Dogs fight off West
Monday, 4th May, 2015
The Bulldogs have made it two from two against the Robins in 2015 after registering a 41 point win on Saturday at the Jube.
But it wasn’t all beer and skittles for the Bulldogs as they were made to earn every possession by a West side that, in the end, just lacked a little polish going forward.
North lost Trent Barraclough before the opening bounce who was replaced by Ethan Slater.
The Bulldogs won the toss and ran to the Essential Energy end in the opening term.
But it was the Robins who surprised the Bulldogs with their attack on the ball and the body with the young Bulldogs looking a little flat-footed.
Simon Matten got the Robins off to a bright start with his first, but the celebrations were short as he left the field moments later with a lower back problem and never returned.
Soon after Clint Pearce goaled to extend the Robins’ lead to 14 points, a rare forward entry for North saw the Bulldogs’ forwards receive a lucky bounce and Shane Dalby made the Robins pay with his first of the afternoon.
The reply was swift from the Robins as Greg Conway goaled and the margin was out to 15 points.
The Bulldogs seemed to settle at this stage and four goals in eight minutes had them out to a 8 point lead approaching quarter time.
The Robins had one last surge and Josh Cieslik made the most of the opportunity with he had the Robins within 2 points at the first break.
Perkins playing across half forward was in everything for his side.
Both sides suffered from poor disposal in the opening term but it was a very good start to the game.
The Robins went with Matthew Nelson in the goal square and Thomas Rowe doing the ruck work in the second term, but it was the Bulldogs who started the better side with early goals to Jackson Ruddock and Dalby, who kicked his fourth for the day, making the lead 14 points.
North continued to press hard as they added another two unanswered goals with Dalby taking his tally to five for the opening half and the Bulldogs had raced to a 27 point lead. Brett Martin with a rare touch converted for the Robins to reduce the deficit, but it was the Bulldogs who would finish the term with one more through Slater to take a handy 28 point lead into the long break.
With the contest seemingly slipping away from the Robins they started the third term in a real rush with three goals inside the opening eight minutes and were back to within 11 points.
All of a sudden, the contest had come alive.
With the stakes now high the tempers rose and the odd spot fire was close to igniting this game out of control.
The Bulldogs lost Ruddock during this period with a knee injury and the second half of the term became a hard fought contest with neither side willing to give up ground.
The Robins added two more for the term while the Bulldogs managed to equal that effort.
The Bulldogs entered the final break with an 11 point lead.
With one term remaining, the contest look set for a great finish.
Could the Robins hold there nerve and continue to press for a win?
Or would the young Bulldogs rally and take the points?
Questions were soon answered in the final term but it was the older campaigners that stood tall for the Bulldogs.
Christopher Billings with two last quarter goals and Anthony Henderson also with two goals in the final term had the Bulldogs home.
Dalby kicked his sixth for the day to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 41 point win.
The game was played in near perfect conditions which showed with both side playing some quality football at times.
Disposal by foot was the factor that let both sides down throughout the afternoon.
While the Robins would leave with no points they have set a standard to build on going forward and I would expect them to be very competitive in the weeks to come.
The Bulldogs without a host of stars found that there juniors are up for the challenge.
A number of players today had the chance to press their claims for combined side selection but after Saturday’s efforts their hopes are fading fast.
North - B. Thompson, S. Dalby,
A. Pettitt, M. Garrick, C. Billings,
West - B. Perkins, J. Cieslik, D. Milne,
R. Howell, H. Harris.
North - S. Dalby 6, A. Henderson 4,
C. Billings 2, J. Ruddock 1, E. Morgan 1, B. Mannion 1, N. Mitchell 1, E. Slater 1.
West - J. Cieslik 2, B. Martin 2,
S. Matten 1, C. Pearce 1, G. Conway 1, D. Milne 1, J. Tonkin 1, M. Nelson 1,
J. Sheargold 1.
North 17.10 = 112
West 11.5 = 71
North 11.7 = 73
West 0.5 = 5
North 7.11 = 53
West 0.0 = 0