Ballarat Clarendon College secures spot in country shield grand final

Ballarat Clarendon College secured its spot in the Herald Sun Country Shield grand final after defeating Lowanna College by 50 points at RAMS Arena in Craigieburn on Wednesday.

Ballarat Clarendon College kicked 8.13 (67) to Lowanna College’s 2.5 (17), with Ben Hobbs among the best for College and presented with the school’s spirit award voted by teammates.

College coach Brad Macgowan said teams had to adapt to windy conditions, with a strong breeze blowing to one end of the ground.

Lowanna kicked its only two goals for the game in the first quarter with the wind, but College did well to keep scores level at the first break. 

With the breeze in the second quarter, College took advantage building its lead with three goals while keeping the opposition scoreless for a handy buffer at half-time.

Even in the third quarter, playing against the wind, College was able to set up well defensively to prevent Lowanna’s skilful forwards from getting the ball.

But, while College was without three of its star players, Macgowan said there was so much of Lowanna’s talent that did not play.

“Unfortunately for them, they did have a number of their best players out,” Macgowan said. “If they were at their best and we were at our best it would have been very, very close. I still think they are going to be a very strong team in the future.”

The College coach said despite rain overnight and before the game, RAMS Arena was still in very good condition and his players took advantage of the space.

“We found that we were the faster team, we were able to get the ball on the outside stoppages, run away with it, switch the ball and use the space,” Macgowan said.

“That was probably the biggest difference in the game. Our players were a bit more athletic, skilful and were able to use the ball on the outside of the patch.”

Ballarat Clarendon College’s grand final opponent will be decided in a semi final between Wanganui Park Secondary College and Trinity College Colac on Thursday.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing day for Ballarat Grammar, with both its teams losing their Herald Sun Shield grand finals.

In the intermediate girls, Ballarat Grammar 4.3 (27) went down to Sacred Heart College Geelong 5.5 (35) despite making a comeback in the fourth quarter, kicking two goals and keeping the opposition scoreless. 

In the senior girls, Ballarat Grammar 2.3 (15) lost to Hallam Secondary College 4.5 (29) despite preventing Hallam from scoring in the second half. 

Both games were played at Geelong’s GMHBA stadium.