BY NATHAN DOLE
THE grand finale to the Latrobe University-backed finals series in the Bendigo Junior Football League kicks off Saturday morning at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
It will be Sandhurst Maroon against Golden Square in the under-16 seniors, Blue grand final from 8.45am.
The clash of the Dragons and Bulldogs is the first of five grand finals to be played on Saturday.
Four matches in the under-12 competitions will be played at Harry Trott Oval in Neale Street, Kennington.
There will be nine grand finals played on Sunday at Triple M Park or the adjacent Entrerprise Oval in Strathfieldsaye’s Tannery Lane.
Beaten just once in the home-and-away series, Sandhurst Maroon will start favourite against Golden Square in the under-16 seniors, Blue division clash on the iconic QEO turf.
These teams met in the second semi-final at Triple M Park where the Dragons fired up for a 49-30 victory.
Players to watch for the Dragons include captain Zane Connick, Charles Duke, Thomas Davie, Oliver Stewart, Will Bennett and Lachlan Borchard.
The Dogs’ best in that match were Byron Ritchie, Hunter Wright, Josh Kelly and Xavier Grant.
Golden Square won the preliminary final against Maryborough by 39 points as Hunter Wright, Jeremy Corr and Charlie Mortimer were best.
On June 16, Golden Square broke Sandhurst Maroon’s winning streak in a 67-46 result at Fur Life Oval in Golden Square’s Wade Street.
In the under-12A competition, Strathfieldsaye faces Golden Square in the grand final from 10am on Saturday at Harry Trott Oval.
A thrilling second semi-final between these teams ended in a 19-17 victory for Storm at Triple M Park.
Storm had a win-loss tally of 15-1 in the home-and-away series.
In round 16, Golden Square broke Storm’s run in a 13-11 victory at Fur Life Oval.
South Bendigo takes on St Kilian’s-St Peter’s in the under-12B grand final at 11.30am on Saturday at Harry Trott Oval.
The Bloods have home-ground advantage for this match.
After a nine-point loss to Castlemaine in the qualifying final, St Kilian’s-St Peter’s Gold struck back to win the first semi against Quarry Hill, and the preliminary final against Castlemaine.
The young Bloods marked a 25-17 win against Castlemaine in the second semi.
Marong and St Monica’s will play in the under-12C grand final from 1pm on Saturday at Harry Trott Oval.
St Monica’s kicked off its finals campaign by winning the qualifying final against Eaglehawk.
The Kangaroos were then beaten, 59-8 in the second semi by Marong.
A 54-15 win against Eaglehawk in the preliminary final meant St Monica’s earned a shot at Marong in the grand final.
First-up on Saturday at Harry Trott Oval will be Strathfieldsaye and White Hills Red in the under-12D clash at 8.30am.
These teams met in the second semi-final where Storm surged to a 47-12 win against the Demons at Triple M Park in Strathfieldsaye.
White Hills Red won the preliminary final against Golden Square by nine points.
A big day on Sunday at Strathfieldsaye kicks off with the under-14 seniors grand final between Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye at Triple M Park at 8.40am.
The second semi showdown between the Dragons and Storm ended in a 33-point victory for Sandhurst.
Lockington Bamawm United takes on Maiden Gully YCW in the under-16 reserves, division two match on Triple M Park from 10.30am.
A showdown between the Cats and Eagles in the second semi-final ended in a 46-33 victory for LBU.
White Hills or Woorinen will be the under-18 girls champions of the 2023 season.
The Demons and Tigers have played some great matches and will contest the grand final from 12.20pm.
In the second semi it was White Hills which won 44-30 against the yellow and black.
Maiden Gully YCW meets Rochester in the under-16 seniors, Gold match from 2.10pm on the Triple M Park ground.
The Eagles and Tigers met in a qualifying final where Maiden Gully YCW won 75-37 on ome turf at Marist College Bendigo.
Rochester hit back to win its semi against Eaglehawk, and the Eagles beat Sandhurst Navy.
The Tigers’ run rolled on as they beat Sandhurst Navy in the preliminary final.
Last of the grand finals kicks off at 4pm at Triple M Park when White Hills Black and Kangaroo Flat contest the under-16 reserves, division one grand final.
It was a two-goal margin when these teams met in the second semi.
On that occasion White Hills Black marked a 59-47 victory.
On the adjacent Enterprise Oval, Maiden Gully YCW meets South Bendigo in the under-14 reserves, division three match at 8.50am.
The Eagles soared into the grand final after a 20-point win against Golden Square in the second semi.
South Bendigo’s run began by beating Kangaroo Flat in the first semi and then Golden Square in the preliminary final.
South Bendigo and Maryborough clash in the under-14 reserves, division two match on Enterprise Oval from 10.40am.
It’s a rematch of the second semi in which the Bloods beat the Magpies by seven goals at Castlemaine’s Camp Reserve.
Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye will contest the under-16 girls grand final on Enterprise Oval from 12.30pm.
Fans may witness another thriller.
A fortnight ago Sandhurst won the second semi against Strathfieldsaye by a point.
Sandhurst faces White Hills in the under-14 girls match on Enterprise Oval from 2pm.
Latest meeting between these teams was in the second semi where Sandhurst won 28-19 on the same ground the grand final will be on.
Strathfieldsaye faces Huntly Gold in the under-14 reserves, division one decider from 3.30pm on Enterprise Oval.
A thrilling second semi between Storm and the Hawks ended in a 33-31 victory for Strathfieldsaye.
First of the league’s grand finals was played last Friday night where St Therese’s played Golden Square in the under-12 girls’ match.
The St Therese’s line-up won by 38 points on O’Keefe Oval in the Mercy Junortoun Sports Precinct.