Lions, Bulldogs and Dockers Crowned 2019 Premiers
Photo: Bulldogs players and supporters celebrate the match winning goal in the Women’s Premier Division Grand Final
Saturday saw the culmination of a long season as AFL South Coast held Seniors Grand Final Day at North Dalton Park.
Perfect conditions greeted players and spectators for a huge day of football which for the first time, saw five Senior Grand Finals played, a vast difference to just two years ago (2017) when just two senior Grand Finals were played (Men’s Seniors and Reserves). And didn’t the football community come together for a celebration of a fantastic season with over 2,500 people coming through the gates across the day!
The brilliant crowd number was certainly helped by the fact that eight clubs were represented on the day which is great for the competition. Only three of the clubs however claimed silverware with the Wollongong Lions (Men’s Premier Division), Wollongong Bulldogs (Women’s Premier Division and Men’s Division One) and Ulladulla Dockers (Women’s Division One and Men’s Division Two) sharing the five Premiership Cups.
Men’s Premier Division
In the Men’s Premier Division match, played for the first time under lights, Grand Final regulars Wollongong Lions faced up to newcomers Figtree Kangaroos, and a see-sawing battle ensued for the first three quarters. Every time it looked like the Kangaroo’s were about to break away, the Lions would respond, mainly through sharpshooter Sam Wilson who finished the night with five goals.
With just 6 points separating the teams at the final break, it was the Lions who came out the stronger in the final term and despite appearing to be well on top for most of the last quarter just couldn’t land the killer blow. They did however keep the Kangaroos to just the single goal in the final term and the sealer came late in the game, appropriately to Sam Wilson.
The Lions Premiership was their third in five seasons since returning to AFL South Coast and a great reward for a great season by the club again under coach Ray Burgess.
For Figtree, while understandably disappointed with the result, it was a fantastic season with many firsts, including the Club’s first ever First Grade Grand Final appearance. Will Ryan has patiently built a great culture and team and there is no doubt the Kangaroos will be a force in 2020 and beyond.
For the Lions, Kuiam Anu playing in defence was outstanding and repeatedly repelled the Kangaroo’s attacking raids turning defence into attack and was awarded the Best on Ground Medal. Lions skipper Jake Hogarth was also brilliant getting plenty of footy all over the ground while a five goal haul to Sam Wilson capped off a brilliant return season to AFL South Coast.
For the battered Kangaroo’s, Nick Stacey won plenty of footy around the ground while Daniel Perger and livewire forward Nick Hay played great games.
Goal Kickers: S. Wilson 5, W. Cook, J. Price, T. Bishop
Best Players: K. Anu, J. Hogarth, S. Wilson, S. Forrest, C. Panagakos, W. Cook
Goal Kickers: N. Hay 3, R. Gordon 2, K. Churchill, S. Faulks
Best Players: N. Stacey, D. Perger, N. Hay, S. Faulks, J. Hennessy, C. Daly
2019 Men’s Premier Division Premiers – Wollongong Lions
Women’s Premier Division
The Women’s Premier Division Grand Final was an absolute thriller as the Wollongong Bulldogs claimed an amazing 1 point win with a goal in the final two minutes to snatch victory from 2018 Premiers Bomaderry Tigers.
The Tigers led all day and appeared to be in control however just couldn’t put the Bulldogs away, showing the spirit that the Club has been known for over many years. Following a goal line discussion between goal, field and boundary umpires after a shot on goal from Tigers star Sophie Phillips which would have sealed the game but was ruled to be touched, the Bulldogs went directly through the corridor and up the ground where Krysty Bishop soccered a goal through with little more than a minute remaining to claim a famous victory.
Bomaderry’s Brooke Swankie was brilliant in a beaten side which included a goal and was adjudged Best on Ground. She was well supported by Sophie Phillips who was given very little space all day while Emma Dempsey was a valuable contributor.
For the Premiers, Krysty Bishop was the match winner and had strong support from captain Katie Gaskin and Kelsey Hogan.
Wollongong Bulldogs 3.7-24
Bomaderry Tigers 3.6-24
Goal Kickers: L. Marzotto, K. Gaskin, K. Bishop
Best Players: K. Bishop, K. Gaskin, K. Hogan, R. Bradmore, N. Staude, R. Freer
Goal Kickers: I. Patmore 2, B. Swankie
Best Players: B. Swankie, S. Phillips, E. Dempsey, J. Liddiard, I. Patmore, B. Kellett
2019 Women’s Premier Division Premiers – Wollongong Bulldogs
Men’s Division One
Wollongong Bulldogs 9.11-65
Nowra Albatross Vikings 3.3-21
Best on Ground: Timothy Pargeter (Wollongong Bulldogs)
Best Players: T. Pargeter, H. Smith, L. James, N. Anderson, K. Steward, K. Jenkins
NOWRA ALBATROSS VIKINGS
Best Players: C. Sutton, L. O”Brien, M. Bignell, J. Ellings, T. Dubbelde, M. Basaglia
2019 Men’s Division One Premiers – Wollongong Bulldogs
Men’s Division Two
Ulladulla Dockers 5.12-42
Northern Districts Tigers 5.1-31
Best on Ground: Jared Smith (Ulladulla Dockers)
Goal Kickers: M. Thompson 2, A. Clough, S. Leffley, L. Smith
Best Players: J. Smith, D. Peat, M. Thompson, T. Treweek, M. Hancock
NORTHERN DISTRICTS TIGERS
Goal Kickers: D. Bond 2, D. Turner, J. McLarnen, M. Foran
Best Players: C. Cleary, H. Nathan, M. Foran, D. Turner, J. Turner, P. Woodley
2019 Men’s Division Two Premiers – Ulladulla Dockers
Women’s Division One
Ulladulla Dockers 4.5-29
Dapto City Unicorns 1.1-7
Best on Ground: Meg Buchanan (Ulladulla Dockers)
Goal Kickers: M. Buchanan 2, S. Lloyd, M. Staunton
Best Players: M. Buchanan, M. Staunton, K. Westbrook, L. Selvakumaran, S. Lloyd, B. Crouch
DAPTO CITY UNICORNS
Goal Kickers: L. Corby
Best Players: R. Kinchington, L. McCombe, J. Pilon, N. Smythe, N. Wilson, J. Elliott
2019 Women’s Division One Premiers – Ulladulla Dockers
Thanks to the great turnout on the day, AFL South Coast were able to donate $2,000 to Heart Research Australia in honour of Darren Williams to support this great organisation and the amazing work they do. AFL South Coast will soon be setting up a page to continue the support of Heart Research Australia so stay tuned!
And finally, a huge thanks to the Wollongong Lions Football Club for hosting the day superbly once again! A huge event with so many moving parts but their efforts ensured the day ran as well as you could hope!