Lions make their own luck

Andrew Groves spoke to Fitzroy Doncaster captain-coach Lloyd Mash in the lead-up to the weekend's Quarter Finals.

The number nine has been an unlucky one for Fitzroy Doncaster over the last few seasons.

Three years running they have finished in the gut-wrenching position, twice by a single point and once on percentage.

Last year in particular was a bitter pill to swallow for captain Lloyd Mash who was starting to think his side were cursed.

2012-13 is different however.

A magnificent run by his men has seen them finish sixth, break their hoodoo and set up a tasty tie with third-placed finishers Ringwood.bremner_98_v_uni_r16

Mash has told his men to seize the opportunity as they look to take down Ben Osborne's Rams in their own backyard.

“The first game after Christmas we lost against the Hawks,” said Mash.

“It was looking very bleak for us then. But since then we’ve been on a bit of a roll, looking at the ladder if we’d have won one more game we’d have finished fourth. But just to make finals gives us a bit of a chance, Dandenong and Frankston Peninsula will testify to that in the past.

"Ringwood are a very strong club. They’ve shown that with all four teams making it into finals. We will have to be at our best to beat them.

“I think Dutchy Holland is their only state player, but Tom Stray has played for South Australia and they’ve got Nathan Walsh too who used to play with us. He’s scored a couple of centuries this season.

“We’ve not played finals for three seasons now. We are chomping at the bit to get out there. It’s not new to us, we’ve got a few players in the side who have experienced it before and know what’s required.”

Fitzroy come into the contest bang in form.

The aforementioned defeat to Hawthorn-Monash University was a kick in the proverbials for Mash’s troops just after the festive break.

But a run of four straight victories over Melbourne University, Footscray, Dandenong and the Magpies four days ago broke the club’s unlucky finals streak.

Peter Dickson got the ball rolling for the Lions in the first week against Camberwell when he took a magnificent 7-42 as their opponents were all out for 226.

Matthew Bremner (73) and Tim Sheehan (73) led the way in reply with identical scores to set up a strong platform for Mash (27no) and Dickson (34no) to bring them home by seven wickets.

It is proving to be a really good season with the seconds and thirds also making the top eight.

“Three out of the four teams made it in,” said Mash.

“It was business as usual at training on Tuesday night. We had a really good session with everyone fighting for a finals place. It’s making life difficult for selection, but that’s the position we wanted to be in at the start of the season.

“I think on Saturday the team that holds its nerve will win the contest.”

For an in-depth look forward to Saturday’s Quarter Finals with reaction from all the competing teams read the Premier website on Friday.

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