TENNIS pennant grand finals are elusive for a group of long-time mates but that didn't stop them using a coin toss to decide if they made one.
Why? To enjoy a couple of beers together instead.
Saints - a squad mostly made up of players with Koroit links - formed 30 years ago under a different name.
They've been playing ever since, most recently signing up for two seasons a year at Warrnambool's Supergrasse Tennis Complex.
Des Walsh helped start the tradition three decades ago and still plays a handful of times a season.
Maurice Molan, Des Noonan and Alistair McCosh are other long-time players but the team is a revolving door.
There is about a dozen on this season's roster and up to 40 have had a hit over the journey.
"Some of us have to be managed a bit, like Gary Ablett," Walsh joked.
Paddy Dwyer, who has featured for 10 years and "got into trouble early days because he was caught practising one week", said there was always someone willing to play.
"There might be a few crazy phone calls about 4pm on a Tuesday but we always get a team," he said.
Winning fell down the priority list long ago with Walsh saying Saints had played in B grade "forever".
"We're looking for a C grade next year," he said tongue-in-cheek.
Molan said results meant little to the group which focuses on the social aspects.
"We gave up winning a long time ago. In fact, three years ago we tied to go into a grand final," he said.
"But it was getting late so we tossed a coin and said 'right, we're off'.
"Garry MacDonald still hasn't forgiven me for it."
Part of the tradition, apart from a couple of beverages post-match, is McCosh's "very funny" weekly match reports.
"Some of them would be worth your reading," Molan said.
The Warrnambool supergrasse complex, on Bromfield Street, runs A and B grade men's pennant on Tuesday nights from 7pm.
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