Sandhurst skipper in doubt for qualifying final

SANDHURST skipper Blair Holmes is in doubt for Sunday’s BFNL qualifying final clash with Gisborne.

RACE AGAINST TIME: Sandhurst skipper Blair Holmes is battling a hamstring strain ahead of Sunday's clash with Gisborne. Picture: PETER WEAVING

RACE AGAINST TIME: Sandhurst skipper Blair Holmes is battling a hamstring strain ahead of Sunday's clash with Gisborne. Picture: PETER WEAVING

Holmes missed last week’s shock loss to Eaglehawk because of a hamstring strain and Dragons’ coach Brett Fitzpatrick said no risks would be taken with the key midfielder this week.

“Holmes might need one more week to be safe,’’ Fitzpatrick said.

“If it was a deciding game he’d probably play, but considering we have the double chance he’ll probably sit out.

“We do have an extra day break, which always helps to give someone a chance to get up, but at the same time we don’t want to risk him straining it more and him missing the rest of the finals.

“That would be devastating for everyone.”

While Holmes looks set to miss Sunday’s game, the Dragons could make up to seven changes.

Full forward Ryan Haythorpe, wingman Harry O’Meara, defender Tom Hartney, Bendigo Gold-listed midfielder Seb Greene and Bendigo Pioneers trio Tom Cole, Billy Evans and Lachlan Tardrew are all available for selection.

“We have some options there to put some pressure on guys who were disappointing last week,’’ Fitzpatrick said.

The Dragons trained on Tuesday night where the performance against Eaglehawk was the first port of call.

“Everyone understood the disappointment of what was put up on the eve of the finals,’’ Fitzpatrick said.

“We had a bit of a chat about it and then went purely on with what’s ahead of us.

“Training was very good and the guys are keen to play some finals footy.”

Meanwhile, Gisborne skipper Casey Summerfield will be given until Sunday to prove his fitness.

 Summerfield was knocked out in last Saturday’s big win over Kangaroo Flat.

“We’ll wait until the end of the week and see what the doctor says,’’ Gisborne coach Rod Sharp said.

“I’m sue Casey will want to play, but we won’t be risking him if he’s not right. Health is more important than a game of footy.”

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