Bulldogs bring down the Gulls

Tooradin star Brent Macaffer tries to shake off a determined Billy Taylor during the thrilling contest at Cowes. The Seagulls suffered their first defeat of the season by 20 points. 292031 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By David Nagel

Phillip Island has breathed fresh life into the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition (WGFNC) season with a thrilling 20-point victory over previously undefeated Tooradin-Dalmore.

The Bulldogs, who started brilliantly, led by 32 points at the three-minute mark of the second quarter, before the Seagulls lifted their intensity and fought their way back into the contest.

The Seagulls answered the goal at the three-minute mark to Max Blake, with replies from Stewie Scanlon, Liam Adams and an after-the-siren goal to Julian Suarez to cut the margin back to 10 points at the major interval.

When Scanlon struck again, with a brilliant set shot from the forward pocket at the four-minute mark of the third, the Seagulls were back within four points and appeared to have all the momentum.

But goals to Blake and Orlando Kane Gillard gave the Bulldogs a 17-point advantage at three-quarter time.

Brady Egan then closed the gap to 11 points, just a minute into the final term, and when a mix up between Jason Tomada and Cam Pedersen resulted in a turnover goal to Liam Adams, the Gulls had closed to two points at the 16-minute mark.

But the Bulldogs regained their composure, with Zak Vernon finding Zach Wagner free inside 50, who duly converted, before a long goal from Blake opened up a 14-point margin after 23 minutes of play.

A centre clearance then ended in the arms of Kane Gillard, who kicked a 40-metre goal on the run – from directly in front of the Phillip Island faithful – to begin some joyous celebrations.

Blake finished with three for the winners, and Kane Gillard two, while Pedersen and Tomada – despite their last-quarter mix up – were key drivers in the Bulldogs massive victory.

Brent Macaffer produced a superb midfield display for the Gulls, while Dylan Paarlberg and Cooper Shipp stood gallant and defiant in defence.

The Bulldogs thoroughly deserved their victory, but the Seagulls were brave in the second half with Brad Butler (hamstring) and Jake O’Donnell (calf) both watching on from the sidelines.

In other games, Warragul Industrials has come from 29 points down at the final change to defeat Kooweerup by two points, while Bunyip also claimed a heart-stopping victory with a four-point win over Kilcunda Bass.

Cora Lynn defeated Dalyston by 52 points, while Inverloch-Kongwak trounced Garfield by 105 points at the Inverloch Rec Reserve.

And full-forward Dermott Yawney has slammed home nine goals in Nar Nar Goon’s 164-point thumping of Korumburra-Bena.

Jake Smith kicked four for the Goon…who held the Giants to just one point over the full four-quarters of footy.