BDCA first, second, third XI and under-18 finals scenarios

THE final round of the Bendigo District Cricket Association season hits off on Saturday.

PACE: Golden Square's Saheed Akolade. Square sits third on the first XI ladder, but can still finish as high as first as it chases a premiership in its centenary season.

PACE: Golden Square's Saheed Akolade. Square sits third on the first XI ladder, but can still finish as high as first as it chases a premiership in its centenary season.

Ahead of the last round, here’s a look at what’s still to play out across the first, second, third XI and under-18s.

FIRST XI

Three of the finalists are locked in, but there’s still much to play out in the final round, with no home semi-finals yet secured.

Strathdale-Maristians (58), Sandhurst (55) and Golden Square (54) fill the top three rungs on the ladder, but are separated by just four points.

The top two teams will earn the right to host home semi-finals, plus the advantage of progressing to the grand final if weather – which has been unpredictable in the second half of the season with both heat and rain – intervenes on semi-final weekend.

Should the Suns retain their place at the head of the ladder, it will be the fifth time in the past seven seasons they have finished in top spot.

Square is returning to the finals for the first time since 2014, while Sandhurst will make just its second finals appearance since 1987 and first since 2011.

As well as the jostling for a home semi-final among the top three teams, fourth spot is still up for grabs between Bendigo (42) and Kangaroo Flat (39) – although, Eaglehawk (33) is still a mathematical chance, but a massive long shot.

The fourth-placed Goers hold a three-point buffer over fifth-placed Kangaroo Flat.

Bendigo hosts Huntly-North Epsom, but you wouldn’t be tipping the Goers with any confidence given their recent batting form, while Kangaroo Flat has a tough assignment at home against Strathdale-Maristians.

The simple scenario – excluding outright results – is if the Goers win, they will play finals, but if they lose and Kangaroo Flat wins the Roos will leapfrog their way into the top four.

As for reigning premier Eaglehawk, it needs both Bendigo and Kangaroo Flat to lose and defeat Sandhurst outright to earn enough points to grab fourth. As Lloyd Christmas says in Dumb and Dumber – “so you’re telling me there’s a chance”.

Strathdale – 58

Sandhurst – 55

Golden Square – 54

Bendigo – 42

Kangaroo Flat – 39

Eaglehawk – 33

White Hills – 27

Strathfieldsaye – 24

Huntly-North – 22

Bendigo United – 12

……………………………

PRESSURE ON: Bendigo captain Shane Koop. The fourth-placed Goers now have Kangaroo Flat breathing down their necks, just three points behind.

PRESSURE ON: Bendigo captain Shane Koop. The fourth-placed Goers now have Kangaroo Flat breathing down their necks, just three points behind.

SECOND XI

Golden Square (63) has won two of the past three flags and is shaping up strongly for another crack at the premiership with a guaranteed top-of-the-ladder finish.

The big game of the final round will be the clash between Sandhurst (51) and Eaglehawk (48) at Weeroona Oval with the prize for the winner finishing second.

Fourth-placed Bendigo United (42) has a one-game buffer from White Hills (36) and should be able to hold its spot given the Redbacks play  Strathfieldsaye (24), while White Hills takes on the undefeated Square.

If the top four stays the same, as expected, reigning premier Eaglehawk will be the only finalist from last season to again make the finals.

Golden Square – 63

Sandhurst – 51

Eaglehawk – 48

Bendigo United – 42

White Hills – 36

Huntly-North – 33

Strathdale – 27

Bendigo – 24

Strathfieldsaye – 24

Kangaroo Flat – 12

……………………………

THIRD XI

It should be a top-of-the-ladder finish for Huntly-North Epsom (63), which is a game clear with a significant percentage buffer also from Eaglehawk (57).

The crucial game in the third XI will be between Bendigo United (45) and Strathfieldsaye (48).

The third-placed Jets are three points clear of fifth-placed Bendigo United.

A win for the Redbacks will force their way into the top four, which would leave the Jets then relying on Golden Square (45) to be upset by bottom-placed White Hills (12) to hold onto their spot for the finals.

Huntly-North – 63

Eaglehawk – 57

Strathfieldsaye – 48

Golden Square – 45

Bendigo United – 45

Kangaroo Flat – 36

Sandhurst – 21

Bendigo – 18

Strathdale – 15

White Hills – 12

……………………………

UNDER-18

Top spot is still in dispute, with there the possibility that second-placed Sandhurst (55) can still grab pole position if it beats Eaglehawk (18) and ladder-leader Strathdale (60) is defeated by Kangaroo Flat.

As for the other positions in the finals, it’s a case of three teams vying for two spots, with Strathfieldsaye (48), White Hills (45) and Kangaroo Flat (45) all separated by just three points from third to fifth.

Strathdale – 60

Sandhurst – 55

Strathfieldsaye – 48

White Hills – 45

Kangaroo Flat – 45

Bendigo – 27

Golden Square – 27

Eaglehawk – 18

Bendigo United – 15

Huntly-North – 6

……………………………

CLUB LADDER

Golden Square – 189

Sandhurst – 182

Strathdale – 160

Eaglehawk – 156

Strathfieldsaye – 144

Kangaroo Flat – 132

Huntly-North – 124

White Hills – 120

Bendigo United – 114

Bendigo – 111

  • The club ladder is based on accumulative points for first, second, third XI and under-18 teams.