As the Bulldogs faced up against Pennant Hills, they were out for revenge to make up for their disappointing loss earlier in the season. Playing for momentum more than position with spots just about locked up, the Bulldogs need to be ready to launch into finals.
Early on in the game, it was tight as each team struggled to break the ball out of a huddle of players. The last time the Demons and Bulldogs played, the red, white and blue had a load of skill errors. With some easy turnovers, it was concerning that this might have happened again as contested ball was also an issue. The Demons got a couple of goals while the Bulldogs were only able to get on the board with a goal after the siren.
The second quarter was eerily similar to the first quarter, except the Bulldogs were on top. They also did many of the same things, but better. The pressure was immense and the Demons simply could not get the ball out of their defensive half. Whenever they kicked it out, the Bulldogs would either intercept it, or would cut off any run and force a turnover. Highlights of the quarter would have to include a handful of running goals as the Bulldogs charged the forward line.
The second half started with the Bulldogs continuing their dominance. They simply kept scoring and their run was just overwhelming the Demons’ defence. The amount of entries the Bulldogs had in the forward 50 was astounding, no defence could have handled it. To add to this, the Bulldogs simply seemed to be able to find an open player in the forward line – far too often.
The final quarter was more of the same, as the Bulldogs simply continued to ply their trade. They had clever entries into the forward line, not rushing in without options. The Demons were able to break their drought – goalless since the first quarter – with a goal that came from some gut-running. Towards the end of the quarter, the Bulldogs had a brilliant individual effort. Guarding space while on the ground, then being able to collect the ball and follow up for a goal was a sign of the Bulldogs effort throughout the day.
Coach, Steve Chichester, was pleased to see the boys transfer their focus on the training paddock on to the field.
“We practice a lot of ball movement,” Chichester said. “I think the only disappointing thing is we kicked almost as many points as goals. We have to work on conversion, to make sure the boys are getting the ball in the right place in the forward 50.”
Despite this, he was thrilled with the effort from his players, indicating the turnaround from the first quarter was paramount in their run to the finals.
““[The Demons] were really physical…they were clearing the ball well”, Chichester said. “You can’t afford to let a brilliant side like them an opportunity to, as we did last time for more than one quarter, to get on top.
“In the second quarter, the contested ball started to come. We started to be a bit cleaner and use the ball better.”
The Under 19s are now clear third on the ladder with three rounds to go of the regular season.
|Pennant Hills Demons||2.2-14||2.3-15||2.5-17||3.5-23|
|UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||1.1-7||5.6-36||11.10-76||16.17-113|
PENNANT HILLS DEMONS
Goal Kickers: W. Anson, M. Browne, C. Allan
Best Players: J. Adams, J. Dixon, J. Nati, D. Moraitis, M. Fiedler, L. Lawrence
UNSW EASTERN SUBURBS BULLDOGS
Goal Kickers: H. Lewis 6, B. Foote 2, M. Harmanis 2, S. Gaden, L. Hoy, B. Griffith, J. Pawle, I. Bartholomaeus, C. Kilpatrick
Best Players: H. Lewis, C. Kilpatrick, L. Johnson, I. Bartholomaeus, J. Hennessy, J. Sorenson