It was a cold, cloudy afternoon as the Bulldogs celebrated the milestones of Steven ‘Chook’ Mcilwrath (100 games) and Chris Peters (150) at Henson Park against their fancied opponents, the St George Dragons.
The first quarter was tough, with some low scoring footy played across the ground. Whilst the Dragons kicked two goals to the Bulldogs one, coach Dennis Rider would have been pleased with the way his team was taking it to their undefeated opponents, finishing the first break 1.2 (8) to the Dragons 2.2 (14)
Whatever was said by Rider got the red, white and blue moving as they hit the paddock in the second quarter, landing the first goal after a good passage of play. The momentum was short lived, however, as the Dragons started to demonstrate why they were undefeated hitting back with a goal of their own and settling in to tempo footy to control the game. The first half would end with the Bulldogs closing the gap towards the end with a goal and couple of behinds. They went into the sheds behind by two majors, with the scoreboard reading 4.4 (28) to St George’s 6.4 (40).
The third quarter was another low scoring affair as the game was on a knife’s edge. The Bulldogs were valiant in trying to stay with the Dragons, but were unable to close the gap, finishing the premiership quarter with one goal to the Dragons two.
The Dragons came out with some fire in the fourth and finding the goals became an easy task as they booted some tricky shots. The Dogs were spirited in the last ten minutes with a couple of late goals but in the end the deficit was too much. Milestone player Chook was happy they kept fighting for four quarters, with the final score St George Dragons 12.7 (79) to 7.10 (52).
After the game, Chris and ‘Chook’ talked to us about their experiences at the club.
Best memory at the club…
Chook: Biggest thing for me is the mateship, there is a strong culture. We want to compete and win the contested footy but…I know I have mates for the rest of my life.
Chris: Winning the 2009 grand final. [Chook: With a best on ground performance.] Chris also said the support he got the day after his sister passed away. Everyone got around him and it was an emotional and physical game. The club got the win, and while it was a sad moment, he was happy that it was a “low but high.”
What do you bring to the club…
Chook: Leadership and fellowship. Getting the boys to follow me into battle. Lead through action. Give it a good show n’ go.
Chris: I try and bring leadership. To teach and help the guys. Look at the way people play and helping players in positional play. As well as lead by example.
Best thing about your fellow milestone player…
Chris about Chook: It’s not his hairstyle. The camaraderie, mateship and always up for a laugh. He’s a people person. He brings a lot of life and energy to the team.
Chook about Chris: Definitely leadership. He is a born leader. Does it through actions and one of the best players in the team. Does all the little things. He gives 120% every year. We’re honored to have someone who has played for so long.
For those wondering about the nickname Chook…
“Pet name that my mum gave me. Think I walked like a chicken and the name just stuck.”
|UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs||1.2-8||4.4-28||5.6-36||7.10-52|
|St George Dragons||2.2-14||6.4-40||8.5-53||12.7-79|
UNSW EASTERN SUBURBS BULLDOGS
Goal Kickers: L. Simpson 2, J. Martin, J. Lindsay, M. Ensor, M. Cullen, C. Reid
Best Players: I. Bacon, T. O”Donnell, C. Peters, M. Ensor, L. Simpson, C. Stritch
ST GEORGE DRAGONS
Goal Kickers: S. Demir 3, M. Holmes 3, D. Williams 3, L. Ryan, S. Barnes, J. Stek
Best Players: S. Barnes, W. Murray, S. Demir, D. Williams, M. Wilson, C. Andrews