THIS Sunday will tell us whether Goats or Stags are better at climbing to the pinnacle of the Bathurst District Football men’s Premier League.
It’s a battle between the defending champions and the new boys on the block, as CSU White look to back up last year’s title while Panorama FC Red want their first grand final to be a memorable one.
Both teams looked strong in their semi-final successes last weekend and have their own reasons to feel confident heading to the decider.
CSU White were dominant through their semi-final against Cowra Eagles, but it took a beautiful long rang effort from Andrew Smith to finally get the university side on the board in the second half.
The Bathurst side went on to win 2-0.
CSU co-coach Mitch Kunnen, who oversaw last year’s success for the team, said it’s great to have the chance to make it two premierships in a row after the club’s title drought.
“I guess it’s nice to know we’re doing something right for two years in a row,” he said.
“We’ve been on top of the competition for the majority of the season so it’s nice that we can be back in a grand final.
“The squad is very similar to the one which won last year so they all know what’s expected of them when they go out there.
“We’ve done well to come together as a team. There’s been players away on placements, but when that’s happened everyone’s stepped up.”
The Stags have hit a purple patch over the past couple of seasons.
After going close to winning the top grade title on several occasions they finally broke through against Lithgow Workmans in last year’s grand final. The 2-0 win was played out in atrocious conditions at Proctor Park.
If CSU want a repeat of that grand final success then they have to get through a spirited Panorama squad.
Little has separated the two teams all year.
“Panorama are a force to be reckoned with,” Kunnen said.
“In the two games we’ve played against them we’ve had a 2-1 victory and a 2-all draw. That draw was enough to give us the minor premiership.
“I know there’s a couple of Mariners boys in that team like Jaiden Culbert. He’s a quality striker and we have to shut him down. They’ve got Paul Long in there as well.
“For us we have our own Mariners players to lead the way. John Henry is great a centre mid and the utility that is Andrew Smith can play from right wing to right back.”
The Goats blitzed their way in the grand final courtesy of a 3-0 win over Abercrombie FC.
Panorama president Beau Yates said there’s excitement building around the club for the season’s last weekend.
"This is the dream final. It's what we pencilled in months ago as the finale we were hoping for. CSU were always the team we'd love to play in the grand final," he said.
“With the men’s and women’s teams making the grand finals it’s a great day for our club.
“There’s some big game players in both sides. There’s Western Mariners boys who haven’t had a great deal of success this year and they’re keen to win this.”
Yates is hopeful Panorama can take lessons away from the past two games against the uni men.
“We started strong but ended up defending for a lot of the game. Then in the second we got the early lead but took the foot off the pedal,” he said.
“We can’t let them come at us because CSU are a solid team across the park. When we let teams come to us instead of taking the fight to them that’s when we haven’t been at our best.
“The biggest thing we’ve worked on lately is our intensity in attack. We need that good start again and our boys in the middle need to show their strong, short passing game.”
CSU and Panorama men are the second leg of the days grand final double header.
The women kick-off at Proctor Park from 3pm and the men follow at 5pm.