Marong blitzes Bridgewater to be Valley’s best in ‘22
MARONG captured its first senior football premiership since 1989 when it blitzed Bridgewater in the Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League’s grand final on Saturday.
Beaten just once in the home-and-away series, Marong went into the showdown at Marist College Bendigo oval in Maiden Gully as hot favourite.
It was a fourth match in a row for Bridgewater after victories in the elimination, first semi and preliminary finals.
On the day that mattered most it was the Linton Jacobs-coached Marong which seized the opportunity.
The Panthers slammed on seven goals and kept Bridgewater scoreless in the opening term.
Marong’s dominance at centre clearances, through midfield, in attack and defence rolled on in the second as it added 4.3 to just two points.
Led by the brilliance of gun forward Brandyn Grenfell, captain and on-baller Corey Gregg, Jimmy Gadsden and wingman Richard Tibbett it was the Panthers who did not let up in their pursuit of cup glory.
There was little the Rick Ladson-coached Bridgewater could do to halt Marong’s charge as the Panthers slammed on 6.4 to a point in the third quarter.
Although faced with a 107-point deficit going into the last term, the Mean Machine fought on to win the term, 4.4 to 2.3.
A tally of nine goals lifted Grenfell’s second mark to 154 in 18 matches and earned best-on-ground honours.
Other multiple goalkickers for Marong in the grand final were Ryley Taylor, four; and Cory Jacobs, two; as Nathan Devanny, Ben and Corey Gregg, and Jack McCaig chipped in with singles.
Bridgewater’s goalkickers were Andy Collins, two; Lachlan Allison and Darcy Wood.
Best for the Panthers included Ryley Taylor and ruckman Justin Hynes.
Bridgewater’s best were Harry Donegan, James Naughton, Emile Pavlich, Andy Collins, Darcy Wood and Jack Symons.
Raising the premiership cup capped a great journey by Marong captain Corey Gregg who had previously coached Marong before a coaching stint at Boort and then playing for Echuca and then returning to the Panthers’ den at Malone Park.
Marong’s premiership-winning team of ’22:
Nathan Devanny, Jacob Ede, Trent Fisher, Corbin Fleming, Lachlan Frankel, Will Gadsden, Ben Gregg, Corey Gregg, Brandyn Grenfell, Jimmy Gadsden, Justin Hynes, Cory Jacobs, David Johnstone, Lachlan Lee, Kyle Manley, Jack McCaig, Kain Robins, Ryley Taylor, Carl Thiesz, Richard Tibbett, Nathan Walsh, and Adam Ward.
Coach: Linton Jacobs.
Marong also earned the league’s champion club award for the 2022 campaign.
Written by Nathan Dole.