ALTHOUGH the Southern Mallee Giants are in their first season in the Wimmera Football League, the Giants and Horsham have quickly built up a reputation for playing out thrilling contests.
The two teams met in a night game at City Oval in Horsham in which the Demons punished the Giants by 35 points, but since then the Giants have taken two scalps.
In round 12 at Beulah, the Giants handed the Demons their second loss for the season in a 19-point win that put the league on notice of the Giants’ ability.
The Giants looked down and out in the clash after a goalless first quarter.
A phenomenal comeback from the Giants registered a season-defining victory for the team.
In a blockbuster semi-final clash between the top two sides earlier this month, it was the Southern Mallee Giants who again had the better of their grand final competitors.
The sides were separated by just two goals in the game at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval.
Which way this weekend’s grand final will go is anyone’s guess.
Demons coach Deek Roberts is expecting another game that could go down to the wire.
“They are a very competitive and physical side to play against,” he said.
“When we have played them this season both teams have had their opportunities to win. I assume it’s going to be similar this weekend.”
After the semi-final loss to the Giants, Roberts said his side needed to improve on its pressure around the contested football on Saturday.
“We need to lift our pressure and work around the footy in close,” he said.
“There’s no doubt about that and it comes down to the midfield battle.
“If we can be better in that area, it will put us in a good place and hopefully our backs have another good game and our forwards get opportunities. I’m sure they would have improved in areas from that game too.”
Giants coach Coleman Schache said since the loss early in the season to the Demons, his side had learnt and adapted better to the Wimmera league’s style of football.
“We played them early in the year but I think since then we have adapted and learnt a lot about how to play and the league,” he said.
“It’s been a credit to the boys to have that challenge early in the season and work hard since then.”