LVFNL Football Preliminary Final Review | Dogs through to grand showdown with Marong


PYRAMID Hill has won its way to a grand final showdown with Marong to decide the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley FNL senior footy premiers of 2023.

The Bulldogs gained a crack at premiership glory by winning last Saturday’s preliminary final against Bears-Lagoon Serpentine at Calivil.

The Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Pyramid Hill had won all three previous clashes with the Bears, which included a qualifying final.

On Saturday the Dogs led 29-18 at quarter-time, but the accuracy of the Bears played a big part in staying touch across the opening three terms.

As the Bulldogs scored 10.10 (70) up to the last change, the Justin Laird-coached Bears had capitalised on chances for a return of 8.2 (50).

Inspired by the play of Tom McGregor, Zach Alford and Gavin James, Pyramid Hill dominated the final quarter.

The Bulldogs scored 6.6 and held the Bears to a tally of 1.2.

At the final siren Pyramid Hill led 16.14 (110) to 9.4 (58).

There were plenty of goalkickers for the red, white and blue.

Thomas Brennan led the way on three goals as captain Steven Gunther, Scott Mann, Will Perryman and Jesse Sheahan added two each.

The Bears’ attack was again led by the in-form James Rippingale on three.

Another multiple goalkicker for the purple and gold were Andy Gladman on two.

Best for Pyramid Hill included Brodie Carroll, Thomas Hetherington and Steven Gunther.

Kyal Zass, captain Charlie Gadsden, Aidan Brohm, Orion Downing, Andy Gladman and Louis Mott were best for the BLS line-up.

Now the focus for Pyramid Hill is toppling the unbeaten reigning premier in the season decider.

This season’s Harding medallist as league fairest and best, Dylan Collis will return to bolster the Bulldogs’ on-ball brigade after being sidelined for the preliminary final because of a quad concern.

Latest meeting between the Bulldogs and Panthers ended in a four-goal victory for Marong in the second semi-final.

Pyramid Hill was within five points going into the final quarter.

The previous showdowns ended in wins for Marong by seven and 20 goals.

Saturday’s grand final at Inglewood’s Dissy Machinery Oval starts at 2.30pm.

It will be a Marong and Pyramid Hill showdown in the reserves grand final.

The unbeaten Panthers take on the Bulldogs from 12.30pm.

A 52-point victory against Maiden Gully YCW in the preliminary final put Pyramdi Hill into the grand final.

The Bulldogs made a flying start to their clash with the Eagles as they scored five straight goals to a point in the opening term.

By half-time the Bulldogs led 50-3.

It was a closely-fought second half which went Pyramid Hill’s way, 32-27.

Dylan Lovell kicked four goals and Rowan Pollock added three in an 82-30 result.

Other goalkickers for the Bulldogs were Ashton Dye, Blake Gibson, David Mann, Nathan Moon, Nick Skinner and Jack Woodward.

Goalkickers for the Eagles were Joey Doolan, captain Toby Hudson, Harley McCauley and Corey Sungalis.

Pyramid Hill’s best were Ashton Dye, Jack Woodward, Matthew Moon, Mitch Gunther, Harrison Goodes and Dylan Lovell.

Best for Maiden Gully YCW were Toby Hudson, Will Anderson, Steve Turner, Thomas Durston, Jonte Carmichael and Jordan Crisp.

Maiden Gully YCW coach Ben Dyett also called time on a lengthy and brilliant career which netted many grand final appearances and multiple premiership victories.