GISBORNE v GOLDEN SQUARE - 2.20pm Sunday at QEO.
Since 2000: Gisborne 18; Golden Square 18; Drawn 1.
Last final: 2012 grand final - Golden Square 16.10 (106) d Gisborne 14.19 (103).
This season's meetings:
Round 4: Gisborne 11.17 (83) d Golden Square 11.10 (76).
Round 13: Gisborne 14.12 (96) d Golden Square 13.10 (88).
ONE of the Bendigo Football League’s fiercest rivalries will be reignited on Sunday when Gisborne and Golden Square do battle in the first semi-final at the QEO.
The two Bulldogs sides share 10 of the past 13 flags between them, but come Sunday night, only one will be left in the 2014 premiership race.
Gisborne - which ended the home and away season third - has used up its double chance after last Sunday losing by 42 points to Sandhurst in the qualifying final in what was a game it had trailed by just two points at three quarter-time.
Golden Square’s imposing finals record now stands at 14 wins in a row following last Saturday’s 25-point elimination final victory over Eaglehawk - a game the Bulldogs conceded the first six goals in.
If Sunday’s cut-throat encounter is anything like their two home and away meetings, it will be a beauty.
Gisborne is 2-0 over Golden Square this year, with both wins single figure margins.
Rod Sharp (Gisborne) - “Both clubs are at a similar stage in that there’s a mix of the high quality-end players with some good younger players.
“One of the things I’ve said all year about our group, especially the young players, is they learn week-to-week and it was hugely evident for everyone to see last week that we couldn’t run for four quarters with Sandhurst.
“They over-ran us and got on top, which is what good sides do.
“But I’m really confident the players will learn from last week that they need to concentrate for the full amount of time.
“The reason we were able to finish where we have is because of the players learning and growing each week, so I’m excited to see if they can do it again this week.”
Nick Carter (Golden Square) - “We were pleased with the effort after the first quarter last week and the guys got a lot of confidence out of the win over Eaglehawk.
“But we know we need to keep stepping it up and there’s things we’ll take out of last week that are positive, but also areas we need to tighten up in.
“We know what Gisborne is all about.
“They are a really proud club that is highly respected and has a team with a mix of champion players from the past 10 years, but also an enthusiastic, quick young group that we’re going to have to counteract.”
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Won: 13. Lost: 6.
Average for: 106.3. Against: 73.8.
Quarters won: 47/76.
Won: 11. Lost: 8.
Average for: 95.2. Against: 79.3.
Quarters won: 43/76.