The Macleay Valley Rangers are out to spoil the party for rivals Wallis Lake, who aim to lock up the minor premiership on their home soil after a win this Saturday.
The Rangers, who are in second place on the ladder, trail Wallis Lake by four competition points and have a chance to reignite the race for the top spot with a victory.
We have dropped off towards the end of the season, similar to last year, and I need to stop that from continuing.Rangers coach Keith Morn
However, anything but a win for the Rangers will result in Wallis Lake lifting the minor premiership trophy.
It’s an important accolade, as the minor premiers receive a week off during the opening weekend of the finals and are one win away from the grand final.
However, Rangers coach Keith Morn’s focus is on recapturing the form which saw them dominate the competition in the early rounds of the season.
“It would be good to leave with a win and keep the minor premiership race alive but that isn’t the vocal point at the moment,” Morn said.
“We have dropped off towards the end of the season, similar to last year, and I need to stop that from continuing.
“I’ll be happier if we play a great game and lose than play poorly and win.”
Morn admits though, earning the victory will be key to boosting the confidence of his side after they suffered a 6-1 defeat to Port United a fortnight ago.
The Rangers need to build momentum ahead of the finals series.
“A win is pretty crucial for our finals run, we don’t want to head into these games and think that we aren’t capable of earning the victory,” Morn said.
Wallis Lake have the stingiest defence this year, leaking only 10 goals in 14 games.
However, Morn is more worried about the threat Wallis lake pose on the other end of the field.
“I know what we are capable of in front of goal and I know we can score goals when we click,” Morn said.
“But they are a good attacking team and they have, who I think is, the best striker in the league.
“We will need to contain their attack to win.”
While Morn watches this Saturday’s game, in the back of his mind he will be worried about the potential of youngun Sam Applegate and left midfielder Kurt Riordan picking up a yellow card.
Applegate enters the game with three next to his name while Riordan has five.
One more for Applegate will be a match suspension while Riordan would miss two if he is shown a yellow.
“We want to avoid having them miss a finals match,” Morn said.
Yellow cards are wiped when the finals series commences.
Also making the news: