THE city’s 17-year VFL era ended on Friday night with Collingwood defeating the Bendigo Gold by 46 points.
In front of a large VFL finale crowd at the Queen Elizabeth Oval, the Magpies spoiled the Gold’s hopes of a fairytale finish with a dominant second half.
The Magpies kicked 13 of the last 17 goals of the game to win 20.11 (131) to 13.7 (85) in the 321st and last Bendigo VFL match.
There were emotional scenes on the ground after the game as Gold players thanked the crowd for their support, and later in the packed changerooms as coach Aussie Jones and captain Steven Stroobants spoke.
Just as Ryan O’Callaghan wrote himself into the history books back in 1998 when he kicked the Bendigo Diggers’ first goal, fittingly, Stroobants kicked the Gold’s last goal with 20 seconds left on the clock.
Earlier, an upset looked possible when the Gold led by three points at half-time.