Spencer, Redbacks on mission to end drought

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Spencer Park-Tiger's Sam Brown looks to cross the ball against North Albany.
Camera IconSpencer Park-Tiger's Sam Brown looks to cross the ball against North Albany. Credit: Laurie Benson

Opposing grand final teams Spencer Park-Tigers and North Albany are out to break lengthy premiership droughts when they vie for the men’s A-grade premiership on Saturday night.

Spencer Park have not won a premiership since 2007 and the Redbacks last tasted success in 2006.

Interestingly, the two teams will train together tonight, and have done for the past two years, in the build-up to grand final which for only the second time in at least 13 years will not feature Manypeaks.

Spencer Park-Tigers finished second on the ladder but won straight through to the grand final, their third appearance in the decider in the last four seasons.

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Skipper Sam Brown said his side will enter the grand final with plenty of confidence as they look to break an 11-year drought.

“Hopefully, we can break the drought, that is the plan,” Brown said. “We’ve had a good year when we have had our full team on the park so we are going in reasonably confident.

“In a few games against North we’ve been well understrength and we’ve been smashed but we will have a full team on the weekend and should be right in the contest.

“We are fairly similar teams and we have trained with the for the last two years, we are two clubs that get along really well and our games are played in the right spirit.”

Redbacks won the most recent encounter between the two sides, 5-2, in round 15 and coach Dan Smith said his team were desperate to relive grand final success.

“It’s been a long time between drinks, back to 2006,” he said.

“We have a really solid group, are pretty even across the board and have a simple game plan that is starting to click. “Saturday’s (preliminary final) was the best game I’ve played in with the club, the willingness not to give up.

“Tommy (Dinneen) back in goals, a clean sheet in a final is amazing and his presence back there is key.”

Smith said the close relationship with Spencer Park-Tigers, was a good thing.

“It is quite funny how it all works out, there are a great bunch of guys,” he said.

“It has probably helped both teams out, there are no secrets in Albany hockey so it will be normal business at training (tonight).”

Redbacks will be in their first men’s A-grade decider since 2013 when they lost to Peaks.

The men’s A-grade clash is set down for 6.45pm on Saturday proceeded by the women’s A-grade grand final between Manypeaks and North Albany.

Redbacks will be chasing their second premiership in three years, but will have to overcome hot favourites Peaks.

Peaks secured a hat trick of titles from 2013-2015 but have since not claimed the premiership. The under-18s and men’s B-grade grand finals will be played tomorrow night and the women’s B-grade decider on Saturday.

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