The Pennant Hills Demons and injuries conspired to end the Bulldog’s seven game winning streak at Mike Kenny Oval on Saturday.
The Bulldogs lost three key players throughout the match. Player/coach Steven Pollock, to a concussion, James Bell to a fractured finger and Jake Bartholomaeus to a back injury.
The weakened Bulldogs were unable to fight back against a rampant Demons side which crushed them by nearly 60 points.
The Bulldogs’ Captain, Jack McAnespie, claimed the injuries hurt their efforts but admitted the side had other issues as well.
“We had won seven on the trot or whatever it was so maybe a bit complacency [affected the team],” McAnespie said.
McAnespie also pointed to the rough style of play employed by the Demons.
“We have got a pretty young side that probably is not used to that sort of thing; don’t have a lot of experience getting whacked around.”
Stand in coach, Jeremy Daniher, elaborated on the team’s mistakes. He said the side looked to bomb it down the field rather than move it through the middle, and players ended up chasing the ball instead of spreading and marking players.
“The biggest thing is that we just fell away from our structures that we’re working for us in other weeks,” Daniher said. “The frustration is that we know we can play a lot better and we’ve shown it every other week.”
Despite the heavy loss, the Bulldogs looked the better side during the opening moments of play. However, five minutes in the Pennant Hills soon flipped the script on the Dogs. The Demons consistently outpaced the Dogs and shut down their plays before the halfway line, bar two break aways. The Demons made the most of the pressure exerted on the Dogs backline by putting away 32 unanswered points to end the quarter. The Bulldogs going into the first break on 12 (2.0) points to Pennant Hills’ 32 (5.2).
The procession continued into the second quarter. The Demons added another 18 points before the Dogs were able to end their scoring streak with a behind; though they couldn’t turn around the momentum with their sloppy play. The Dogs quarter characterised by miss kicks, ineffective marking and ill-discipline. The Demons stretching to 36 in front on 59 (9.5) with the Bulldogs on 23 (3.5).
The Dogs continued to struggle in the penultimate period of play. They only managed to put away one point for the quarter and fell to 57 behind the Demons. The deficit and the inability of the Dogs to remedy their mistakes of the previous half put to bed any hopes of a comeback in the final quarter. The result now effectively sealed with the Dogs on 24 (3.6) points to the Demons’ 81 (12.9).
The final quarter went much as expected after the previous three. The Demons put away a further 20 points to pass the 100 barrier and end the Dogs winning streak that started seven rounds ago. The scores finished with Pennant Hills on 102 (15.12) and the Bulldogs on 43 (6.7).
The Bulldogs will be looking to bounce back this weekend when they take on UTS at Blacktown International Sportspark.
|Pennant Hills Demons||5.3-33||9.5-59||12.9-81||15.12-102|
|UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||2.0-12||3.5-23||3.6-24||6.7-43|
PENNANT HILLS DEMONS
Goal Kickers: T. Moraitis 5, C. Luscombe 2, T. Angel 2, J. Stern 2, N. Hey 2, A. Crisfield, M. Carey
Best Players: T. Angel, R. Ediriwickrama, A. Crisfield, T. Moraitis, J. Boag, R. Lepore
UNSW EASTERN SUBURBS BULLDOGS
Goal Kickers: J. Cann 2, S. Pollock, R. Farrelly, L. Irvine, J. Hardman
Best Players: T. Heath, J. McLean, A. Foote, T. Dickson, M. Thompson, H. Annear