Jamberoo and Kiama aim to end premiership droughts

RARING TO GO: Jamberoo's captain/coach Jono Dallas and Kiama's skipper Kieran Poole with the Artie Smith Trophy. Photo: DAVID HALL
RARING TO GO: Jamberoo's captain/coach Jono Dallas and Kiama's skipper Kieran Poole with the Artie Smith Trophy. Photo: DAVID HALL

FIVE new Group 7 premiership winners will be crowned on Sunday at the Collegians Sporting Complex – culminating with the first grade fixture between Jamberoo and Kiama.

Both the Superoos and Knights are hell bent on ending their first grade premiership droughts, with the pair enduring 43 and 32 year droughts respectively since the last raised the Artie Smith Trophy.

Roos’ captain/coach and local junior Jono Dallas can’t wait for Sunday’s clash at 3pm, which will see the two clubs clash for the first time in the top grade decider since 1950.

“As long as I can remember, it’s being an ambition and personal goal of mine to win a first grade competition at Jamberoo and I finally get a chance to achieve that dream on Sunday,” Dallas said.

“Winning the premiership would mean everything to me, especially considering it’s been so long between premierships for the club.

“It’s been a long journey to get to this point and the job isn’t done yet - I know all the boys are motivated to bring the premiership back to Jamberoo.

“To ensure that happens, we need to turn up and play for the full 80 minutes – big games are generally won and lost in moments.

“So it’s up to us to make sure we put the effort in in the right areas – I’m confident all the boys will deliver on Sunday.”

Similarly, Knights’ Matt O’Brien, who will step down as first grade head coach next season, is hoping to reward all the club’s loyal supporters with a premiership come Sunday afternoon.

“There’s obviously a buzz around the club this week but the fact that the reserves and women are still training has kept it as normal as it can be,” O’Brien said.

“The club has been thereabouts for the past seven or so years, thanks to hard work from the coaches, players, committee and juniors coming through the ranks – it’d be amazing to bring a first grade title back for them.

“Obviously a number of our guys have won under 18 and reserve grade crowns but to win a first grade won would be indescribable.”

The Knights lost both regular season meetings with Jamberoo – a statistic O’Brien knows his boys can turnaround.

“We are a completely different side from that round one loss and have come a long way since then,” he said.

“Once the game starts, it just turns into another game of footy.

“If we can get to the end of our sets on the offensive end and sustain pressure like we did against Gerringong and Shellharbour City on defence, I know we will be the fight when the match is won and loss.”

All the action on Sunday will kick-off at 8.30 when minor premiers Milton-Ulladulla take on Kiama on the women’s league tag.

Following that, Sussex Inlet will attempt to go from wooden spooners to premiers in one season, when they battle Mount Warrigal for the third grade crown.

The Panthers haven’t lost to the Kooris, who are in their first season back in Group 7, in all four meetings this season - with the fifth and final meeting of 2017 kicking-off at 9.50am.

Next on the slate, at 11.30am, is the under 18s grand final, where minor premiers the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs will clash with the Warilla-Lake South Gorillas before Kiama, who have only lost one game all year, will battle Gerringong from 1.10pm for the reserve grade crown.