Bridgewater motors into another Loddon Valley grand final
THE Mean Machine from Bridgewater has motored into another senior footy grand final in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League.
A brilliant finals run which began in the elimination final has kept rolling as Bridgewater beat Pyramid Hill by 14 points in Saturday’s preliminary final at Newbridge.
The Bulldogs had won both clashes with the Mean Machine in the home and away series, but Bridgewater reigned supreme at Holloway Air Riverside Oval.
The Rick Ladson-coached Bridgewater charged to a 33-10 lead by quarter-time.
The Bulldogs fought back to win the second term, 2.4 to nil to be within seven points at the long break.
Emile Pavlich, Cameron Ross and Harry Donegan played key roles as Bridgewater scored 3.1 to 1.2 in the third term for a three-goal buffer going into the last quarter.
The Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Pyramid Hill won the final term, 24-20, but it was the Mean Machine which kept premiership hopes alive in a 72-58 result.
Bridgewater’s attack was led by Josh Martyn on three goals as Andy Collins and Emile Pavlich chipped in with two each.
Other goalkickers for the Mean Machine were Jacob Ellings, Tyler Estrada, Alex Pollock and Cameron Ross.
Dylan Collis and captain Steven Gunther kicked two goals for the Bulldogs as Mitch Cheesman, Ben Dalton, Braidy Dickens and Scott Mann added one each.
Best for Bridgewater included Jacob Ellings, Zane Hoiles and Jake Rusbridge.
Pyramid Hill’s best were Adrian Holland, Jake Willcocks, Thomas Brennan, Dylan Collis, Brad Ladson and Scott Mann.
Defeat means Pyramid Hill must wait at least another season to be a chance of breaking its lengthy premiership drought.
The in-form Bridgewater will tackle Marong in Saturday’s grand final at Marist College Bendigo in Maiden Gully.
The Linton Jacobs-coached Panthers has a two-nil record against Bridgewater this season.
Pyramid Hill dominated the reserves preliminary final showdown with Bridgewater.
The Bulldogs led 21-12 at half-time and then slammed on six goals to a point in the third quarter.
Pyramid Hill’s run did not let up as it scored 3.1 to 1.1 in the last for a 76-20 victory.
Goalkickers for Pyramid Hill were Mitch Dingwall, Jacob Heavyside, Rowan Pollock, Jordan Simpson, two; Sam Fisher, Mitch Gunther, Thomas Nunn and Luke Padgham.
Bridgewater’s goalkickers were Jeremy Campbell, Oliver Muggleton and Austin O’Connor-Stubbs.
Best for the Bulldogs were Jacob Heavyside, Rylan Delamare, Oscar Miller, Micheal Bateman, Brad Moon and Jordan Simpson.
Jackson Wild, Jack McKinley, Sam Dewar, Jay Bowen and Robert Taylor worked hard for Bridgewater.
On grand final day it will be Marong up against Pyramid Hill.
Preliminary final day kicked off with a one-point thriller in the under-18s match between Bridgewater and Inglewood.
The Blues made a brilliant start to lead 21-1 at quarter-time, but Bridgwater fought back to win the second term, 19-13.
In the vital third term the Mean Machine charged clear as it scored 3.1 to a point.
Inglewood faced a four-point deficit at the start of the last term, but confidence was high as Bridgewater had dominated most of their clashes in the home-and-away series.
In a dramatic final term, the Blues scored three goals, but Bridgewater’s tally of 2.3 was enough to clinch a 54-53 victory.
The Mean Machine’s attack was led by Toby Naughton, Rusty Hobbs and Cale Woodhatch, two; Cooper Miller-Govett and Hudson Pidoto.
Goalkickers for Inglewood were Kyle McClellan, three; Lachlan Harris, two; Mitchell Jeffrey, Jackson Luckman, Isaac Willits.
Bridgewater’s best were Cale Woodhatch, Hudson Pidoto, Toby Naughton, Jack Langtree, Terry Nitschke and Oscar Horan.
Seth Hoskin, Jaspa Wendels, Gabe Nevins, Cooper Hackett, Kyle McClellan and Lachlan Harris played well for the Blues.
The Mean Machine will take on Marong in the grand final.
Schedule for Saturday’s grand finals at Marist College Bendigo, Maiden Gully:
Under-18s at 10.30am: Marong v Bridgewater.
Reserves at 12.30pm: Marong v Pyramid Hill.
Seniors at 2.30pm: Marong v Bridgewater.
Written by Nathan Dole.