Reserves Grand Final
SANFL RESERVES GRAND FINAL
BULLDOGS TASTE SOME GLORY
By Robert Laidlaw
Central District's league team missed out on a SANFL grand final for the first time in 13 seasons, but the reserves tasted some glory, when it beat minor premier and red hot favourite Norwood at Football Park in the 2012 grand final by seven points.
The Bulldogs came from fifth spot, after resounding victories over Port and West, and a close 15-point win in the preliminary final against Sturt.
In fact, just to make the finals Central had to beat North in the final minor round clash, which made it five cut-throat matches in a row to win the flag.
It was the club's fifth reserves premiership, after previous success in 1971, 1989, and back-to-back titles in 2002-03.
Jeff Brown has coached the reserves to losing preliminary finals over the past few seasons, so it was just reward to finally not only crack the grand final, but to win it. He previously led the Bulldogs' under 19s to the flag in 2003.
Early in the game it was goal for goal up to time on of the first term, with the Dogs booting three majors to one in 'red time' to lead 6-2 to 4-1 at the first break, Jake Martin and James Lawton booting a pair each.
The highlight of the early going was some great work by Ben Nason, who created a one-on-three at centre half forward and won the contest, when he laid on a clever handball to Caleb Edmead, who ran in for an important goal.
After some tight work by both sides in the first 10 minutes of the second term, Central managed two quick goals, but the Redlegs had the immediate answers, with Thomas Dunne managing the final major of the first half for the Dogs to lead 9-5 to 6-2 at half time.
Norwood played its best footy of the day in the third term, booting the only three goals of the period to close the gap to a single point at lemons.
With two early last quarter goals, and one of the next three, Central led by eight points entering time on of the final stanza.
Two rushed behinds to Norwood saw just a goal in it, and the Redlegs had a shot from 30m out at the 26 minute mark but missed, to make the margin five points.
A good mark, long kick and follow up by Thomas Dunne, with a couple of neat soccer-like kicks, resulted in a rushed point to the Dogs, then another quick behind made it seven points and the game was safe.
David Haydon was a worthy winner of the Bob Lee Medal as best on ground, while overall it was a great team performance on the day.
Jason Sutherland and Josh Wilson worked well in ruck, Chad O'Sullivan was a dynamo, Lawton, Martin and Dunne were good avenues to goal, while youngsters Sam Colquhoun, Brock Castree and Travis Schiller ran hard all day.
Central District 6.2 9.5 9.6 12.9 (81)
Norwood 4.1 6.2 9.5 11.8 (74)
Best: Haydon, Sutherland, O'Sullivan, Lawton, Colquhoun, Castree, Wilson.
Goals: Martin 3, Lawton 3, Dunne 2, Edmead, T. Boyd, Sutherland, M. Westhoff.
|The Victorious Team after the match|
|Captain Josh Wittwer and Coach Jeff Brown hold up the Cup|
|David Haydon with the Bob Lee Medal for Best on Ground|
|Photos by Peter Argent Photojournalist|
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