DEMON Knights are determined to get another shot at the Northern Inland Premier League title while reigning premier Oxley Vale Attunga want to keep its defence alive.
For DK, that means knocking Tamworth FC out in today’s final while OVA has to get past South Armidale.
DK has two wins over Tamworth this season but Tamworth has earned a re-match at the Rologas Fields in Armidale.
“We half expected to play them again in the final,” DK coach Alan Waddle said.
“We’re just approaching it the same way we have every other game against them.
“We’ve played them twice and won both games and we just want to keep doing the things that we do well.
“But it will be difficult.
“We’ve beaten them twice but that’s just extra incentive for them to win this time.”
The last time the sides met was just two weeks ago in the quarter-finals.
DK won 2-nil in Tamworth that day thanks to two quick goals in the second half.
“The game in Tamworth was one of our best performances of the year,” Waddle said.
“We created a lot of chances in the first half and didn’t score.
“That concerned me because if you miss your chances you can rue those misses.
“But we persevered in the second half and kept our momentum and scored the two goals that sealed the game really.
“I was very, very pleased with the performance.”
That gave DK a week off and the home final today.
The Knights lost last year’s grand final to Oxley Vale Attunga and hope to use today’s home advantage to propel them into another season decider next week.
“We’ve got the home advantage, which I’m pleased about,” Waddle said.
“We haven’t lost a game on our home ground this year.
“Hopefully we can maintain that.
“We want to play to the end and that means the grand final.
“We got a taste of it last year and I said to them then that next season, which is now, we want to be involved in that game again.”
For OVA to reach another grand final it has to score more goals than South Armidale.
But based on the last clash between the teams, that might be a big ask.
The Mushies took the points in that one and only meeting between the teams this season but it was one of those rare occasions where a side conceded five goals and still won.
“We played them in the cross-over rounds and it was a very interesting game,” OVA coach Sam Higgins said.
“It was 6-5.
“I don’t think it will be a 6-5 event this time but we obviously need to cut down on their scoring chances.”
The Mushies won the right to host the final by beating North Armidale 4-1 two weeks ago and enjoyed last weekend off.
They have, however, taken the game away from their Carter Street home to Scully Park.