The Kempsey Saints will play for their season on Saturday when they face off with the Taree Wildcats in an elimination final.
Saints finished the regular season in fifth position which forces them to make the hard trip south to battle the Wildcats on their home ground.
Saints coach Kevin Sinclair was disappointed his side wasn’t able to finish the season strongly and lock up a home semi-final, but he was glad they achieved their goal of reaching the finals.
“We let ourselves down when we let a couple of games slip away from us and now we will have to do it the hard way,” Sinclair said.
“Playing on their home ground definitely gives them an edge, they’re an older and larger side and Omaru Park is a smaller field which is better for their style of play.”
Saints boast a strong defence but it’s their goal scoring ability which has let them down this season.
However, Taree’s defence has been cracked on 40 occasions in 16 games and Saints fancy their chances of finding the back of the net.
Saints lost 2-0 when they travelled to Omaru earlier this season and later played out a nil-all draw when they hosted the Wildcats.
Despite failing to score in both games, Sinclair is confident his team has addressed their goal scoring issues.
“Coaching director Matt Baker has been working hard with the team this week and we have a good game plan in place to get the job done,” Sinclair said.
“We have smaller and more skillful players so we will aim to keep the ball on the ground and complete a lot of short passes and get in behind their tall back line.”
A victory for the Saints would see them advance to do battle with the losing side of the qualifying final between the Macleay Valley Rangers and Port United.
The Saints and Wildcats will also do battle in reserve grade on Saturday.
Saints finished the season in fourth place but will travel south with their first grade side to battle the Wildcats in an elimination final.
Saints and the Wildcats split the meetings this season with Kempsey winning the first 4-0 before losing the second 1-0.
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