LVFNL Football Preliminary Final Preview | Dogs fight Bears to reach final decider


THE Bulldogs and Bears rivalry is renewed in this Saturday’s senior footy preliminary final in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL.

Pyramid Hill will take on Bears-Lagoon Serpentine in a 2.15pm showdown at Calivil Recreation Reserve.

At stake is a place in the grand final against Marong on September 9 at Inglewood’s Dissy Machinery Oval.

Pyramid Hill is trying to break a lengthy premiership drought and the Bears last ruled the Loddon Valley when it won the ’95 grand final.

This season’s meetings between the preliminary finalists stand at three-nil in favour of Pyramid Hill.

They met just two weeks ago where the Bulldogs dominated after quarter-time to win the qualifying final by 69 points.

The Nathan Fitpatrick-coached Pyramid Hill scored 12.12 to 2.5 after the first break in that match at Bridgewater.

Results were much closer in the home-and-away series.

In round three, Pyramid Hill won 119-101 on its turf at Mitchell Park.

A great contest in the 12th round at Gadsden Finance Serpentine Reserve ended in a 100-94 win for the red, white and blue.

The Bulldogs are on the rebound from a four-goal loss to Marong in the second semi-final.

Although disappointed not to have broken Marong’s unbeaten streak, Pyramid Hill will have gained a lot of confidence.

The Bulldogs were down by just five points at three quarter-time, but Marong scored 5.3 to 2.2 in the last for a 109-85 victory.

The Dogs’ attack was led by Brodie Carroll on four goals as Zach Alford and Jesse Sheahan added two.

Best for Pyramid Hill were Brodie Carroll, Bryden and Dylan Morison, Dylan Collis, Billy Micevski and Gavin James.

In the first semi the Justin Laird-coached BLS surged clear to beat Bridgewater, 111-62 at Pyramid Hill.

James Rippingale led the Bears attack on five goals as James Bailey and Callum Draper kicked three and two goals.

Best for BLS were Kyal Zass, James Rippingale, Louis Mott, Callum Draper, Beau Roy-Clements and Anthony Lewin.

It’s now a massive challenge for the Bears to break the Pyramid Hill hoodoo.

Key players for BLS include captain Charlie Gadsden, Andy Gladman, ruckman Aidan Brohm, Harry Gadsden and Jeremy Hancock.

The Bears also have the X-factor of Miggy Podosky.

Pyramid Hill’s named team did not include gun on-baller Dylan Collis who earlier in the week claimed the Harding Medal as the league’s fairest and best player.

Collis played just seven games in the home and away series he gained maximum votes in six contests to win the medal race on 19 votes.

The Bulldogs do have ’22 Harding medallist in Billy Micevski in Saturday’s team.

Other key players for the red, white and blue include Adrian Holland, captain Steven Gunther, Scott Mann, Seb Relouw and Declan Slingo.

In the reservees competition, Pyramid Hill faces a red-hot Maiden Gully YCW from 12.30pm.

Pyramid Hill kicked off the finals by winning the qualifying final against Bears-Lagoon Serpentine by 69 points.

A week later and the Bulldogs were beaten, 80-31 in a second semi-final clash with Marong.

Best for the Bulldogs in that match were Thomas Nunn, Matthew Moon, Darcy Hetherington, Brad Moon, Dylan Lovell and Ben Culross.

Defence has played a big part in the winning run by the Ben Dyett-coached Maiden Gully YCW in the finals series.

The Eagles held Inglewood to a tally of 1.6 in the elimination final and then scored a 60-21 win against Bears Lagoon-Serpentine in the first semi.

Best in the latest win for MGYCW Eagles were Will Anderson, Grayson Brown, Jordan Crisp, Steve Turner, Toby Hudson and Mitchell Dean.

The Dogs and Eagles squared the ledger in the home and away series.

Maiden Gully YCW won the round seven match at Marist College Bendigo by 34 points.

Next time it was the Dogs who romped to a 107-18 victory as Rowan Pollock kicked 11 goals at Mitchell Park.

Pyramid Hill’s line-up for the preliminary final includes Mitch Gunther, Jack Douch, Rylan Delamare and Harrison Goodes.

The Eagles do regain Daniel Bice for this contest where he will team up with the likes of captain Ryan Strauch, Haidyn Minnis and Corey Sungalis to chase a place in the grand final.