Clash of grand rivals looks like a cracker
PUTTING aside a heated rivalry that continues to bubble to the surface, Maroochydore coach Garrad Zammit reckons nemesis Woombye can claim favouritism for tomorrow's crucial preliminary final at Meridan Plains.
Between them, the two sides have won the past five grand finals in the McDonald's Premier Men's division, with the Snakes tasting success in 2010 and '11 and the Swans in 2009, '12 and '13.
They have collided in the big game twice in the past three years, sharing the spoils.
But Maroochydore won last year's edition 4-1.
They have met three times this year for a draw and two wins to Woombye.
"It's developed to be the derby game (on the Sunshine Coast) and their recent records show both clubs have had good depth and are very competitive," Zammit said. He added, however, the Snakes could be considered the one to beat tomorrow.
"I would think they would still fancy themselves," he said.
"They've been in some good form and have won some big games."
Indeed, the Snakes' reputation for aggression is as pronounced as ever after 15 goals from their past four outings. The Gary Newcome-coached unit thrashed Buderim 5-1 and Caloundra 5-0 before beating Maroochydore 3-2 in a qualifying final at the Snake Pit and then troubling grand-final bound regular-season premier Kawana last weekend, when they let slip a lead to succumb 4-2.
"We've got to lift, no doubt," Zammit said.
"The key thing is to take the chances we create. We're a team that creates chances - we've just got to be able to put them away."
Maroochydore's 2-1 victory over Caloundra in an elimination final last weekend was less comprehensive than Woombye's victory over the same opponent last month, but at least Zammit's team actually won its last match.
And the Swans' recent loss to the Snakes was their first defeat in eight outings.
WOOMBYE v MAROOCHYDORE
Tomorrow, Meridan Plains, 6pm