Three point victory

A mass of red, blue and white supporters arrived by the busload to back their beloved local Bulldogs under 18s football team in the Grand Final against Sandhurst at the QEO on Saturday, and their trip along and Calder proved to be well worth the effort – Gisborne brought home the premiership.
In the first quarter, Gisborne was off to a frenetic start with many inside 50s resulting in only six points, due to inaccurate kicking and overzealous ball handling. Gisborne dominated the play, winning the midfield contest, but failed to convert their chances onto the scoreboard, bringing the score to 12 points to 13 points Sandhurst’s way at the end of the first term.
In the second quarter, Sandhurst ran out and booted four goals to successfully extend their lead to 37 points to 29. Gisborne fought to contest the ball, but Sandhurst was determined to win the game on the day.
After the half-time break, the Bulldogs ran out and successfully kicked eight goals. They played aggressive, well structured football, and looked to be closing in on their Grand Final ambitions to win the BFNL Cup.
After the third quarter, the score amounted to 80 points to 49 points – Gisborne’s way.
In the final term, it seemed Gisborne’s 31 point lead was a comfortable enough margin to allow the 18s a solid passage into the final quarter, but Sandhurst was not about to allow the Bulldogs an easy passage to their Grand Finals dream. Sandhurst came out firing and booted a quick, successive five goals to Gisborne’s one in the final quarter. The game had progressed into a cliff-hanger with many pensive supporters unsure of the outcome of the game. Overtime saw Gisborne’s players cramping and fighting to maintain their healthy lead gained in the third term.
Luckily for the Bulldogs, the siren arrived just in time to allow them a victorious three point win. The final score was 87-84.
The AFL medal for Best on Ground was awarded to half back defender Liam Spear.
Goals: H. Jones (5), R. Lane (2), B. Slater (2), 1 S. McCaskill, D. Pemberton and R. Vernon (1).
Best: L. Spear, F. Lakey, H. Jones, J. Ozanne, S. Bell-Bartels and P. De Ruiter.

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