A FAMILIAR match-up awaits in Sunday’s BBD division one pennant grand final when Bendigo takes on Bendigo East.
Sunday’s match at Kangaroo Flat from 1.30pm will be the third year in a row the Benders and Beasties have met in the grand final, with the record one flag each the previous two seasons.
The Beasties and Benders finished first and second on the ladder, separated by 12 points.
Bendigo East won the two home and away meetings by margins of seven and 12 shots, while the Benders won their previous clash with a 14-shot victory in the qualifying final.
The grand final match-ups have been set following Wednesday night’s draw of the cards at The Bendigo Club.
ANDREW BROWN (Bendigo) v DAVID KEENAN (Bendigo East).
What a match-up this promises to be between each team’s top-ranked rinks that will provide plenty of vocal entertainment.
Both Brown and Kennan’s rinks have won 11 games each this season and have already met once.
That was in round three when Brown recorded a 20-18 victory.
Brown’s rink heads into the grand final having won five games in a row, with its last defeat in round 10 when beaten by one shot by East’s Marc Smith.
Brown has the biggest shot difference of any rink this season of +105, while Keenan is at +73.
Keenan’s rink has won both its finals games so far – the only East rink to have done so – having gone into the finals on the back of two tight losses in a row.
Tough to envisage this clash not going down to the wire.
Andrew Brown – +105
Avg for: 27.1
Avg agst: 20.1
David Keenan – +73
Avg for: 24.8
Avg agst: 20.3
Prediction – Andrew Brown by 2.
DAMIAN MASON (Bendigo) v AARON TOMKINS (Bendigo East).
It has been a tough season for this Bendigo rink, which was initially skippered by Tom Russell before being taken over by Damian Mason.
This rink has won just five of 15 games for the Benders – it one stage lost six in a row – so if it can get up and about and produce, it’s going to give Bendigo’s hopes a major boost.
Equally, Tomkins’ rink – ranked third for East – has been far from its best in recent weeks, having won just one of its past four matches.
One of those three losses over the past month was a 22-shot hiding to Bendigo’s Ian Ross in the qualifying final a fortnight ago.
Damian Mason – +22
Avg for: 23.5
Avg agst: 22.0
Aaron Tomkins – +3
Avg for: 24.0
Avg agst: 23.8
Prediction – Aaron Tomkins by 5.
BARRY ANSET (Bendigo) v MARC SMITH (Bendigo East).
Has the wheel turned for the rink of Bendigo East’s Marc Smith?
Having lost five in a row, Smith’s rink lifted under pressure last week to score a pivotal six-shot win over South Bendigo’s Liam Crapper in the preliminary final.
The second half of the season has been “oh so close” for Smith’s rink. Of the five losses in a row it suffered, four were by four shots or less.
Anset’s rink was the only Bendigo one to be beaten in the qualifying final victory over East two weeks ago when it went down by nine shots to David Keenan.
The rink has battled for consistency since the mid-season break, with its record since the resumption 3-4.
Barry Anset – +6
Avg for: 23.0
Avg agst: 22.6
Marc Smith + 27
Avg for: 25.0
Avg agst: 23.3
Prediction – Marc Smith by 1.
IAN ROSS (Bendigo) v DARREN BURGESS (Bendigo East).
All set up for what should be a ripping contest between what are each team’s No.2 ranked rinks.
After an up-and-down start to the season, the only loss Burgess’ rink has had in its past seven games was a four-shot defeat to South’s Ryan Tainton last week.
Ross’ consistent rink is coming off a decisive 22-shot win over Aaron Tomkins in its last game and victories in four of its past five matches.
Combined, both Ross’ and Burgess’ rinks are +147 shots for the season, showing that when they get on top they don’t release the pressure on the opposition.
But who will be on top on Sunday when the flag is on the line?
Ian Ross – + 71
Avg for: 25.0
Avg agst: 19.0
Darren Burgess – + 76
Avg for: 25.8
Avg agst: 21.0
Overall prediction: BENDIGO EAST BY 4.
GRAND FINAL TEAMS:
BENDIGO – No team submitted.
BENDIGO EAST – T. Lester, T. Fuller, P. Moller, D. Keenan (s); G. Murphy, G. Ryan, C. Randell, M. Smith (s); B. Edwards, P Vlaeminck, B Griffin, D. Burgess (s); T. Dalwood, R. Clough, D. Morris, A. Tomkins (s).
Round 3 – Bendigo East 96 d Bendigo 89. M. Smith 28 d T. Russell 18, D. Burgess 28 lt B. Anset 32, A. Tomkins 22 d I. Ross 19, D. Keenan 18 lt A. Brown 20.
Round 10 – Bendigo East 96 d Bendigo 84. D. Burgess 31 d D. Mason 17, M. Smith 22 d A. Brown 21, D. Keenan 23 d T. Russell 22, A. Tomkins 20 lt B. Anset 24.
Qualifying final – Bendigo 102 d Bendigo East 88. B. Anset 14 lt D. Keenan 23, I. Ross 38 d A. Tomkins 16, A. Brown 25 d M. Smith 24, D. Mason 25 td D. Burgess 25.
WEEKEND GRAND FINAL SCHEDULE:
Div. 1 – Bendigo v Bendigo East at Kangaroo Flat.
Div. 2 – South Bendigo v Bendigo East at Eaglehawk.
Div. 3 – North Bendigo v White Hills at Bendigo East.
Div. 4 – South Bendigo v Bendigo at Eaglehawk.
Div. 5 – Castlemaine v Calivil at Bendigo.
Div. 6 – Dingee v Harcourt at South Bendigo.
Div. 7 – Bendigo VRI v Lockwood South at Golden Square.
Div. 8 – South Bendigo v Castlemaine at Bendigo.