Norths v Easts starts super Sunday of Colts finals action

The Hastings Deering Colts finals series kicks off with a north versus east clash as Norths Devils host Easts Tigers in round one of the finals series at Bishop Park this Sunday.

This elimination final will see one of these two teams progress to play the next round of finals football, with the losing side’s season finished for 2019 on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers recorded their first Hastings Deering Colts victory in four attempts over the Norths Devils in June, with both teams making strong runs in the final five weeks of the season to set up this major clash.

Norths coach Kevin Neighbour said he was proud of his team’s ability to overcome a large squad turnover this season and to keep their composure in the latter stages of the season.

“We’ve had many players moving up to the Intrust Super Cup side this season, so it’s been a credit to the players for keeping their cool and working hard to finish the season strong,” Neighbour said.

The other elimination clash of the weekend sees Tweed Seagulls host Mackay Cutters in the final game of the afternoon.

Neighbour said his team were not concerned about the results around them, and would instead solely focused on the challenge of the day.

“We have one chance this week to make our stamp on the finals series,” Neighbour said.

“We are going to get out there and do everything in our power to perform at our best, and take this one game as the start of a brand-new competition.”

After claiming the title of grand final victors in 2018’s Hastings Deering Colts competition, the Devils have faced stern challenges in the 2019 season from other strong teams.

Finishing the season in fifth place just outside of the final four, the Devils four wins from five to end the season will provide crucial momentum going into Sunday afternoon’s clash.

Neighbour said his team made major strides this season, and with the help of the coaching staff and technical staff, had been rewarded for their hard work.

“My players are all incredibly excited, so are all of the staff at the club, it’s not an easy thing for these younger players to begin their life in such a major way all at once,” Neighbour said.

“Most of these kids are moving out of home for the first time, or they’re getting an apprenticeship or a first job, they’re starting university, and they’re still coming down to train hard and work hard four days a week and that’s incredibly commendable.”

Kick-off between the North Devils and Easts Tigers at Bishop Park will be 11:20am on Sunday.