Lucky loser still makes the big one

Yarrawonga’s Andrew Long will be at Jubilee this Sunday for the final against Beechworth.

Yarrawonga’s Andrew Long will be at Jubilee this Sunday for the final against Beechworth.

THE decider in Division 1 scratch matchplay in the North East will be a carbon copy of the final round — down to the course.

Beechworth will end a three-decade drought when it lines up in the final against Yarrawonga at Jubilee on Sunday, despite being beaten 3-2 at the weekend.

What was thought to be a cut-throat decider, with the loser to be ousted by Mansfield, turned into a dress rehearsal as a Wod- onga team, buoyed by the inclusion of Zach Murray, knocked over the other likely finalist.

Beechworth’s Dylan Pool said they were pleased to see Murray when he arrived at the course on Sunday.

“Wodonga did us a big favour,” he said.

“If Mansfield had won, then we would have been spectators this week.

“As it is, the boys are pumped to be in the final after what some say is more than 30 years and are hoping to turn the tables on Yarrawonga this week.

“We won one game on 18 and lost two others at the last on Sunday so there is nothing between the teams.

“I was disappointed in my own game, being five down after six holes, fighting back and then losing at the last.

“Jubilee is in great nick — the club is in the middle of the club championship so the greens are slick and, despite the rain on Saturday, it was pretty dry when we played there at the weekend.”

Beechworth’s hopes will rely on Nathan Schneider’s stunning run of wins during the pennant season.

“Nathan and Josh Hayes (Wodonga) were the only two players to go through undefeated,” Pool said.

“He won with six holes to play on Sunday and I don’t think he has had to play the 18th in any round.”

Yarrawonga captain Chris Burgess said his club had resisted the temptation to bring metropolitan pennant young gun Frazer Droop into the team for the final round.

“We just wanted to play the same team that will play in the final,” he said.

“We are happy it’s at Jubilee — a lot of our boys play well there, it seems to suit their game.

“Our biggest battle will be dealing with Nathan Schneider, who has been unbeaten at No. 1 and would be a tough ask even if we could get Jay Ar Martin back to play in the final.

“It may be that we tweak our order a little and rely on our strength in positions two through to five.”