Giant-killers eyeing Cairns in golf final
MAREEBA hope to continue their giant-killing run in today's FNQ Golf Pennants final against Cairns to claim an historic A Grade title.
The tiny club has about 150 members, but it has not stopped them toppling last year's champions Half Moon Bay and in-form Southern Districts on the way to the decider.
"It's a small club. But the boys in it are all having a good dig and are pumped up for it," Mareeba secretary Paul O'Shea said.
"It's bloody great for the club, and to have C grade in as well is just awesome."
Cairns have been living on the edge ever since losing their first round convincingly to the Districts, but a nerve-racking 3-2 defeat of Paradise Palms in last weekend's semi saw them enter another Pennants decider.
The win against the Palms was sweet revenge after they beat Cairns in the 2010 decider, but team member Damon Caldwell said they were not losing sight of their overall goal.
"Winning Pennants is the pinnacle of team golf really," he said.
"It felt great to win that semi-final, but Mareeba have obviously got the players there, because they've knocked off the defending champions and Southern Districts, who touched us up this year."
Caldwell, who was part of the Cairns side that last won in 2009, said they had become accustomed to playing under pressure since their first round loss.
"It was pretty tight. We couldn't afford to lose another one so the pressure was really on," he said.
Following the theme of this year's event, the decider should be another close tussle.
Caldwell and Brendan Gallagher are both undefeated for Cairns this year, while Mareeba's Jamie Redman, Michael Benjak and greenskeeper Chris Neville provide an intimidating top three.
"I think just to be in a final has made the boys happy, but we're certainly here to have a crack and we know we can win," O'Shea said.
"It could go either way, it'll depend on who plays best on the day."
Gordonvale Golf Club will host the finals of all three grades, with tee-off from 8.30am.
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