PORT Fairy is likely to experiment with its team for Sunday’s Corangamite District Golf Association (CDGA) pennant final round after securing a division one grand final berth with a big win over arch rival Warrnambool.
Port Fairy extended its unbeaten run to four matches with its 5-2 victory against Warrnambool but with three-time club champion Chris Dunn unavailable for the final round encounter with defending premier Colac, team captain Troy Richardson is predicting he will lead a make-shift side.
One of his stars Xavier McCartney is slated for a return to the division two side as it needs to defeat Mortlake to have any chance of qualifying for its grand final.
Richardson said teenagers Joanna Flaherty and Matt Cameron were in line for call-ups as they looked to keep a clean sheet heading into the grand final.
A shoulder injury to Craig Bramley is also complicating selections. But Richardson said he and his teammates were delighted to stitch up a grand final berth.
Dunn, Richardson, McCartney, Nelson Williams and Ben Goodall all had wins on Sunday.
Richardson said Goodall, in his first appearance, made an impressive debut, defeating talented Warrnambool player Jarrod Fary two-up with one to play (2/1). “He’s been wasting his talent playing footy,” Richardson said of Goodall, who won last year’s Hampden league best and fairest award.
“He’s a lot better golfer.”
Port Fairy’s grand final opponent won’t be known until Sunday’s matches, with Timboon in the box seat to qualify.
Timboon is second on the ladder with three wins, one clear of Colac and Warrnambool. But if Colac upsets Port Fairy, Timboon would have to defeat Terang to advance to the grand final.
Timboon captain Alistair Gillin was relieved after his side claimed a tense 4-3 win over Camperdown.
“I nearly out-smarted myself,” Gillin said.
“They hadn’t won a match and hadn’t played straight down the line each week so I thought they would have shifted their line-up around. I put Rodney Gillin and myself down a couple to match-up against their one and two players who had been playing down the list. But they played at the top.
“That will learn me; just play it straight and play who you play and see how you go.”
Rodney Gillin (9/8) and Neil Gowland (3/2) both recorded victories before Wes Hollick came from one down standing on the tee at the last to square the match and then win on the first extra hole against Allan White. Alistair Gillin then claimed victory one up on the last of his match against Simon Baker. Gillin felt for Baker, whose final putt lipped out.
“I don’t know how it didn’t go in,” he said. Gillin said the competition was evenly poised.
“We’ve won two matches 4-3 and lost one 4-3. We could easily be sitting here with one win and two losses.”
In the other match Colac kept its hopes alive of defending its title with a 5-2 win over Terang. Sunday’s final round matches will be played at Colac before the grand finals scheduled for Camperdown on May 4.