Great day for Bulldogs
FAIRYTALES don’t come true often, but no one told Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs captain-coach Greg Sherwin.
The Bulldogs overcame an inconsistent mid-season to win the 2008 South Coast Rugby League first grade premiership, defeating Shellharbour City 36-24 at Bill Andriske Mollymook Oval on Sunday.
Milton were buoyed by playing in front of their home crowd and also the desire to send the retiring Sherwin out on a winning note.
Five-eighth Thomas Cook was a standout for the home team, scoring a hat-trick in a Man of the Match performance.
Shellharbour looked impressive early with a 14th minute try to Josh Cuthbert, but after the initial arm-wrestle subsided the Bulldogs’ tough defence and clever attack enabled them to take control of the match.
Cook backed up a Sherwin bust to lead 6-4 and the speedy pivot went back-to-back with another converted try just minutes later.
The Bulldogs showed ruthless efficiency when Sherwin latched onto an intercept and narrowly beat the cover defence for 18-4.
A converted Brett Cox try right on half-time gave Milton a 24-4 advantage at the interval.
As the Sharks became increasingly frustrated, errors crept into their game, and following the sin-binning of back rower Ryan Schuster and Bulldogs Mick Blattner, Cook again displayed great footwork to score his third.
Upon returning to the field the fired up Blattner made it 36 unanswered points to the home team when he bulldozed his way across the line.
Tries to Coelho and Robbie Byatt added some respectability to the scoreboard, before Scott Sablowski bagged a double in the last ten minutes.
The late rush of points wasn’t enough to run down Milton’s commanding lead and the loss completed a disappointing day for the Shellharbour club, who failed to win any of the three grand finals they qualified for.
The departing Sherwin said his side’s “heart and soul and pride in the jumper” as well as the vocal home crowd had helped them get the best of the Sharks after the opening exchanges.
“I’m ecstatic… we played at 80-90% of our capabilities in a few games during the season and I knew if we played at 100% we’d do it,” he said.
Sherwin said after 29 years of foot ball he was looking forward to a break from coaching as well as hanging up the boots.
“It’ll be great to just enjoy watching rather than playing.”
Cook, Sherwin, Ben Mackinnon and Stein Lofts were the standouts for Milton, whilst Scott Sablowski, Nathan Cooper and Tim Jones were the best for the Sharks.
Milton-Ulladulla 36 (T Cook 3, G Sherwin, B Cox, M Blattner tries, Sherwin 6 goals) defeated Shellharbour City 24 (S Sablowski 2, M Coelho, J Cuthbert, R Byatt tries, Coelho 2 goals). Man Of The Match- Thomas Cook.
REGAN CUP- Mt Warrigal vs Greenwell Point
THE GREENWELL Point Pirates plundered the Mt Warrigal Kooris 30-27 in a closely fought Regan Cup grand final.
Pirates centre Gary Vidler starred, scoring a hat-trick in a scrappy but exciting game filled with enterprising attacking football.
The Kooris led 10-nil early and later 20-4 before a John Carey try in the dying seconds of the first half reduced the deficit to ten.
A James Toovey try less than a minute after the resumption swung the momentum the Pirates’ way and a Vidler try levelled the scores.
Greenwell Point capitalised on the send-off of Kooris hooker Mark Henry and the sin-binning of Mt Warrigal’s Raynond Glover to take the lead for the first time, but Mt Warrigal refused to concede defeat, a Rodney Pendergast try levelling the scores again.
A Nathan Stewart field goal appeared to seal it, before a few unforced errors gave Vidler the opportunity to cross for his third with five minutes remaining and seal the win for the Pirates.
Greenwell Point 30 (G Vidler 3, J Carey, J Toovey, G Williams tries, Carey 2, Toovey goals) defeated Mt Warrigal 27 (N Stewart, C Walker, D Tungai, R Pendergast, N Winkelbauer tries, Stewart 3 goals, field goal). Man Of The Match- Gary Vidler.
UNDER 18’S- MILTON-ULLADULLA VS SHELLHARBOUR CITY
MILTON-Ulladulla snatched a thrilling 21-20 victory over Shellharbour City in the Under 18’s grand final.
A Trent Ryan field goal after the final siren gave the Bulldogs the win in the season decider.
It was all Milton early, the home side racing to a 14-nil lead after 22 minutes, which was highlighted by a storming run from Josh Bishop to score.
Two rapid-fire tries to the visitors reduced the lead to 14-10 at the break and set up the dramatic second half.
The ascendancy swung several times, as the wet weather resulted in numerous unforced errors from both teams.
With Milton leading 20-16, the Sharks peppered the opposition’s line for several minutes before a Nick Lazervski four-pointer squared the ledger, after which an all-in brawl erupted.
Jai Dormer missed the critical conversion and it appeared the game would be sent into extra time.
It was a true grandstand finish as Milton received a controversial scrum penalty with just seconds remaining; the Bulldogs kicked for touch and from the ensuing restart Ryan nailed the field goal to give them the title.
Milton-Ulladulla 21 (B Phillips, J Bishop, J Shepherd tries, T Ryan 4 goals, field goal) defeated Shellharbour City 20 (N Fing 2, N Lazerevski, T Brown tries, J Dormer 2 goals). Man Of The Match- Cohen Smith.
RESERVE GRADE- Albion Park-Oak Flats vs Shellharbour City
ALBION Park-Oak Flats have upset the previously undefeated Shellharbour City 20-6 to win the reserve grade premiership.
The Eagles finished the regular season in fourth place and seemed to upset the rhythm of their more fancied opponent from the outset.
An early Daniel Herman try put the Park ahead 6-nil, before a classy run from Sharks centre Robbie Byatt levelled it.
A Matthew Hol try gave the Park a 10-6 half-time lead and a sniff of an upset.
With Shellharbour hooker Mitchell Wilmott sent to the sin bin early in the second stanza, the Eagles took full advantage when Hol bagged his second try for a ten-point buffer.
The Sharks had numerous chances to crack the Park’s line again but were unable to put the finishing touches on a number of opportunities.
Despite this, the game still hung in the balance as the Sharks persisted, before a Ben Sartori try with four minutes remaining proved to be the match winner.
Wilmott was sent off with three minutes remaining for a high tackle.
Albion Park-Oak Flats 20 (M Hol 2, D Herman, B Sartori tries, T Sault 2 goals) defeated Shellharbour City 6 (R Byatt try, M Carroll goal). Man Of The Match- Todd Sault.
Last Modified on 27/01/2009 07:01