FINALS-bound Wilston-Grange hope to turn into party-poopers when they travel to Bill Godfrey Oval for a vital clash against Burleigh (2pm start).

By Terry Wilson

It is a major day in the history of Burleigh, where past players, officials and supporters will be celebrating with a reunion of the 2001 premiership side.
Adding to the occasion will be skipper Marcus Powell’s 100th game for the club and the farewell appearance of long-serving utility Peter Laenger, who has announced this will be his last match at Bill Godfrey Oval before he retires after round 18.
Ironically, Burleigh’s 2001 flag came against Wilston-Grange in the AFLSQ first division at Yeronga.
In another irony, current Burleigh coach Zane Doubleday was captain of the Burleigh side which was coached by Wayne Ling.
And, what is more, the Grange have lost at their past four appearances at Bill Godfrey Oval.
Grange coach David Martin, not usually one for taking too much notice of events of the past, admitted Burleigh seem to be ‘a bit of a bogy side’ for the Gorillas.
“Grange people are very wary of Burleigh,” he said. “They have caused us headaches in the past – and I believe they are having a reunion of the 2001 premiership, when they beat us.”The Grange, holding down equal top run on the ladder but third on percentage, know victory would shore up their chances of the vital finals double-chance.
They go into the weekend with only two changes, regaining ruckman Anthony Penny and half-back flanker Brendan McGrath in place of Simon Brown and Zac Molan.
Which means the Gorillas are only one player away from being at top strength.
Martin said when the Gorillas beat Burleigh by 39 points in round eight they got away from the visitors early.
“But they came back and put on some quick goals, so we know what they’re capable of,” he said.
Yet Martin said the Gorillas have still to keep on improving and putting four quarters together.
Burleigh have three changes, regaining Laenger and top ruckman Mick Van Rossum and naming on-baller Oliver Rennie, an Australian wakeboard champion.
They are in for Ben Ranger (three-match suspension), Brad Paine and  Damien Pate.
“This week the aim is for is to put on a good showing for the reunion in our last home game for the year,” said Doubleday.
“And it’d be nice to beat a team above us on the ladder.”

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