Taking on ladder-leader Waaia at its home ground was Strathmerton’s biggest challenge of the year.
The game started as a bit of an arm wrestle, with both sides rebounding well of their half-back lines on the smallish Waaia ground.
Despite the play around the ground being evenly matched, Waaia was able to capitalise on Strathmerton’s mistakes, quickly jumping to a three-goal quarter-time lead.
Defenders Matt Shannon, Mark Luci, Adrian Crestani and Lewis O’Sullivan featured in the Dogs’ best, all playing outstanding games under immense pressure from the Bombers.
Strathmerton continued to match Waaia around the ground in the second and third terms, but their forwards were well held by the Bombers, who continued to keep their own score ticking over.
In the end Waaia was too strong, winning 13.15 (93) to 7.9 (52).
The Bulldogs confronted second-placed Waaia with a side depleted by injuries and long weekend absentees.
Supported by some talented thirds’ players, the team battled hard, but was no match for the well-drilled red and black machine.
Better players included Shannon Edgar, Ryan Bury, Damian Giddens, Mick Keane and the Luci brothers.
Congratulations to skipper Jacob Gillie and Amy on the early arrival of baby Oliver.
Strathmerton went down to a strong Waaia outfit by four goals.
It was a strong display of determination and leadership by Trent Craven down back, with the two Payne boys getting in and under.
Desi O’Kane was strong up forward with three majors.
The side welcomed back Dylan Craven and Logan King, who provided run on the wings, while Hayden Wyatt stepped up to fill the ruck position.
Awards: Trent Craven, Josh Payne, Mitch Payne, Desi O’Kane and Hayden Wyatt.
The junior Bulldogs got off to a great start.
Despite it being wet under foot, the team got the ball straight into its forward line and kept the ball down that end, but only scored two points for the first quarter.
Waaia managed to score one major late in the term.
With some inspiration from the coaches, the Bulldogs levelled the score in no time, with Will Large kicking true.
Cody Harris-Cunningham had an excellent third quarter, sending the ball back into attack a number of times, creating an opportunity for a true captain’s goal to Josh Payne.
Going into the last quarter Strathmerton could feel its first win for the year was imminent, and Jayden Edgar popped up with a goal to put the finishing touches on the game.
Awards: Josh Payne (Strathy Pizza), Brodie Wren (Subway), Sid McNeil (ladies committee), Tristan Lee (Macca’s $5), Ben Lee-Madgwick (coach’s award) and Jayden Edgar (football).