Despite an early injury to key midfielder and Co-Captain Jeremy Daniher, the Bulldogs have recorded a comprehensive win over the East Coast Eagles.
Daniher went down within the first minutes of play at Henson Park with a broken collarbone that will sideline him for six to seven weeks.
However, the remaining players made up for his absence and recorded a 113 (16.17) to 52 (7.10) point win over the Eagles.
Coach and player, Steven Pollock, claimed that “you can’t replace [Daniher]” but his injury ultimately became a driving factor for the win.
“Everyone loves [Daniher] and everyone sort of deeply regretted what happened to him,”
Pollock said. “It was sort of a driving factor for the boys; Every quarter, ‘let’s do it for [Daniher]’.”
Even though Daniher’s injury threatens to be season ending, Pollock said “we have got depth on the list, someone else will get a shot in the midfield and step up and we will keep moving forward”.
Jack McAnespie will also step into the role of full-time captain in the wake of his former co-captain’s injury.
McAnespie remained confident post-game and understood how he had to step up for the rest of the season.
“I just had to be a touch more accountable around the whole ground and in terms of leadership have a bit more constructive talk,” McAnespie said.
Despite Daniher’s early injury, the first quarter was strong for the Bulldogs. Their accuracy set them apart from the Eagles as they ensured all five of their scoring shots would yield the maximum. In comparison, the Eagles looked poor; at one point even missing a free kick five metres from the goal. Otherwise, neither team were able to comprehensively dominate the other. Dogs 30 (5.0) and the Eagles 8 (1.2) at the end of the period.
The Dogs scored their first behind with their seventh shot on goal. Another one soon followed, however, it didn’t signal a drop in the Dog’s form. They dominated the half and doubled their score. Which in turn kept East Coast below 20 for the half. The pressure and frustration showed on the Eagles; their kicks failed to reach the intended targets and they repeatedly kicked the ball out on the full searching for their wings. The score read 71 (11.5) to the Dogs to the Eagles’ 17 (2.5) at half time.
The third period started slow in comparison, with 15 minutes passing before the Dogs put away the first goal. Late in the quarter the Dogs switched on and put the Eagles to the sword. The Eagles were left with little hope going into the final quarter on 18 (2.6) to the Bulldogs 92 (13.14).
The final period of play went much as expected. Though that didn’t prevent the Eagles from producing some competitive play to save face. For the first half of the quarter the Eagles dominated, but soon the Dogs warmed up and put the Eagles to bed. Finishing the game with a 61 point win, with 113 (16.17) scored by the Dogs to the Eagles’ 52 (7.10).
Next week the bye will allow the Premier Division side a week’s break before taking on Pennant Hills on the 29th.
Goal Kickers: S. Pollock 4, M. Lower 3, J. Hardman 2, J. Buckley 2, J. McLean, B. Pattison, L. Irvine, J. McKinlay, S. Wilson
Best Players: J. McAnespie, J. Vunitabua, J. Buckley, J. Hardman, L. Essenstam, M. Lower
EAST COAST EAGLES
Goal Kickers: P. Vlatko 2, M. Weekes 2, D. Visser, B. Stewart, B. Clark
Best Players: A. Browning, D. Steer, B. Stewart, R. Fitton, B. Clark, B. Bourke