It’s hard to pick apart Saturday’s grand final and determine what might land either Beaufort or Buninyong a long-awaited senior flag.
The two sides were separated by just four points in the one and only meeting early this year, both finished inside the top four and progressed to the grand final via direct routes.
The Crows and Bombers have great depth throughout their squads – evidenced by their ability to reach both senior and reserves deciders – possess plenty of top-end talent and have good mixes of youth and experience.
And both head into the Central Highlands Football League grand final with close to their best 22 players available.
For Beaufort, the recruitment of experience has been a clear focus in the attempt to overturn last year’s loss to Hepburn. Multiple CHFL premiership player and Geoff Taylor Medal winner Nick Sullivan, former VFL footballer Daniel Venditti and ex-Lake Wendouree gun Ben Hayes have certainly added a harder edge to the side and shape as match-winners on Saturday.
At Buninyong, former Port Adelaide-listed player Sam Russell has been a boom recruit, Sam Cooper has been dangerous in attack since his arrival from East Point and the luring of past North Ballarat Roosters flag winner Derick Micallef early in the campaign could prove the masterstroke when the dust settles at Mars Stadium late Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Beaufort by 14 points.