Rich River was sixth at Christmas — nine points outside the top four — with a run home that included minor premier Kyabram and neighbouring rival Echuca.By Marc McGowan
Rich River was sixth at Christmas — nine points outside the top four — with a run home that included minor premier Kyabram and neighbouring rival Echuca.
A finals return was Rich River’s main goal at that stage in its second Goulburn-Murray Lawn Tennis Association Premier One season, rather than premiership talk.
But five straight wins to end the home-and-away season, as well as some helpful other results, meant Rich River captured one of the two double chances and is now just a win away from ultimate glory.
The 10-game semi-final loss last Saturday to grand final opponent Kyabram was a hiccup, but one Rich River rebounded from to edge surprise-packets Shepparton Bears by one game the next day.
There was a glaring omission in Rich River’s line-up against Kyabram.
Dixon played doubles only in Rich River’s victory over the Bears, and teammate Andrew Crossman said training last night would decide whether she played singles in the decider.
Kyabram’s Brooke Starling would have the unenviable task of going head-to-head with Dixon if she plays singles in tomorrow’s grand final.
‘‘We’ve got Kate at our disposal this weekend, but it’s a little bit of a unknown what capacity she’ll be at,’’ Crossman said.
‘‘There’s a fair chance she might play singles — I know she is keen to play singles — but her physical capabilities will determine that.
‘‘We’re hoping she’s in as good a shape as she can be on Saturday, because she can play a big part.’’
Dixon played in Rich River’s two home-and-away season wins against Kyabram, the second time just in doubles.
Kyabram has its own physical issues, with Greg Tarrant in some doubt because of a leg injury. Connor Gledhill would step up if Tarrant can’t play.
Rich River won three of the four men’s sets — both of the singles — in the clubs’ semi-final clash for an 11-game advantage.
‘‘Our men need to lift and I’m not talking just about Greg and Matt (Starling) — it’s myself as well,’’ Starling said.
‘‘If us men leave it to the ladies to do the job, logic tells you that Kate coming in, even though she’s injured, will make a bigger impact than the last lady did.
‘‘She’ll eat away at that 10-game buffer we had, so it’s a matter of getting down and making sure we do everything right on Saturday.’’
Starling won his first premiership in the old form of this competition in the 2003-04 season, but has since been on the wrong side of three grand finals — most recently a two-game loss to Echuca two years ago.
‘‘This is my fifth grand final and, when you look at it, making the grand final (that many times) is not a bad record,’’ he said.
‘‘It would be nice to win another one, but it won’t be a disaster if that doesn’t happen.’’
Holt-Crossman won 8-5 last Saturday, but Starling took the honours in a tie-breaker the previous weekend in the Tatura Labour Day tournament final.
Crossman said Holt-Crossman and Jonny Watson were likely to again be Rich River’s men’s singles players.
‘‘I didn’t expect to play finals last year, but we made finals and that was good,’’ Crossman said.
‘‘The kids went into the finals inexperienced and naive to a point and they realise now how much the players step up.
‘‘It’s a good achievement from a club perspective (to make the grand final), but win or lose on the weekend, we’ll be stronger next year and, hopefully, pushing to win it again.’’
A Tamleugh North farmer has described the theft of four sheep fences from his tornado-damaged property ''a low act''.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
A Kyabram man who struck a cyclist on Echuca-Moama bridge with a beer can thrown from the vehicle he was in was convicted and fined $400 in Moama Local Court on Wednesday.
A Rochester mother told a health forum about the devastating effect drugs have had on her family.
Over six hours of junior football is scheduled for Kyabram Recreation Reserve this Sunday.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A purpose-built bike, equipped with amateur radio, will be on the O'Keefe Rail Trail tomorrow.
Cobram residents John Anderson and Ian Cobb will race down memory lane this weekend when they compete in the annual Historic Winton.
Deniliquin Fire and Rescue's open day has been hailed a success by captain Bill Muirhead.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.