AT first glance a 43-point victory for Sandhurst may indicate the Dragons got the job done comfortably against Gisborne on Saturday.
However, it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes of the game that the Dragons were finally able to shrug off the plucky Bulldogs at Gisborne.
The Bulldogs were within seven points at the 20-minute mark of the final term, but the Dragons finished with a flurry of six late goals to win 17.11 (113) to 10.10 (70).
“It was one of those games where we were able to keep out in front, but it wasn’t until late that we were able to break it open,” Dragons coach Wayne Primmer said.
“We worked on the theory that it may take three quarters to break it open, it may take three-and-a-half… it ended up taking three quarters and 20 minutes.”
The versatile Pascale Craig through the midfield was best for the Dragons.
“His work-rate and tackle pressure was fantastic today,” Primmer said.
Codie Price continued his fine season off half-back and was one of the Dragons’ nine goal kickers, while Kristan Height booted five goals, including four of the last six, to also be among the best players.
The Bulldogs were best served by Patrick Trotta, Connor Kilbane and skipper Jarrad Lynch.
“Unfortunately, we ran out of legs today. A couple of injuries (James Ferry and Tom Cassidy) hurt our ability to run the game out,” Bulldogs coach Brad Spear said.
“The boys gave their all today and it was a tight game up until the 20-minute mark of the last quarter; the 43-point margin probably wasn’t a true reflection.”