Square faces Dragons’ fire in reserves clash
GOLDEN Square will face the heat from the Sandhurst Dragons in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s reserves footy preliminary final on Saturday.
Winner of the match at Queen Elizabeth Oval will progress to a grand final appearance against Gisborne.
After a 17-1 run in the home-and-away series of the Harmac Homes-backed competition, Golden Square was beaten in last Saturday’s second semi-final clash with Gisborne by 14 points.
Sandhurst had a 13-5 record in the regular season, but has teamed brilliantly to reach week three of the finals series.
The Dragons fired up to eliminate Eaglehawk from the premiership race in a 73-43 result.
A week later and Sandhurst marked a 10-point win against Strathfieldsaye in the first semi-final.
This season’s meetings between the preliminary finalists stand at two-nil in Golden Square’s favour.
The Bulldogs won 60-33 at Fur Life Oval in Wade Street in round five, and 60-26 at the QEO in the 14th round.
Key players for Golden Square include on-baller Drew Barrett who has kicked 25 goals; experienced forward Brad Eaton; co-captain Dean Norris; ruckman Tanner Rayner; the skilful Alex Jenkyn, Jack Threlfall and Will Thrum.
Others to watch in the blue and gold are Chris Cox, Dylan Hird, Brodie James and Seb Pellegrino.
A major danger to Golden Square will be Sandhurst forwards Jasper Stewart and Luke Crawford who have combined for goal tallies of 45 and 42.
The Dragons are also bolstered by the marking power of Sean O’Farrell in the forward 50m arc.
The O’Farrell family will be represented by Conor, Patrick and Sean in this match.
Sandhurst Reserves are lead by Sandhurst royalty, with 100-game senior footballer Jake McLean as their Coach in 2022.
Jake has proved to be a master stroke in the coaching set-up for the Sandhurst Reserves, with his calm, eager and welcoming approach stand-out features to his coaching style.
The highly rated and resilient wingmen in the Sandhurst Seniors side has enjoyed the opportunity to coach and will be looking to steel his side to a victory over Golden Square tomorrow.
A tally of 13 votes earned Billy Robertson third place in the race for the Alan McDonald Medal as league fairest and best which ended in a tie between Gisborne team-mates Jacob Murphy and Boyd Nalder on 18 votes.
Tom Calvert, Caleb Connick, Jordan Quirk, Zac Sims, Matt Wilkinson and Jed Zimmer will also play key roles in Sandhurst’s bid to continue its winning run all the way to a grand final appearance.
The Bulldogs and Dragons clash starts at 12.45pm.
Written by Nathan Dole.