Cougars first Win. Blues turn the tables on Bulldogs
The first game was between arch rivals the Eastern Blues and the Christchurch Bulldogs. The Dogs started well with a blistering 6 goals opening term, before the Blues settled and drew back to within 7-points at half time, kicking an accurate 5 goals, 2-behinds in the second. The third quarter saw the game turned upside down, with the Blues kicking into a slight breeze, but managed to ram home 6-gals to a solitary goal to the Dogs. A reckless tackle saw James Bowden awarded a free kick in front of goal. The Dogs defence was under siege and players refused to body up in marking contests. The Blues were also getting on top in the clearances and driving the ball forward. By the time of the last change the Blues had a comfortable lead and were kicking with a last quarter breeze. They kicked the first goal in the last term, exploiting the Bulldogs soft defence. To their credit, the Dogs struck back and kicked the next four goals, inspired by mid-fielder Stephan van Gruting and targets Todd Anderws and Tristan Woodward. The blues steadied with a sealer at the end. These two teams are set for a tight tussle this season as payer availability looms as a key variable.
Best players for the Blues were Sherlock, Bahe, Court and Lubransky.
Best for the Bulldogs were Andrews, Van Gruting and Woodward
Final Scores Blues 16 9 105 def. Bulldogs 15 6 96
The Cougars were winless from the first three rounds, but were bolstered by some strong inclusions this week. Mick Cardilini, from the Yarra Valley League in Victoria brings footy experience to the table. They have a consistent core of players now who are learning to play a fast flowing brand of football.
There was nothing between the teams to half time, with a solitary point separating them. The Cougars found some form in the third, kicking a healthy 4 goals and 4-behinds, to open up a 14-point lead at the last change. The game was a good standard and featured some great shots on goal, particularly Simon Carden from the Eagles and the Cougars, Jonty Kay. With victory in reach of either side, players threw themselves into every contest. The Eagles rallied in the last quarter, kicking 4-goals. At the final siren there was only one straight separating them. The Cougars were jubilant with their first win of the season and this is sure to inspire them as the season continues.
Best for the Cougars: McKenzie, de Joux, Cardilini, Swift
Best for the Eagles: S Carden, Hazelwood, Williamson, Robles
Cougars 12 10 82 def. 11 10 76