Bulldogs by a point
Monday, 12th September, 2011
The Bulldogs claimed the 2011 premiership with a nail biting one point win over the Roos on Saturday.
After leading by 30 points late in the third term, the Bulldogs were defenseless as the Roos stormed home in the final term, only to fall agonisingly short.
It’s fair to say we have seen some classic grand finals between these two sides and five out of their last 10 meetings have been won by 10 points or less, with their last a two point thriller back in 2004.
Before the opening bounce the Roos omitted Burns and Magin from the selected side and Schorn and Weller came into the side. The Bulldogs went in unchanged. North won the toss and elected to kick to the Northern end of the ground.
The game started at a furious pace as both sides attacked each contest and in the early stages it was the Roos who were using the ball the better.
Cody Schorn gave the Roos the perfect start after receiving a great pass, the dose was repeated minutes later as Schorn had the opening two goals and the Roos had a 10 point lead.
The Bulldogs finally found some fluent ball movement and when Grundy marked and goaled the margin was cut to 4 points.
Corey was on the end of some good lead up play and he extended the lead out to 11 with his first at the 16 minute mark.
Not to be outdone the Bulldogs finished the opening term the better with goals to Ruddock and McConnell and all of a sudden the Bulldogs would go into the first break with a two point lead.
As we have come to expect from these two sides, the opening term was fast flow-on football with players willing to throw their bodies on the line.
The Roos opened the second term doing all the attacking to the northern end and after two behinds, Staker gave the Roos a six point lead.
The contest seesawed with both sides having trouble winning clean possession inside forward 50, with Chris Billings leading the way for North while Michael Vlatko was having a good game for the Roos.
Marcus O’Brien kicked his first at the 15 minute mark to extend South’s lead to nine points. Minutes later Jayson Higgins and Tom Billings were both sent from the ground and the two big men were finished for the day.
The Roos threw Holmes into the ruck while North swung Rayner on to the ball. As the term entered time on, the Bulldogs hit back with goals to Grundy and Ruddock and that would be enough to give them a three point lead going into the half time break.
The term ended with tempers at boiling point and patrons were vocal in their support for their respective sides.
After a tight and physical opening half, patrons were aware that the third term was going to be very important.
North opened the third quarter full of run and after a early miss Hack made the Roos pay when he kicked his first to give his side a 10 point lead.
From the bounce the ball moved swiftly to Watson and the Bulldogs had their second for the term and a 16 point lead.
The Bulldogs were now pressing hard and the South back half was holding on by sheer determination.
Johnson was quick to pounce and when he did the North lead was out to 23 points. Minutes later Clare worked through some traffic to snap truly and the margin was now 30 points and the Roos looked in trouble.
While they managed two late behinds to reduce the margin to 28 points at the last change it seemed too little to late.
The final term commenced with the Roos attacking the northern end goal and with a spring in their step and a sense of belief.
That belief was turned into reality when Stephens kicked his first and the margin was back to 21 points. The southerners were full of run and growing in confidence and when Neal goaled the lead was cut to 14 points and the game was in reach.
The Bulldogs looked flat footed, approaching the 14 minute mark Corey kicked his second and the margin was just seven points and the Roos were coming and coming hard.
Minutes later Dunn put the Roos within just 1 point and the premiership looked theirs.
The Bulldogs were lucky to get their hands on the footy let alone go forward but with a rare forward entry they could only manage a behind to lead by just two points with the clock ticking down.
The Roos again attacked with good use of the footy and with the pressure mounting on everybody a South shot on goal drifted right and a behind was the result.
The Bulldogs still had some nervous moments across half back and they managed to get the ball to half forward before the Roos again repelled to the wing only to see Codie Howard stand tall in front of the pack and his mark was the last play of the day as the siren sounded to give the Bulldogs a heart stopping 1 point win and the 2011 premiership.
In the end it was a gutsy display from both sides and a grand final to be remembered.
NORTH - C. Howard, Q. Beaven, N. Raynor, C. Billings, J.Kelly, M.Garrick
SOUTH - M. O’Brien, M.Vlatko, M. Purcell, J. Staker, J. Dunn, D. Stephens
NORTH - K. Grundy 2, J. Ruddock 2, J. McConnell 1, T. Hack 1, J. Watson 1, B.Johnson 1, B. Clare 1
SOUTH - C. Schorn 2, T. Corey 2, J. Staker 1, M. O’Brien 1, D. Stephens 1, P.Neal 1, J. Dunn 1.