Pi­cola United

The Riverine Herald - - GAME ON -

Los­ing a grand fi­nal is a sit­u­a­tion no team wants to find it­self in.

But it’s a tricky one, be­cause just mak­ing that grand fi­nal is to be com­mended, and is in it­self a great achieve­ment.

It means your side has de­feated ev­ery other side in the league, bar one.

That one for the Blues this year was the Ren­nie Hop­pers, a side which popped up out of nowhere to not only make the fi­nal, but to win the whole thing.

The Hop­pers em­phat­i­cally claimed the flag on Satur­day, and put to bed what would have been a dream fin­ish for the Blues.

John Var­coe af­ter the match said it was a crush­ing de­feat, but he was proud of the way his troops car­ried out the fi­nal.

Av­er­ag­ing more than 100 points scored per game and con­ced­ing just 43, the Blues mus­tered up just 3.6 (24) in the grand fi­nal, with none of those named in the Riv a few weeks ago named in the bests.

They al­lowed Ren­nie the bet­ter chances, which they took, and pun­ished the favourites, boot­ing 9.8 (62) to claim a fa­mous flag.

In other parts of their sea­son, United looked the side to beat, apart from Waaia of course. The Bombers went through the nor­mal sea­son un­scathed un­til one kick in their semi-fi­nal loss to Ren­nie un­did all their good work.

It was un­for­tu­nate the Blues could not com­plete their fairy­tale three-peat in this new-look league, but they’ll be back stronger than ever for sea­son 2019. Grad­ing: A

Leitchville-

Gun­bower

What else could you ask for? Leitchville-Gun­bower’s sea­son had a lot more ups than it did downs, end­ing the year with back-to-back pre­mier­ships.

But when things were down, they looked re­ally bad.

The story of the sea­son may well end up be­ing their abil­ity to over­come in­juries.

Mid way through the sea­son, there were some se­ri­ous con­cerns about the num­ber of play­ers the Bombers were go­ing to be miss­ing from their side due to in­juries, with a num­ber of them not get­ting back un­til very late in the sea­son. But that was at the half way point. With just the one loss to round 10, the Bombers looked like they were go­ing to be as good as their pre­vi­ous sea­son.

The in­clu­sion of Jack Glee­son added a new spark to the mid­dle of the ground, while Matt Perri con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate in the for­ward line.

But go­ing into round 10’s clash with North Bendigo, there was a feel­ing in the air that the side were just hold­ing on to their spot at the top of the lad­der.

The team would drop that clash to North Bendigo, and while they didn’t lose a game for the rest of the sea­son, the in­juries re­sulted in the team strug­gling to score as of­ten as they would have liked, rel­e­gat­ing them to sec­ond on the lad­der.

Their only is­sue in fi­nals was a case of bad time keeping, with the Bombers belt­ing through Huntly, fol­lowed by a close win against North Bendigo in both the sec­ond semi and the grand fi­nal.

LG’s best foot­ball was ar­guably bet­ter than the past sea­son, but due to other is­sues we didn’t see it as much as 2017.

But in the end, the premier­ship proves the key point of the sea­son.

LG were the best side in the HDFL, and have the sil­ver­ware to prove it.

Grad­ing: A+

Luke He­mer

BLUE BOYS: Pi­cola United’s Corey Co­gan feels for the footy against Mathoura. Photo:

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