Square, Hawks meet in BBD grand final

GOLDEN Square has the chance to end a 51-year premiership drought in the Bendigo Bowls Division after storming its way into the grand final on Saturday.

Square's impressive late-season form continued in the preliminary final when it upstaged perennial power Bendigo East to win by 13 shots, 95-82.

Golden Square will now take on Eaglehawk in next week's grand final.

Golden Square gained the early initiative and never gave up control of the preliminary final, winning three of the four rinks.

The Golden Square rinks of skippers Tas Wallis, Gary Conforti and Marc Smith - playing against his former team - all recorded victories.

Smith's rink was the most dominant of the day, recording a 12-shot victory over Paul Moller.

Liam Crapper's was the only winning rink for Bendigo East, which will miss its first grand final since 2009.

Golden Square's grand final appearance caps what has been a remarkable turnaround late in the season.

Golden Square had entered the last round sitting in sixth position, before upsetting Eaglehawk just to make the finals.

Square - which won its last flag in 1963 - then knocked out reigning premier Bendigo in last week's elimination final before disposing of Bendigo East in the preliminary final.

And despite finishing three positions and 25 points behind Eaglehawk on the ladder, there's an argument to suggest Golden Square deserves the favourites tag for the grand final.

In its two home and away meetings against Eaglehawk, Golden Square won them both by seven and four shots.

• Saturday's BBD preliminary final results:

DIVISION 1: Bendigo East 82 lt Golden Square 95. D. Keenan 17 lt T. Wallis 20, B. Holland 23 lt G. Conforti 26, L. Crapper 24 d G. Beckham 19, P. Moller 18 lt M. Smith 30.

DIVISION 2: Bendigo East 104 d Bendigo 74. L. Hull 34 d M. Manning 9, B. Dellar 21 dr C. Runnalls 21, M. Boyd 29 d A. Kendall 20, T. Dalwood 20 lt. C Storm 24.

DIVISION 3: South Bendigo 119 d Bendigo 69. R. Parks 28 d J. Beecham 27, J. Geldart 22 d P. Dumont 19, P. Jackson 28 d R. Angove 15, L. Wilkinson 41 d I. DeAraugo 8.

DIVISION  4: Woodbury 76 lt Bendigo East 111. G. Dunn 14 lt I. Cail 30, J. Grenfell 22 lt G. Hall 30, P. Luke 17 lt G. Mills 32, L. Handley 23 d M. O'Connor 19.

DIVISION  5: No play.

DIVISION  6: Calivil 104 d Campbell's Creek 101. B. Meighan 18 lt J. Alford 32, A. Leech 22 lt I. Brooks 29, J. Pickles 41 d G. Cobden 12, W. Miles 23 lt I. Trevena 28.

DIVISION  7: Marong 74 d Kangaroo Flat 67. B. Salau 25 d C. Saari 14, N. Tate 18 lt K. Skinner 31, P. Mylon 31 d H. Garth 22.

DIVISION 8: Marong 69 lt Eaglehawk 72. R. Mills 13 lt T. Verryt 31, H. McCarthy 25 lt D. Mieklejohn 26, D. Penfold 31 d F. Lynch 15.

DIVISION 9: Castlemaine 53 d  Marong 37. K. Earl 28 d N. Hill 15, P. Roache 25 d A. Goosens 22. 

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