A dash of luck and Beechworth takes first title

BEECHWORTH has won its first Division 1 pennant final in the competition’s 64-year history.

The sand-scrape green club’s scratch team turned the tables on Yarrawonga in the final at Jubilee on Sunday.

After losing in the final round-robin match to their opponents at the same course a week earlier, Beechworth won the clutch matches to take the final 4-1.

Captain Dylan Pool said luck had gone their way.

“Last week we lost those games that went down 18. This week, they went our way,” he said.

“We hoped to turn the match around after the previous week but we knew it would be tight.

“There really has been nothing between all the teams all year.”

Pool admitted the reduction from seven players to five in Division 1 had been the incentive for the club to re-enter the elite scratch contest.

“Had it still been seven players, we would have been playing Division 2, we simply don’t have the depth to fill those positions at 6 and 7,” he said.

“But now we have the title we will back up and have another crack next year.”

Player of the series, Beechworth’s Nathan Schneider, trailed early in his match but was able to get up over Andrew Long 3 and 2, while Vaughan Saunders, having lost 5 and 3 to Darren Edwards a week earlier, reversed the result with an emphatic 7 and 5 win.

Pool and Jarred Pritchard had narrow 1-up wins over Troy Robinson and Chris Burgess.

Peter Warner was the only Yarrawonga player to win with a 3 and 2 win over Matt Robinson.

Schneider, who was undefeated in the pennant season, said the first aim was to win two matches.

“And now we have gone and won the whole lot,” he said.

“At the start of the year, we decided that winning against Myrtleford and Wodonga would be the benchmark — some of us had played for Myrtleford and most are good mates with the Wodonga boys.

“I don’t think you could wipe the smiles off the boys’ faces after Sunday.”

In Division 2, Wangaratta made it two pennants in a row with a decisive 5-nil win over Yarrawonga Mulwala.

They will almost certainly progress to Division 1 next season.

Yarrawonga Mulwala finally tasted success in the junior pennant with another 5-nil win over Benalla.