CRESWICK is not taking any chances with arch rival Newlyn.
The Wickers are exploiting any little advantage they can by opting to return to their former home at Hammon Park for the round 17 clash with the Cats this Saturday.
A decision to play at the ground was made after the Central Highlands Football League board on Tuesday requested the relocation of the fixture from Doug Lindsay Reserve because of the poor state of that surface.
The Wickers do have the option of Clunes as back-up should any problems arise with getting Hammon Park up to scratch, but are determined to use their former ground, which they have been training on since mid-June following a request from the Hepburn Shire Council to stay off Doug Lindsay Reserve.
Creswick president Peter Considine said earlier this week the club wasn’t keen on reversing the fixture and giving Newlyn a home-ground edge and felt Hammon Park was the best option to host the last game of the home and away season.
The Wickers sit 12th on the ladder and will not play finals after making them in the past two years, while the Cats are 14th.
“It’s the biggest rivalry we’ve got in the Central Highlands,” Considine said.
“Given the rivalry between the two clubs, it’s a very important game even if there’s no finals involved. It’s just a game both sides really like to win and will do everything they can to get a win.”
League president Eddy Comelli inspected Doug Lindsay Reserve this week and told The Courier it was in poor condition.
“(There’s) big cakes of mud in places now. You can’t see the grass at all. There is big pools of mud. The ball would just hit and just stop.
“In the past, there was water on the oval, but you had a carpet under it of grass,” Comelli said.
While all football grades will shift to Hammon Park on Saturday, netball will remain at Doug Lindsay Reserve.