FINALS TIME: Xavier Manley charges for the Dalby Diehards.
FINALS TIME: Xavier Manley charges for the Dalby Diehards. Kevin Farmer

Diehards grand finals up for grabs

RUGBY LEAGUE: As a club, the Dalby Diehards go into this weekend with the possibility of seeing three teams progress to grand finals.

After having last week off, A-grade, reserve-grade and the Under 18s all play in the major semi-finals of their competitions with a spot in the biggest game of the year up for grabs.

Dalby's second-division team are also playing on Saturday, as they try to secure a spot in the preliminary final.

It has been a very good year for the Diehards, securing four teams in the finals, two president's cups and one minor-premiership.

However, A-grade coach Kerry Carmichael says all of the club's hard work is still ahead of them.

"It is great for our club to be in this position,” Carmichael said.

"Not many clubs can say they still have four teams vying for the premiership so it has been a good year.

"But semi-final football is a different competition.

"It is a more intense competition.

"Some teams can handle the pressure and some teams cannot.”

The A-grade side go into their major semi-final against Toowoomba Valleys, having traded wins with them this season.

Their last encounter was in the mid-season Madsen-Rasmussen Final, when Dalby relinquished a second-half lead to go down 34-22.

Carmichael says he has been able to take positives and negatives out of both fixtures this season.

"They are a good side and if you make little mistakes they can hurt you,” he said.

"I have taken plenty out of the games we have played this year.

"We need to play smart football with little errors and apply the pressure to them when we can, and take our opportunities.”

The A-grade side will be without second-row forward, Dan Manley, who has been replaced by Tom Boland.

The reserve-grade side go into their semi-final as underdogs against Gatton Hawks.

The two teams have faced each other three times this season, with Gatton picking up two wins.

However, Dalby secured the mid-season President's Cup final 16-10.

The U18s, who won the minor-premiership, will face Valleys, who they defeated in their only encounter this year.

Second-division will face Warwick Cowboys, with the winner progressing to the preliminary final. Their game will be played on Saturday at 2pm.

The other three games will be played on the Sunday. A-grade at 2.30pm, reserve-grade at 1pm and the U18s at 11.30am.

A loss for either A-grade, reserve-grade or the U18s will not be the end of their season, as they will then play in the preliminary final.

A loss for second-division would be the end of their season.

All games will be played in Toowoomba at the Clive Berghofer Stadium.


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