GRAND FINAL: Mount Gambier Pioneers v Forestville Eagles

In what is a rematch of one of this year’s semi-finals, Mt Gambier will take on Forestville to decide the 2019 Premier League Championship. Both teams have looked dangerous throughout the finals series so far, which should make for an entertaining game. With Forestville edging Norwood and setting up a rematch, they will be eager to right some of their wrongs in the semi-final and get some revenge this week. 


The semi-final between these two was reasonably one-sided, with the Pioneers being able to control the flow of the game on both ends of the court. While Deng and Teys were both strong for the Eagles, Mt Gambier were able to shut off most other options for the side and limit their avenues to scoring, which kept the Forestville team to just 86 points, far below what is expected of them. For the Pioneers, it was Tom Daly and Kentrell Barkley who were dominant, but the key factor was their team’s ability to provide support and contribute, with players like Sam Daly and Brad Rathjen doing a bit of everything for the team. This was huge in their 11-point semi-final win. 


The best they can deliver should be good enough for either side this game, but there is undoubtedly a bigger onus on defence for Forestville, with Mt Gambier being deeper and a bit more dangerous on the offensive side of the ball. However, if Forestville can play good defence and give some more support to Deng and Teys this time around, they may give the Pioneers a few problems. Regardless, these are the two best teams of the year and a result either way would be unsurprising.


Head to Head:

Round 9: Pioneers 101 d Eagles 97

Round 19: Pioneers 106 d Eagles 93

Semi Final 2: Pioneers 97 d Eagles 86


Ones to watch: 

Majok Deng

The Eagles’ star player was on fire again last weekend, destroying the Flames with 39 points and 10 rebounds. He also put in a strong shift defensively. Mt Gambier will need to quell his impact, or at least game-plan defensively around him and shut down his teammates as to not allow him much support on the offensive end. If he and a couple others put in a shift, it spells trouble for Mt Gambier. 


Michael Harris

Harris was a non-factor against the Pioneers two weeks ago, which is why the Eagles will be dangerous if he contributes well. Look for him to have an impact and get the Pioneers defence worrying about an extra player. 


Brendan Teys

Teys often coordinates the offence, along with Deng, and will be an important force for Forestville. His ability to defend, pass and score is huge, and he could be the difference in this grand final. 


Kentrell Barkley

Not much needs to be said about Barkley. His one game so far this finals series was dominant, and he is arguably the hardest player to stop in the league. If he makes his presence felt on both ends, Mt Gambier are part of the way to a championship. 


Sam Daly

Sam is an X-factor. His contributions to running the offence when his brother Tom isn’t, and also being able to score and defend efficiently, are irreplaceable. If he can have an impact in this way again, the Pioneers will be extremely hard to beat. 


Overall these two teams are fairly evenly matched. However, while Forestville are more than capable on both ends, Mt Gambier are much deeper and have shown they have the consistency within games to be this year’s champions. 


Prediction: Mt Gambier by eight points.


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