ATTITUDE will have the biggest say as to whether Panmure can book a berth in the Warrnambool and District league A grade grand final today.
The Bulldogs take on Dennington at Reid Oval in a rematch of the qualifying final, which they lost before accounting for Kolora-Noorat in the first semi-final.
Coach Megan Titmus said her players’ strength of character was more evident in the win against the Power than the defeat to the Dogs a week earlier.
She called for a similar mental resolve, with the chance to take on unbeaten minor premier Old Collegians in the decider on the line.
“It’s just a matter of the girls believing in themselves, really. That’s all it comes down to. A team can do anything if they believe in themselves,” she said.
“I didn’t do any stats and I don’t know how many goals we missed (last weekend) but from what I saw in the game, I would say we improved.
“The main thing we brushed up on was our attitude and our want to win.
“The lead-up to last week, my message to the girls was ‘how much do you want it’, that’s all I said to them. They showed everyone how much they wanted it.”
Titmus said the first semi-final performance was “definitely something we need to repeat”.
“We’ve lost to Dennington twice, we have to respect that. If our attitude and the way we played got us the win last week, that’s what we have to do,” she said.
Panmure is unchanged for the preliminary final, although mystery surrounds how its starting seven will take shape.
The Bulldogs paired Charlotte McCutcheon and Jorgia Brown in attack and used Maddy White in defence in the qualifying final.
But McCutcheon teamed with White under the ring in the first semi-final, with the injection of extra height stretching the Kolora-Noorat defence.
“That’s the beauty of my team being so versatile, I can put people wherever I want and they perform … It’s a good asset to have,” Titmus said.
Dennington is also unchanged but, like Panmure, has options when settling on its starting seven.
The Dogs started with Katie Burt and Lana Keane in both the qualifying final against Panmure and the second semi-final against Old Collegians.
But Marlie Boyd shifted to goal attack and Keane went to goal keeper at half-time against the Warriors, a catalyst for a comeback which fell two goals short.
Dennington coach Sue Fleming was upbeat about the Dogs’ effort against the Warriors. They trailed early but surged to within one goal in the dying stages.
“Credit where credit is due, no one has given Collegians much of a push. I don’t think there were many negatives coming out of it,” she said.
“We were disappointed with the way we started. We knew it was a lot of our own mistakes and we can’t afford to do that against any side.
“But we’ve shown many times throughout the year we can come back from deficits.”
Fleming predicted a “fast, physical match” akin to the qualifying final. “As with any final, you start with a clean slate. It’s a test of who wants it on the day,” she said.