MITIAMO Superoos hopped their way to premiership glory after a hard-fought Bendigo Bank Loddon Valley Football Netball League senior footy grand final clash with Pyramid Hill on Saturday.
The Superoos and Bulldogs met at Calivil’s 5 Star Stockfeeds Oval.
Runner-up in three of the four previous grand finals, Mitiamo was hungry to turn fortunes around.
Pyramid Hill was aiming to break a premiership drought that had rolled on since 1950 and made a great start to the day as the reserves and under-18s were victorious against Mitiamo and Maiden Gully YCW Eagles respectively.
This season’s ledger stood at 2-1 in Mitiamo’s favour and the Superoos started favourites after a 22-point win against Pyramid Hill in the second semi-final.
On Saturday it was the Adrian McErvale-coached Bulldogs who made a hot start to the contest.
Pyramid Hill led 32-9 at quarter-time.
For many of Mitiamo’s fans thoughts of “here we go again” were quickly gone as the Superoos scored 5.5 to 2.1 in the second term to be within a point at half-time.
The brilliance of ruckman Michael I’Anson and onballers Terry Reeves and Doug Thomas was a decisive factor as Mitiamo seized control in the third term.
The Superoos scored 3.3 and a defence led by Max Simpson and Luke Lougoon kept the Bulldogs scoreless.
Both teams added two goals apiece in the last term, but it was Mitiamo, jointly coached by Tyrone Downie and Andy Grant which held the premiership cup aloft after an 11.16 (82) to 9.6 (60) victory.
A memorable day for the Grant family included a match-high three goals by Thomas Grant.
The Downie brothers, Brent and Tyrone added two apiece as Justin Maddern and Doug Thomas were also on target.
Pyramid Hill full-forward Braidy Dickens booted two goals to end the season with a league-best tally of 70.
Other goalkickers for the red, white and blue were Jake Willcocks, two; Bailey George, Steven Gunther, Adrian Holland, James Sala and Jack Woodward.
Just weeks after earning the Frank Harding Medal as the LVFNL’s fairest and best player, Terry Reeves earned the best afield medal in another superb match for the Superoos.
Michael I’anson, Doug Thomas, Max Simpson, Luke Lougoon and Brent Downie were also stars in the grand final victory.
Pyramid Hill’s best were Billy Micevski, Gavin James, Dylan Morison, Bailey Goodwin, Dylan Tonkin and Andrew Dobby.
The Mitiamo FNC celebrated its first senior premiership since the Bill Grant-coached premiers of 2012.
Pyramid Hill and Mitiamo met in the reserves grand final.
The Bulldogs won all 16 matches in the regular season and went in as hot favourite against a Mitiamo line-up which had fought its way from the elimination final.
Pyramid Hill led 19-7 at quarter time, but the Superoos struck back to win the second term, 7-2, and be within seven points at the long break.
It was a Bulldogs’ blitz in the third as they scored 3.1 to 1.1.
Although faced with a 19-point deficit at the start of the final term, Mitiamo put in a superb effort.
The Superoos doubled their score as they added 3.3, but the Bulldogs replied with a goal to clinch a dramatic 7.4 (46) to 6.6 (42) victory.
Mitch Dingwall led the Pyramid Hill attack on three goals as David Mann, Louis Lowndes, Chris Milroy and Tom Walker were also on target.
Mitiamo’s leading goalkickers were Joel Pianto and Jarad Webster on two as Ken Gamble and Kyle Pentreath added majors.
Best afield honours for Pyramid Hill went to Jack Hickmott as Nathan Moon, Tom Walker, Brad Fawcett, Nicholas Tanner and David Mann also starred for the Dylan Tonkin-coached premiers.
Mitiamo’s best were Jarad Webster, Matt Wiegard, Rodney Reeves, Ethan Hocking, Llewellyn Kane and Robert Lawry.
Co-coaches of the Superoos’ team were Rhett Canfield and Jarad Webster.
A big day for Pyramid Hill kicked off with the under-18s scoring a hard-fought nine-point victory against Maiden Gully YCW Eagles.
The Nathan Fitzpatrick-coached Bulldogs were chasing a premiership hat-trick, but were up against the unbeaten Eagles.
Pyramid Hill led 16-13 at quarter-time and 30-20 by the long break.
Maiden Gully YCW Eagles fought back to win the crucial third term, 7-2, but the Dogs held a five-point lead going into the final quarter.
Although the Eagles had the benefit of a week’s rest from beating the Bulldogs in the second semi-final, Pyramid Hill finished the strong to score 1.1 to 0.3 to complete a 5.9 (39) to 4.6 (30) victory.
The competition’s leading goalkicker, Ed Caburnay booted a match-high three goals for Pyramid Hill to end the season on 62.
Kai Daniels and Carlos Ly were also on target for the Bulldogs.
Maiden Gully YCW’s attack was led by Mason James, two goals, as Jaidyn Berry and Riley Burns chipped in with one each.
Best afield honours went to Kai Daniels as Zac Dingwall, Ryan Salvador, John Caburnay, Joseph Parsons and Kobe Schmidt starred for the premiers.
Jonte Carmichael, Kallum Schepers, Riley Burns, Tyler Barnett, Ned Crisp and Mason James played well for Maiden Gully YCW.
The Eagles’ rising stars were coached by Nick Patching.
Loddon Valley FNL football grand final scoreboard:
Mitiamo 1.3 6.8 9.11 11.16 (82)
Pyramid Hill 5.2 7.3 7.3 9.6 (60)
GOALS – Mitiamo: T. Grant 3, B. Downie, T. Downie, R. Wellington 2, J. Maddern, D. Thomas. Pyramid Hill: B. Dickens, J. Willcocks 2, B. George, S. Gunther, A. Holland, J. Sala, J. Woodward.
BEST – Mitiamo: M. I’Anson, T. Reeves, D. Thomas, M. Simpson, L. Lougoon, B. Downie. Pyramid Hill: B. Micevski, G. James, D. Morison, B. Goodwin, D. Tonkin, A. Dobby.
Pyramid Hill 3.1 3.3 6.4 7.4 (46)
Mitiamo 1.1 2.2 3.3 6.6 (42)
GOALS – Pyramid Hill: M. Dingwall 3, L. Lowndes, D. Mann, C. Milroy, T. Walker. Mitiamo: J. Pianto, J. Webster 2, K. Gamble, K. Pentreath.
BEST – Pyramid Hill: J. Hickmott, N. Moon, T. Walker, B. Fawcett, N. Tanner, D. Mann. Mitiamo: J. Webster, M. Wiegard, R. Reeves, E. Hocking, L. Kane, R. Lawry.
Pyramid Hill 2.4 4.6 4.8 5.9 (39)
Maiden Gully YCW Eagles 2.1 3.2 4.3 4.6 (30)
GOALS – Pyramid Hill: E. Caburnay 3, K. Daniels, C. Ly. Maiden Gully YCW Eagles: M. James 2, J. Berry, R. Burns.
BEST – Pyramid Hill: K. Daniels, Z. Dingwall, R. Salvador, J. Caburnay, J. Parsons, K. Schmidt. Maiden Gully YCW Eagles: J. Carmichael, K. Schepers, R. Burns, T. Barnett, E. Crisp, M. James.