Bulldogs advance at expense of Panthers


FOR the third time in the past four years Pyramid Hill has ended Marong’s Loddon Valley season in a cut-throat final.

After only scraping into the top five by 2.24 per cent, the Bulldogs have advanced to the second week of the finals after defeating the Panthers by 45 points in Sunday’s elimination final.

The Bulldogs were quick to apply scoreboard pressure with a 5.5 to 1.3 opening term, which proved pivotal as the game turned into a wet-weather match as rain fall.

The strong start set up a 15.11 (101) to 8.8 (56) win for the Bulldogs at Inglewood’s Just Trees Central Vic Oval.

“The boys cracked in really well today in what was a game with a lot of contested footy with the wet weather,” Bulldogs coach Brad Fawcett said.

“We got a really good start with a couple of goals before the rain came and that set us up to be able to control the game for most of the day.

“It was pleasing that we were able to finish the game full of running and we’ll look forward to next week against Calivil United now.”

The victory did come at a price for the Bulldogs, who suffered injury concerns to four players–Michael Callinan (corkie), Dylan Tonkin (hamstring), Michael O’Neill (hand) and Mick Dundon (tight hamstring).

The best player for the Bulldogs was Nick Dundon, who provided plenty of drive off half-back.

Andrew Dobby (four goals), Mitchell Dingwall (two goals), Jacob Loraine (two goals) and Steven Gunther were also among the standouts for the Bulldogs, who are contesting their 13thfinals series in a row.

Marong had good players in ruckman Justin Hynes,Cameron Muir, Corbin Fleming, the consistent Richard Tibbett and Aaron Collins (two goals).

“We came here today thinking we were a reasonable chance of winning, but to Pyramid Hill’s credit, they got away to a good start and made us play catch-up footy,” Marong coach Damien Lock said.

“Unfortunately, they were just too good for us today.”

Lock has been reappointed coach of the Panthers.

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