GOLDEN SQUARE v EAGLEHAWK - 6pm Saturday at QEO.
Since 1995: Golden Square 27; Eaglehawk 19.
Last final: 2013 qualifying final - Golden Square 10.9 (69) d Eaglehawk 8.17 (65).
This year's meetings:
Round 7: Golden Square 20.12 (132) d Eaglehawk 9.9 (63).
Round 16: Golden Square 15.10 (100) d Eaglehawk 8.18 (66).
GOLDEN Square’s aspirations of a record-equalling sixth Bendigo Football League premiership in a row go on the line on Saturday night in the elimination final against Eaglehawk at the QEO.
The Bulldogs have won the past five flags, but there’s no safety net of a double chance this year after finishing fourth.
It has been an up-and-down season for the Bulldogs, who haven’t been able to win more than two games in a row, but they’ve had the measure of the Hawks in both their meetings by 69 and 34 points.
The Hawks were the talk of the BFL last week when they stunned Sandhurst at the QEO by 19 points to climb to fifth.
The Hawks had been given little chance of defeating the Dragons and they’ll again carry in the underdog tag on Saturday night against the Bulldogs, who are 13-0 in finals since losing the 2008 grand final to Eaglehawk by a goal.
Bulldogs’ star Corey Jones has been a major thorn in the side of the Hawks both times this year, kicking nine goals and potentially earning six Michelsen Medal votes, while onballers Ben McPhee, Brodie Collins, Kevin Archbold and defender Brenton Conforti have all been pivotal for Eaglehawk the past fortnight.
Nick Carter (Golden Square) - “We’re in a different situation to the past few years and the opportunity for us is to build momentum.
“You never hit your straps in the first week of finals... finals footy is a different game and we’re going to come up against a side that has a similar motive to us in that they want to take the game on with quick transfer of play and attack on the footy.
“It’s going to be a red-hot game and an opportunity for both the seasoned and younger guys to step up.”
Luke Monaghan (Eaglehawk) - “We’ve been up against it after finals were taken out of our hands a few weeks ago, but we’ve just gone out and played footy and let the results take care of themselves.
“Fortunately, we got a good result last weekend to get ourselves in there and we hit finals full of confidence and belief.
“That’s on the back of winning two in a row for the first time this season against Maryborough at home, which is a difficult task, and Sandhurst at the QEO when they were vying for top spot.
“Two weeks ago it didn’t look like we’d be finals contenders, but we now get a crack on Saturday night and we’re keen to make the most of it.”
TALE OF THE TAPE
Won: 10. Lost: 8.
Average for: 93.8. Against: 78.4.
Quarters won: 40/72.
Won: 9. Lost: 9.
Average for: 83.6. Against: 79.3.
Quarters won: 37/72.