GISBORNE just managed to hold off a charging Tigers’ side to win a Good Friday thriller at the Kyneton Showgrounds by 10 points.
In front of a massive crowd and unable to buy a goal in the first three quarters, the Tigers added 5.5 and kept the Dogs scoreless in a gripping last quarter.
The Bulldogs won 13.8 (86) to 9.22 (76).
The young Dogs, with six under-18 players in the side, scooted out to a 43-point advantage by the last break.
While Nathan Thompson – he finished with 4.6 and two misses – Luke Edmonston and Ben Weightman had plenty of shots early on for the Tigers accuracy wasn’t their strong point.
At the other end, Shaun Comerford and Callan Haynes both nailed three majors.
Gisborne raced to a 37-point lead by half-time as Hamish Govan, Shannon Greetham and Isaac Trickey fed off the tap-outs and handballs from dominant ruckman Tom Waters.
But Waters didn’t have things all his own way. Kyneton follower Joel Stevenson was competitive and showed a surprising turn of pace and ball smarts for a big man.
Two majors for a half of football didn’t really indicate how Kyneton was travelling. Ryan Carafa mopped up constantly in the back half and across the centreline while Dale Ciunik was another handy midfielder.
By the time Ben Weightman nailed Kyneton’s first goal at the 17-minute mark of the opening term, Gisborne had two on the board and Jarrad Lynch snared another following a ball-up free kick.
In the second, the Dogs added majors through captain Ben Sonogan, Haynes and Comerford.
Thompson slotted Kyneton’s second of the day at the 10-minute mark.
Gisborne added 4.1 to 2.7 in the third.
But it was the last quarter which had everyone in the grandstand on the edges of their seats.
Thompson, Kane Ransted and Edmonston were on target as the Tigers put the Dogs under the pump.
Gisborne coach Rod Sharp said what his players had done in two-and-a-half quarters was enough to ensure the win.
“I’m pretty happy with the result considering the young side we put out. The experience the young players got, with the way Kyneton came at us and we still managed the win. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys.”