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BFNL GRAND FINALIST – GOLDEN SQUARE
AFTER two unsuccessful attempts, Sandhurst gets a third crack in a row at capturing the Bendigo Football-Netball League premiership.
The Dragons will tackle Golden Square in Saturday’s grand final at the QEO.
The past two years the Dragons came up short in the grand final against Strathfieldsaye by margins of seven and 55 points.
In both games the Dragons were the underdogs, but this year they couldn’t be better placed as they chase their first flag since 2004.
Wayne Primmer’s Dragons have form on their side, refreshed bodies and the wood over Golden Square in all three of their meetings.
Sandhurst – which has an overall record of 17-2 for the year – will ride a 13-game winning streak into the grand final.
The Dragons haven’t been beaten since Kyneton’s Bryce Hinneberg kicked a memorable goal after the siren in round six to sink Sandhurst by three points.
Since then only Golden Square (13 points in round 14) has got within four goals of the Dragons.
The slick and skilful Dragons are fresh and rested.
Unlike the past two years when they’ve had to play three finals to qualify, Sandhurst has played just one – a convincing 53-point second semi-final win over Golden Square when the Bulldogs whittled under their fierce pressure.
There has been no player better in the competition this year than Sandhurst’s gun recruit Kristan Height.
Height – playing a mix of midfield and forward – has lived up to all the hype that preceded his arrival by winning the Michelsen Medal, while he’s also the Dragons’ leading goalkicker with 42.
Captain Blair Holmes has again been a superb general in the midfield alongside the likes of Height, Lee Coghlan, Adam Parry and Koe Ngawati, while the lively pair of Nick Stagg (35) and Joel Wharton (30) have combined for 65 goals.
The defence well led by Hamish Leahy, Brock Knights, James Coghlan, Codie Price and co that has also been further strengthened by the return late of Collingwood VFL-listed player Lachlan Tardrew gave up only a meagre four goals in the second semi-final against Golden Square a fortnight ago, and only three times during the 13-game winning streak has conceded more than 70 points.
Record: 17-2, 210.4%.
Average for: 118.
Average against: 56.
Average goals for: 17.4.
Average goals against: 7.9.
Quarters won: 58/76.
Time in front: 80.3%.
Players used: 37.
Average scoring differential per quarter:
1st: +13.3 pts.
2nd: +13.3 pts.
3rd: +13.3 pts.
4th: +22.4 pts.