Can Golden Square end 51-year drought?

GOLDEN Square has the opportunity to end one of Bendigo sport's longest premiership droughts on Sunday when it takes on Eaglehawk in the Bendigo Bowls Division grand final.

Golden Square hasn't won a BBD division one premiership since 1963 - the last season of a glorious four years for the club.

Square's 108-94 grand final win over South Bendigo in 1963 was its fourth flag in a row, but that is only a distant memory now.

While it has been 51 years since Golden Square's last flag, it's also 40 years since its last grand final appearance when it was beaten by Bendigo by four shots in the 1974 decider.

Golden Square enters Sunday's grand final at Bendigo in its best form of the season.

Square - which has won eight premierships in its history - had to fight and scrap their way just to make the finals after a slow start to the season when they won only one of their first four games.

They were long odds to make the finals entering the last round when they sat sixth, but for the second time this season upset ladder-leader Eaglehawk to scrape into fourth position.

And despite starting underdogs in two cut-throat finals the past two weeks, they have knocked out both grand finalists from last season, Bendigo and Bendigo East, to progress through to Sunday's decider.

"The team has really clicked late in the season," Golden Square coach Marc Smith said on Friday.

"People are happy playing with the people they are playing with and are bowling well and what's really important is that we are playing as a team across the four rinks.

"The players are all really excited and there's a great buzz... it has been such a long time since this club played in a grand final and we certainly don't take this opportunity lightly.

"The guys have showed they are good enough to win, but it's all going to come down to the day and who performs best."

The only two players who have played in a division one grand final are Smith, who won seven flags with Bendigo East, and Gary Beckham, who is a multiple premiership player at Eaglehawk before joining Square this season.

Eaglehawk has been one of Bendigo sport's most dominant sides of recent years.

Since 2002, Eaglehawk has played in 10 grand finals, winning four flags, while throughout their history, the Hawks have won 15 premierships.

The Hawks have been the side to beat all season, sitting on top of the ladder for all 14 rounds.

They only lost three games, but two of them were to Golden Square.

"We've clicked well this season and the team harmony has been really good," Eaglehawk skipper Simon Carter said.

"If our leads and seconds can make sure they get their bowls in and around the head and put the pressure on them, I'm confident our skippers can match theirs.

"Everyone in our side backs their ability, and having been beaten twice by Golden Square, that adds more drive for us going into Sunday... we don't want them to beat us for a third time.

Sunday's grand final at Bendigo starts at 1.30pm.

The rink draw will be held on Saturday morning on the Fresh FM Bowls Show.

THE GRAND FINAL COMBATANTS

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