Wodonga in touch, but needs luck

WODONGA’S hopes of playing in the district scratch pennant final will rely on a little help from its friends and foes.

But defending titleholders Jubilee are now out of the race after a narrow loss to Beechworth at the weekend.

Wodonga was too good for Benalla on Sunday, winning four of its five matches at Myrtleford, with Dave Porter only losing after his match went to a fourth play-off hole.

But sitting a win behind the leaders with two rounds to play and with fewer individual winners, captain Josh Hayes said they needed some luck.

“That win keeps us in the hunt but we still need things to fall our way,” he said.

“Mansfield has the bye this week when they host the pennant round but we play Yarrawonga who are second and then Mansfield at Jubilee in the last round.

“We just need to keep winning and hope things fall our way.”

Wodonga’s No. 1 Peter Miller continued on his winning ways at the weekend with a 4 and 3 win, Hayes and Casey Gamble won 2-up, while Ben McLeish went to a playoff hole before winning his match.

Jubilee captain Michael Baillie said the change of format that this year cut pennant teams from seven to five players had made the competition very tight.

“Last year if you had a strong No. 6 and No. 7 you were a big chance of winning everything but now you have to be on your game, everyone has five strong scratch players,” he said.

“But the fact is last year the luck went our way winning the tight games and on Sunday again we lost 3-2 with a game decided on the last.”

Hayes believes third-placed Beechworth is best placed to pinch a spot in the final.

“The way it has turned out has been that the washout at Beechworth has effectively given them a half-point advantage over the rest of the competition,” he said.

“They have an easier finish than us and if they keep winning should finish in the top two.”