BIRCHIP- Watchem gets its chance at North Central league redemption against its conqueror of last year in Saturday’s grand final.
The Bulls again clash with Wycheproof-Narraport in a grand final that pits the two standout sides against each other at Charlton.
For the Bulls, it’s another opportunity to end what is currently the longest premiership drought in the North Central league, with Birchip-Watchem’s last flag coming in 2001 against Wedderburn.
The Bulls will carry a 13-5 record into the grand final, with three of those losses coming from the first three rounds in games they had won against Donald, Wedderburn and Charlton, but retrospectively had the result reversed for a player points breach.
First-year coach Lochlan Sirett, who took the reins after last season’s grand final defeat to the Demons from Tom Carland, has again been a dominant force in the ruck and was rewarded by taking out the Feeny Medal with 20 votes.
Sirett now has an opportunity to take the mantle from Wedderburn’s Mark Lloyd in 2014 as the last player to complete the Feeny-premiership double.
Sirett’s team-mate, gun forward Stephen Paulke, was a joint runner-up in the Feeny Medal with 16 votes.
Paulke has again been another strong target inside 50 for the Bulls having bagged 68 goals for the season, as well as another 14 from the first three rounds that no longer count.
Fellow star forward Nathan Gordon, who has had a season hampered by a hamstring injury, has hit ominous form late.
In three of his past five games – including last week’s 38-point preliminary final victory over Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers – Gordon has booted at least five goals.
As well as the trio of Sirett, Gordon, who played 23 AFL games with Sydney and Richmond, and Paulke, the classy Dale Hinkley off half-back and recruit Stefan Pye (17 goals) through the midfield have also been consistent performers throughout the season.
B: M. Monteith, J. Noonan, J. Lindeback
HB: N. Lynch, A. Greaney, D. Hinkley
C: S. Allan, S. Pye, B. Hogan
HF: M. Smith, N. Gordon, J. Christie
F: L. Foott, S. Paulke, B. Lee
R: L. Sirett, R. Vesikuru, C. Hallam
Int: B. Lynch, B. Murdoch, R. Hogan
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