Eagles, Dogs in battle
Eagles and Bulldogs will face off in the Southern Districts Junior Football Association under-13 grand final this Saturday after both won tight preliminary final contests at Tigerland last Saturday morning.
After finishing on top of the ladder, the Eagles had to withstand a fast finish from the Saints to book their grand final berth with a 10point win.
The Saints failed to score in the opening half and trailed by 28 points at the final break before kicking three goals to make things interesting in the last quarter.
Despite their inaccuracy in front of goal, the Eagles prevailed 4.11 (35) to 4.1 (25). Denmark-Walpole got the fast start in their preliminary final against the Bulldogs but three second-term goals had the Bulldogs in front by half-time.
The Bulldogs were wasteful in front of goal in the final term but still recorded a 13-point victory to progress to the decider, 4.7 (31) to 3.0 (18).
Meanwhile in the under-15s competition, Mt Barker will do battle with the Saints in the grand final after they edged out the Bulldogs in a thrilling preliminary final, also at Tigerland.
The Bulldogs, courtesy of their early midfield dominance, led by 14 points at quarter-time before the Bulls surged back into the match with the next four majors. Trailing by 14 points at three-quarter-time, the Bulldogs mustered a strong challenge but they could only manage one goal in the last stanza as they went down by six points, 3.5 (23) to 4.5 (29).
Eagles’ Ryan Lazar polled 36 votes to win the under-13s bestand-fairest award and the leading goal kicker.
Bulldogs’ Jaxon McLean collected 31 votes to win the under-15s fairest-and-best award in a thriller from Bulls’ Jye Williss (30 votes).
Up-and-coming umpire Cyrus Upson was named SDJFA umpire of the year.
The SDJFA also inducted Rob and Corinne Schorer and Murray Anning as life members.
SDJFA under-15 fairest and best Jaxon McLean, centre, of the Bulldogs, with Bulls’ runner-up Jye Williss, right, and Arthur Jones, in third.