The UNSW/ES Bulldogs premier division side have crashed out of the finals, going down to the Pennant Hills Demons 121 (17.19) to 44 (6.8) at Blacktown International Sports Park on Sunday.
This was the Dog’s second opportunity to make it through to the preliminary final after finishing second on the ladder in the regular season. They also lost to the North Shore Bombers last
The loss caps of a disappointing end to the season for the Premier Division side, who after winning seven in a row, won only one of their last six games.
Co-captain Jack McAnespie, who was also playing in his 150th game for the Dogs, claimed that the young nature of the side was a factor in the loss but also gave credit to the effort the team had put in this season.
“It’s good that we got here as a young club who won three games in two years to now. Making the semi-final is really impressive,’ McAnespie said.
“For a side who has an average age of twenty it’s a pretty good effort and we can only get better from here.”
Earlier, the Dogs got off to a “disappointing” start according to McAnespie. They conceded just over 40 points in the first quarter and only put one of their own on the board.
“We started far too slowly. There was a swirly breeze out there which favoured their end first up, but that was maybe a three goal breeze and we gave them seven or something like that and that is just too much of a lead,” McAnespie said.
However, player/coach Steven Pollock believed that the team was still in it going into the second period because they now had the breeze behind them, but admitted they threw it away shortly after.
“It was lost in the second quarter,” Pollock said. “The game was when they kicked two goals into the wind because we had control in the second quarter.”
“If they didn’t kick those two goals and we had kicked the five we should have instead of the three, it would have been six goals to five.”
On the other hand, Pollock did commend his captain’s ability to “lead by example” and the side for standing up for their teammates when things got rough throughout the season.
Pollock said that there was a lot of upside to the season in the end and urged the team to sustain their effort going into the future.
“I was just really proud of the boys, and I think there is a lot of upside here […] This club now is going to go forward.”
|UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||0.1-1||3.3-21||4.5-29||6.8-44|
|Pennant Hills Demons||6.7-43||8.10-58||14.17-101||17.19-121|
UNSW EASTERN SUBURBS BULLDOGS
Goal Kickers: J. Buckley 2, S. Wilson 2, J. Cann, N. Reinhard
Best Players: J. Buckley, T. Banuelos, D. Cordell, J. Cann, J. McAnespie, A. Foote
PENNANT HILLS DEMONS
Goal Kickers: M. Carey 5, M. Preen 4, T. Wales 2, J. Stern 2, J. Boag, L. Skrivanic, T. Edmonds, T. Angel
Best Players: A. Crisfield, S. Wray, M. Carey, T. Edmonds, T. Angel, L. Skrivanic
Photo credit: Leigh Gazzard