Strong season with disappointing end
Saturday, 8th September, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
Grand finals in League, reserves and under 15s but no premierships will leave the Bulldogs disappointed in what could have been in 2018.
North won 10 games in the League season before easily accounting for Central in the prelim and pushing South all the way in the grand final but to no avail as the Roos won by 14 points in a terrific contest.
The grand final was as close as they got to South throughout 2018 with all 10 of their minor season wins coming against Central and West but there will be plenty to build upon for coach Rob Hickey going into the 2019 season.
Hickey was aggressive in his recruiting with some performing better than others such as Zach Doyle, Ben Clements, Rhys Carman and Will Headlam while the return of Tyler McInnes from injury late in the season bodes well for next year.
North’s reserves claimed the minor premiership but fell to South in the grand final, while their under 15s did the same to West. North’s women, under 18s and under 13s all made the finals but lost in the preliminary final.
Jayden Kelly - Kelly claimed a record-breaking sixth Lionel Johnston Medal after another standout year for the Dogs.
He had a slow start to the season, missing a few games due to playing for GWS in the NEAFL and work commitments but his second half of 2018 was superb as he played a mix of forward and midfield, kicking 28 goals plus another four in the two finals.
Throw in Quinton Bevan, Codie Howard and Eddie Morgan as North’s out and out stars while Jedd Watson and Luke Jones aren’t far behind.
Ben Clements - While his mate Doyle had more hype, Clements flew in under the radar somewhat and produced a very consistent year in defence. Clements has height, speed and skill making him a great match for any forward in town.
An honourable mention must go to Doyle whose body did him no favours in 2018 and limited him to just seven appearances for his new club. He did show his potential in the grand final though, being one of North’s best.
The Rising Star:
Logan Berryman - North had a number of quality juniors throughout the year such as Brock Elliott and Harrison Trengove but Berryman stood out with a number of quality performances across half-back.
Despite his young age, Berryman was awarded the best backman trophy, along with teammate Tobias Hack, and also won selection for the grand final. He might play halfback for the next few seasons but he’ll be a midfielder for the Bulldogs before too long if he stays in Broken Hill.
Matt Dempster - Consistently one of the competition’s best defenders and should go around again in 2019.
Ayden Pettitt - Solid year in the ruck, unfortunately went down with injury in the grand final.
Luke Larkins - Was made to earn his spot in the side but responded with a very good season up forward.