Bulldogs hold off late surge

Pat McKenna ... five goals at the right time for Gisborne.

For three quarters Gisborne senior footballers were clearly superior to their top-of-the-ladder Sandhurst opposition on Saturday, then the match developed into an absolute thriller.

The unbeaten Dragons suddenly found their best form, ramming home 6.4 to 3.1 in the last term at Gardiner Reserve.
The Bulldogs hung on to win by six points.

Proven big occasion player Pat McKenna kicked five goals for the Bulldogs in a strong leadership performance, and these two sides seem destined to clash again come finals time.

The Dragons showed their class with the late comeback in the wet conditions, while the Bulldogs made their supporters happy and showed their flexibility in the absence of star ruckman Braidon Blake.

Jack Scanlon took over the ruck role and helped negate the opposition.

Up by 13 points at half-time, Gisborne extended the lead to 27 points at the last change in the Bendigo League’s match of the day.

Gisborne had not lost since the opening round at the Queen Elizabeth Oval, and showed plenty of spirit to hold off the talented opposition.

Best players apart from McKenna were defenders Zac Vescovi and Jack Reaper, prolific ball winners Brad Bernacki and Flynn Lakey, and Scanlon.

Tireless and talented Sandhurst captain Lachlan Tardrew showed why he is one of the strong contenders for the 2024 Michelsen Medal.

Final scores in favour of the Bulldogs were 11.7 (73) to 9.13 (67).

In the Under 18s, Sandhurst showed remarkable accuracy to win 11.1 (67) to 4.10 (34).

Gisborne Reserves were relentless as they outclassed the ladder-leading Dragons 11.8 (74) to Sandhurst 1.6 (12).

This Saturday, Gisborne travel to play winless Maryborough.

Once again Maryborough Reserves forfeited on Saturday.