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Preliminary Final Preview - 25/3/11

Written by Leon Retallick
Friday 25th March, 2011

The Sportspower Saturday Premier League and Section 2 competitions hit the Preliminary Finals this weekend, with 4 teamís vying for position in next weeks Grand Final. In Premier League Spring Gully Brougham Arms will battle with Bendigo Lawn Boltonís, whilst in section 2 Spring Gully Sensation will be hoping for redemption when they take on club members Spring Gully Racqueteers.

Preliminary Final: Spring Gully Brougham Arms v Bendigo Lawn Bolton's @ BBTC Crts 1, 6 & 7
(winner to play Bendigo Lawn National in GF)

The Premier League Preliminary Final will be full of emotion this week, with the shock passing of Bendigo Tennis stalwart Geoff Hartland on Wednesday morning. Geoff has been a great ambassador to tennis over many years, with his passing a huge loss to the tennis community. Two of his daughters Jessica Hartland and Bronwyn Osborne, are expected to play for their beloved Spring Gully Brougham Arms in todayís final, and will no doubt play to the best of their abilities in his honor.

Spring Gully Brougham Arms: Jamie Brown, Travis Toner, Andrew Lethlean, Craig Nolan, Jessica Hartland and Bronwyn Osborne.  Emergency's: Lynda Gallagher & Pete Valentine.

Bendigo Lawn Bolton's - Leroy Miller,  Terry Smith (pictured), Michael Smyth, Dean Harris, Rebecca Tweed and Michelle Rodwell.  Emergency's: Daniel Watson and Tova Penno

This Season:

Rd 1: Spring Gully Brougham Arms 6 sets 73 games lt Bendigo Lawn Boltons 6 sets 77 games
Rd 8: Spring Gully Brougham Arms dr Bendigo Lawn Boltons (match abandonded)
Rd 11: Bendigo Lawn Boltons 7 sets 76 games def Spring Gully Brougham Arms 5 sets 62 games
Rd 16: Spring Gully Brougham Arms 9 sets 91 games def Bendigo Lawn Boltons 3 sets 66 games

The ledger between the teams rests with Bendigo Lawn Bolton's holding a 2/1 lead in matches this year, with one match washed out due to the weather.  However, the Broughie did score a commanding 6 sets 25 game win in their last meeting in rd 16.

Player match ups:

Jamie Brown (SG) v Leroy Miller (Lawn)
Miller will have too many weapons for Brown in singles, having won both their previous meetings this year. However, Brown will like his chances when combining with Toner and Hartland in the doubles.

Travis Toner (SG) v Terry Smith (Lawn)
With Smith under an ongoing injury cloud, Toner is likely to be a key player in this weeks match.  Toner won the pairs only meeting this year 8/6.

Andrew Lethlean (SG) v Michael Smyth (Lawn)
A pivotal battle in this weeks match will be at no 3 with Lethlean and Smyth likely to tangle.  In their last meeting Lethlean came from 6/2 down, to win 9/7 and could be a telling result if history repeats itself.

Craig Nolan (SG) v Dean Harris (Lawn)
Nolan had the better of this match up in round 16, comfortably winning his three sets for the day.  Harris will need to play at his best and must try to turn the tables in at least one of his sets today to get a better result for his team.

Jessica Hartland (SG) (pictured) v Rebecca Tweed (Lawn)
Hartland and Tweed have battled many times over the years and will again provide entertaining tennis today.  Hartland got the better of their last encounter, wining all 3 sets, but both the singles and doubles were tight.

Bronwyn Osborne (SG) v Michelle Balic (Lawn)
Balic (nee Rodwell) has had the edge in this match up of recent times, winning their pairs only singles battle this year 8/5.  With the ladies doubles a key set in this weeks match, both players will be keen to do their bit to help their team to victory.

Why Broughie will win!
The Broughie have all the motivation they need to win this weeks match and will be desperate for another crack at arch rivals Bendigo Lawn National.  With the emotion of the week likely to play a key factor, expect a big performance from the Hartland girls as they win their way into another Grand Final.

Why Lawn will win!
Bendigo Lawn were the pick of the teams early in the season, however, faded towards the middle part of the year and slipped to 3rd position.  The side have seeming got their rhythm back with last weeks win, and with a full strength team this weekend, will be a hard force to stop.  Leroy Miller will be looking to continue his unbeaten finals streak, with the young gun likely to be the difference between the sides.

Section 2

Preliminary Final: Spring Gully Sensation v Spring Gully Racqueteers  @ BBTC Crts 2 & 8

Spring Gully Sensation will be looking for redemption when they take on club mates Spring Gully Racqueteers in today's section 2 preliminary final.  The Sensation team were narrowly beaten by 4 games by Bendigo Lawn Stoser in last weeks Qualifying Final, whilst the Racqueteers got over Epsom DCK by just 1 game to keep their title's hopes alive.

Spring Gully Sensation: Jayden Blencowe, Paul Henshall, John McMillian, Samara Cooper, Grace Tait, Jennifer Jacobs.  Emergencies: Jim Long and Faye Davies

Spring Gully Racqueteers: Jacob Greves, Matthew Collins, Simon Wood, Jackie Pembroke, Narelle McPhee, Deb Simmonds. Emergencies: Bruce Carpenter, Colin Green, Linda Miller and Alison Lugg.

Another close result expected in this match, with little between the teams.  Perhaps Sensastion holding the edge in the men, whilst the Racqueteers will rely on their women to get the job done.  The match will likely come down to the mixed, with a handful of games likely to decide the day.