Bulldogs overpower Figtree Kangaroos in AFL South Coast

Lead the way: Wollongong Lions player Lachlan Maples takes possession against Shellharbour on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts
Lead the way: Wollongong Lions player Lachlan Maples takes possession against Shellharbour on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts

Coach Lee Murray missed the first bounce after playing in the Bulldogs reserve grade victory in Nowra, a sacrifice of the new three-tiered AFL South Coast competition. 

With barely enough time to sing the team song, Murray made the dash to Figtree Oval and arrived midway through the first quarter. 

But, in the competition’s version of groundhog day, it was the last term which mattered, as the Dogs kicked five goals to secure a 9.9 (63) to 8.6 (54) victory over the Kangaroos. 

It came after Figtree led by two goals at three-quarter-time in April, only to be run down by the Bulldogs in the final term.

“It’s the nature of the competition,” Murray said afterwards. 

“With the new format, you just have to play for four quarters, so we’re pretty proud of the boys for fighting it out. 

“But it’s going to be a close contest every week now and we just have to be up for it.”

Bailey Parker was rated the Dogs best, while Sam Schiller, Hayden Dore and Ethan Kimball each kicked two goals. 

The win puts the Dogs two games and a percentage advantage ahead of Figtree in third place, behind Wollongong Lions and Kiama. 

Kiama kept the heat on the Lions in the minor premiership race by thumping Northern Districts by 93 points, with Troy Cole becoming the league’s leading goal kicker after booting five. 

The Power only led by five points at quarter time, but kicked 10 second half goals. 

Jack Burgess kicked five as the Lions stayed unbeaten with a 51-point win over Shellharbour.