grand final in club history this weekend after defeating the Woden Blues convincingly last Saturday in the preliminary final clash. 

The minor premiers recorded a convincing 42-point win against the Blues, winning 9.10.64 to 3.4.22 at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval, played away from Murrumbateman Park due to inadequate surface conditions.

The Eagles rattled the Blues early on, taking an early lead, with the Murrumbateman side never looking back and booked themselves into this Saturday’s AFL Canberra Fourth Grade Men’s grand final.

Murrumbateman Eagles coach Brent Fraser said the football intensity stepped up last weekend in the finals.

“Last weekend against Woden, coming into a finals campaign, it was a whole different ball game. The hype goes up, the tempo goes up, there’s no ‘next week’ attitude. Obviously, another week this weekend and another opportunity for the club will be a great test,” Fraser said.

“Obviously, Woden has been a great side for many years, and we have a lot of respect for them and know we had to be on our game to make sure that we didn’t give them a taste. It was a good physical encounter and a great match for both sides.

“The end result doesn’t reflect how the game was played. We got a good start, but throughout the game the margin stayed at around 20-points for majority of it. Coming into half-time, I know we were up, but I felt that Woden were kind of up on us. We really needed to get back into our game and get the game back on our terms in the third quarter.”

Fraser said that Jordan Flannagan and consistent performer Jake Prince were standout players, as well as an overall solid midfield contribution, but the team worked together wonderfully.

The Eagles are relishing the fact that they get an opportunity for redemption against Yass this weekend in the grand final, a team that has beaten Murrumbateman already twice this year.

“It’s a huge challenge. The Yass Roos are a bloody good side. They bring all elements to their game and no doubt this week being a grand final their going to bring it even more,” Fraser continued.

“We need to be on our game and stay with them. It’s huge for us, we just need to make sure that we work together and not go off our game plan, otherwise they can really open us up.”

The Eagles coach is also excited by the aspect that two Yass Valley sides are going at it in the season decider.

“I’m just stoked being a country boy to have two country sides outside of Canberra in a grand final. I think it’s great for both clubs,” Fraser continued.

“It’s great for the competition and the two clubs. We are two clubs who are still very much building and face challenges, so it’s really good to see. I’m hoping this weekend that both sides have a good game on Saturday.

Good luck to the mighty Eagles this weekend as they hope to claim their club’s first-ever flag.

Tim Warren