BFNL Football Seniors | Preliminary Final WRAP UP

Gisborne beats Square in preliminary final thriller

GISBORNE is through to the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s senior footy grand final for the first time since 2012 after Saturday’s preliminary final thriller.

It was ecstasy and agony when the siren sounded to end a brilliant contest between Gisborne and Golden Square at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

The Rob Waters-coached Gisborne waged a final quarter comeback to win its way to a grand final showdown with Strathfieldsaye, a first between the clubs.

Gisborne led 14-10 at quarter-time before the Christian Carter-coached Golden Square took control in the second.

The blue and gold scored 3.5, but as had happened in the previous two finals, inaccuracy would become a problem.

Golden Square led 33-28 at half-time and then added 2.1 to 1.3 to hold a nine-point buffer going into the final term.

It was Gisborne which upped its pressure in and around the contest and was rewarded with three goals to take the lead going into time-on.

There was little space to run into from the many stoppages as Gisborne worked hard to deny Golden Square’s moves into the forward 50m arc.

Golden Square did have some shots on goal in the last five minutes of the contest, but they went through for behinds or out of bounds on the full.


At the final siren it was Gisborne which led 8.9 (57) to 7.13 (55).

The athletic Josh Kemp led Gisborne’s attack on three goals as Brad Bernacki, Luke Ellings, Ethan Foreman, Pat McKenna and Matt Merrett chipped in with singles.

Golden Square’s multiple goalkickers were Joel Brett and Hamish Morcom on two as Jayden Burke, Jack Hickman and Braydon Vaz added a major.

The ruck contests were a highlight as the play of Braidon Blake against the experienced Matt Compston played a crucial role in Gisborne’s victory.

Blake earned best afield honours as Zachary Vescovi, classy onballers Flynn Lakey and Brad Bernacki, key defender and Nicholas Doolan were Gisborne’s best.

Consistent midfielder Ryan Hartley was Golden Square’s best along with Ricky Monti, Hamish Morcom, captain Jack Geary, Zavier Murley and Jon Coe.


Focus is now on the showdown to decide who claims the Bendigo Advertiser premiership cup.

Gisborne has won two of three contests with Strathfieldsaye this season, but the most recent ended in a 83-71 win for Storm in the second semi-final.

There’s plenty of grand final experience in the Strathfieldsaye line-up as Storm prepares for its seventh grand final in eight seasons.

The club’s run was premiership wins in 2014, ’15, ’17 and ’19, and runner-up in 2013 and ’18.

In 2012, Gisborne was beaten by three points in the grand final clash by Golden Square.

It was to be the fourth of five premierships in a row for the blue and gold.


Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Queen Elizabeth Oval:

Under-18s at 9.15am: Sandhurst v Gisborne.

Reserves at 11.50am: Gisborne v Golden Square.

Seniors at 2.20pm: Strathfieldsaye v Gisborne.


Written by Nathan Dole.