FOOTBALL: River Murray to meet Hills in interleague clash

THE River Murray Football League will play the Hills Football League for the first time in 15 years on Saturday at Johnstone Park.

It's been a long time coming for the River Murray Cods to get a shot at revenge on the Hills, who beat them at Johnstone Park in the 1999 Lovelock Shield semi final by just six points.

Since then, the neighbouring sides have not met, with the River Murray playing the Great Southern and the Kowree Nara-coorte Tatiara football leagues in recent times.

The Cods are coming off a hiding last year against the KNTFL and will be looking for a better performance from the league's stars on the association's home deck.

Stand outs for the Cods last year were young duo Alex Pfeiffer and Louis DeMichele while Jervois' Josh Coulter was a senior player who stood up in a rough day for the Cods and will be an assistant coach this year.

Coulter, who hasn't played much football in 2014 after recovering from injury, has since resumed playing for Jervois and should be available for selection along with his Jervois' stars Matthew Hodge and Owen Love.

Coach Chris Hall will bring along the Mannum midfield trio Jade Sheedy, Jeremy Clayton and Andrew Pech while the Meningie trio of Brian Fenton, Jake Liston and Myles Warmington makes for a handy midfield which would be the envy of any association side.

Add Rambler Andrew Angove and Imperial Daniel Girdham who are enjoying great form and it's a strong running side.

Mannum's Nathan Bowles, Jake Bowen and Meningie's Jarred Thorpe give plenty of options in the big-man department.

The regulars of Liam O'Neil, Matthew Altmann and Ben Quast will make themselves available and with a squad of over 40 players heading into tonight's final training, selection will be tough.

The avaliabilty of Adelaide Crows top-up players Gene Robinson, from Mypolonga, Matthew Thompson, Ramblers, Michael O'Malley, Mannum, and Sam Pfeiffer, Ramblers, is still pending.

Mypolonga's Corey Jones and Meningie's Matthew Brunoli will miss the match through injury.

Last year's River Murray coach Shane Collins is now the head coach for a Hills team that promises to bring a strong squad to Murray Bridge.

Former Imperial captain Luke Harrowfield will return to his former stomping ground at Johnstone Park, this time representing the Hills.

Fourteen of the 19 Hills central and country football sides are represented in the 24-man squad, to be finalised tonight.

Expect an improved effort this year from a River Murray side, which promises to be stronger with the inclusion of a few of the league's brightest stars.

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