St Mary's eyes Wimmera-Mallee A Grade premiership

ST Mary's is one win away from a Wimmera-Mallee A Grade premiership three-peat, but standing in its way is Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills.

The grand final will be played at Warracknabeal on Saturday, Sunday and the following weekend.

The Saints are shooting for a third-straight A Grade title after breaking a 30-year premiership drought in 2011-12.

It will be the first grand final appearance for the Eagles since they won the 2005-06 premiership.

Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills is the season's highest-scoring team, amassing 1605 runs from its 11 matches.

Eagles veteran Mark McPherson boasts the highest batting average in the league this season with 347 runs from nine matches, at an average of 49.57. Opener Cam Rattray has also proven handy with the bat this season, averaging more than 37 runs.

The Eagles' star-studded batting line-up will be put under extreme pressure by St Mary's bowling attack, which is the best in the association.

The Saints took 102 wickets during the home and away season 11 more than the next closest side.

Spearheading the St Mary's attack is the inimitable Tim Bell.

Bell is known for producing on the big stage and has a seven-wicket haul under his belt already this season.

Justin Knorpp also proved his worth, with four big wickets and an unbeaten 28 with the bat to carry the team to a nail-biting win over St Arnaud at the weekend.

The Saints are hoping to regain Ryan McKenzie, who missed with work commitments at the weekend, to further strengthen their bowling corps.

Nick Germano returned from injury at the weekend and batted at number six instead of in his customary opening role and contributed 58 vital runs.

He will hope for support from the likes of Bell, brother Tim Germano, Paul Rowe and Kane Taylor.

Trying to stop them will be a Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills attack led by Chris McPherson, who has claimed 25 wickets this season.

McPherson is ably supported by Ben Rattray, 20 wickets, and brother Mark, 16.

Bell said the Saints were comfortable with being named favourites.

"I think they've beaten us maybe once in the past three years and we're a pretty good side with a lot of confidence from a pretty good win at the weekend," he said.

"Having said that, both of the games this year have been close and it's a grand final so anything can happen. If we make a good score, or even 150, we're confident we can defend it."

Bell labelled Mark McPherson as the Eagles' danger-man with both the bat and ball.

Eagles batsman Cam Rattray said his side was tight-knit and drew strength from the players' bond.

"I would say our success has come from coming together as a team a lot more this year and having a lot more fun," he said.

"St Mary's has a similar sort of set up to us with good bowling and strong top-order bats, so it seems neck-and-neck between us.

"Their whole side is dangerous they were down and out at the weekend and they still won.

"They won on the last wicket with their number 10 making runs so they're never out until you've got the last wicket."

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