Strikers prepare for double heist in Plate grand finals

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Strikers captains Tanealle Eccleston and Adam McPhail are determined to bring some Plate silverware back to Cootamundra this weekend. Picture: Lachlan Grey
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Strikers captains Tanealle Eccleston and Adam McPhail are determined to bring some Plate silverware back to Cootamundra this weekend. Picture: Lachlan Grey

The Cootamundra Strikers’ trophy cabinet has been gathering dust for more than a decade but Adam McPhail and Tanealle Eccleston are ready to break out the brushes.

McPhail's Pascoe side and Eccleston's Leonard outfit will be vying for Plate glory this Saturday afternoon and there's no reason why both sides can't bring home the silverware.

"If we turn up on Saturday and play like we know we can, we should win well," McPhail said.

"It would be great for the club to see two wins and bring home some trophies."

Silverware has been a rare commodity in recent years and neither the Pascoe nor Leonard Plates have called O'Connor Park home.

That's something both captains are out to change.

"We played in last year's Madden Shield final but winning the Plate would be brilliant," Eccleston said.

"We've been improving all season and last's weekend's game against Young was a really good win."

There's no denying grand final opponents Henwood Park are a class above but Eccleston believes their 2-0 semifinal loss didn't tell the full story.

"Both their goals against us were in the first half and they weren't creating any real chances," she said.

"There was just a free kick outside the box and a dot shot so there wasn't much in it."

The women remain underdogs in the Plate finals but McPhail's side won't take their favourites tag for granted against Tumut.

"We definitely still think about that 3-2 loss to Tumut earlier this year," the skipper said.

"Everyone was really disappointed with the whole game and the same thing happened in our semi when we found ourselves 2-0 down.

"That just shouldn't happen and we're committed to attacking hard and keeping a clean sheet this weekend."

The men will miss the experience of Tom Phillips and Nick Ashe in the big dance but will be boosted by the addition of Gardiner Shield standouts Ben Leak and Matt Hoy alongside returning player-coach Brent Fransworth.

Games are on Saturday at McDonald’s Park – women at 3.40pm, men at 6.00pm.