BITS Saints coach Adam Dickenson, left, and Muddies coach Aaron Barrett hold Dennis Boase-David Sparkman Perpetual Shield, which goes the way of the victor tomorrow.
BITS Saints coach Adam Dickenson, left, and Muddies coach Aaron Barrett hold Dennis Boase-David Sparkman Perpetual Shield, which goes the way of the victor tomorrow. Brenda Strong

Rivals in fight for finals

A RIVALRY stretching back almost 20 years will have another page in its history written tomorrow.

Gladstone Yaralla Mudcrabs and BITS Saints go at it again; at stake a finals berth in the AFL Capricornia competition, as if there needed to be any extra motivation.

The local derby always has a fair bit of spice, say the coaches involved, both having long affiliations at their respective clubs.

The Dennis Boase-David Sparkman Perpetual Shield will also go the way of the winner.

BITS coach Adam Dickenson and Muddies' Aaron Barrett said the players would lift, as they always did, and the level could be as much as 50 per cent.

Barrett said the rivalry was definitely “one of the better ones in the league”.

“BITS have been pretty dominant for a while, so it's always good to get one over them when you can,” Barrett said.

“The boys are always keen to play them and we get a bigger crowd than normal.”

Barrett said the encounters this year had proven to be easy wins for BITS, but the Muddies were hoping to rain on their local opponents' march to the finals.

“I don't think the scores reflected the game, and if we can get it together on the day, the game will go our way.”

“The rivalry's always been there and you want to impress in front of the crowd and you lift sheerly because of this,” Dickenson said.

BITS have played in every finals campaign since '99 and the hunger was there to be part of another, Dickenson said.

“It's a challenge for us; usually we're comfortably in and this is the first time it's come down to the last game.”

The main match begins at 2.30pm at Boyne Oval tomorrow following the reserves.



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