SOUTH COAST AFL
Bomaderry take the confidence of winning form and premiers Wollongong Bulldogs are desperate to avoid back-to-back finals losses in this afternoon's South Coast AFL preliminary final at Bargo Sports Ground.
Third-placed Bomaderry ended Northern District's run with a 46-point victory in their elimination final clash.
The Bulldogs beat Kiama in the final round but a five-goals-to-one final quarter handed the Power a 32-point victory in the qualifying final - and their fourth grand-final spot in five years.
Wollongong beat Bomaderry by 51 points in the opening round, but the Tigers had a purple patch mid-season and beat the Dogs by two points in round 10.
Before the loss to the Power last Saturday, the Bulldogs had built momentum, similar to last season when they went unbeaten from the end of the university semester break to claim their maiden first-grade premiership.
Wollongong and Kiama were the top sides for most of the season but Bomaderry's best form is a threat and they've beaten both clubs.
"The key for us will be our defence," Bomaderry coach Mathew Ganderton said.
"They're a dangerous team and we have to lock them down.
"We're looking forward to the challenge and while we've one or two players out, in general terms we're pretty close to our strongest side available."
Both teams have match winners - Bomaderry ruckman James Miller was named the competition's best-and-fairest player and Bulldogs full-forward Andrew Barned is the leading goalkicker, with 74 goals in the regular season.
Meanwhile, Wollongong will be chasing a sixth straight reserve-grade grand-final appearance when they face Albatross Demons in the preliminary final today.
Wollongong's reserves ended three straight grand-final losses with a come-from-behind win over Port Kembla Blacks last year. Today's winner faces the Blacks in the title decider.
Minor premiers Port Kembla thrashed Albatross by 81 points in the qualifying final while Wollongong beat Figtree by 33 points in the elimination final.
Albatross finished the season in second spot.