Beechworth eyes long-awaited finals return

Wodonga’s Ben McLeish lost at the last hole against Jubilee.

Wodonga’s Ben McLeish lost at the last hole against Jubilee.

AFTER 30 years in the scratch pennant wilderness Beechworth is now eyeing a spot in the play-off.

The sandscrape green team sits third after beating Myrtleford at the weekend, with ladder leader Mansfield yet to sit out its hosting round bye.

Beechworth No. 1 Matt Robertson had an emphatic seven and five win to start the ball rolling at Yarrawonga, before Vaughan Saunders and Nathan Schneider won their matches.

Jarryd Pritchard, playing at No. 5, completed the victory but had to go to the 20th hole to win his clash.

Captain Dylan Pool said Beechworth just had to keep winning.

“With three rounds to go we know it is a matter of winning each game,” he said.

“The competition is so tight most of the contests could have gone either way and it comes down to making the right choices.

“Mansfield is on top but they don’t get any points when they host the second last round of the competition.

“If we can win our last three we should get into the top-two for the play-off.”

Pool said it had been a long time between drinks for the club.

“This is our first year back in pennants in my memory and most around the club say it has been the best part of 30 years,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wodonga delivered the upset of the competition so far with a 3-2 surprise of last year’s undefeated champions Jubilee.

Club champion Peter Miller won his No. 1 clash easily, while captain Josh Hayes and Casey Gamble won at the last.

Hayes said the reduction from seven to five players in the scratch teams had made it a much tougher contest.

“Four of the five matches went to the final hole,” he said.

“We have three more games to go and they’ll be tough but they’re winnable — you really can’t write off anyone, it’s that close.

“But we have a pretty good culture in the group at the moment with everyone playing for each other.”