Gisborne executes Roos' finals hopes

THE key word for Gisborne coach Rod Sharp leading into Sunday's qualifying final against Sandhurst - execution.

Gisborne coach Rod Sharp.

Gisborne coach Rod Sharp.

Gisborne's poor execution was a key component in heavy defeats to Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye in rounds 16 and 17.

However, on Saturday against Kangaroo Flat the Bulldogs' ball movement and execution was back to its best as they handed the Roos a 116-point hiding.

"When we execute our skills we're as good as any team in the competition,'' Sharp said after the win.

"Against Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye we turned the ball over. I don't know if that was a case of their pressure being too much for us to handle or if it was just a case of poor execution on our behalf.

"When we use the ball the way we did today we are hard to stop."

Kangaroo Flat had no answers for the Bulldogs' brilliance.

After an even first quarter, Gisborne piled on 10 goals to one in the second term.

By half-time the home side led by 58 points and they doubled that margin in the second half, adding 13 goals to four.

Teenage forward Pat McKenna was outstanding for the Dogs, kicking nine goals.

Earlier this month McKenna was named captain of the Australian under-19 cricket team.

Fellow forwards Jarrad Lynch and Ben Sonogan kicked eight goals between them.

McKenna, Sonogan and Lynch will cause rival defences plenty of trouble on a dry day in September.

Youngsters Shannon Greetham, Isaac Trickey, Trent Crosbie and Ethan Minns continued their solid seasons for the Bulldogs.

Gisborne skipper Casey Summerfield was knocked out in the first half and didn't return to the game.

On a day when the Roos struggled to make an impression, James Saville and Corey Greer were their two best players.

"Unfortunately, someone had to miss out on the finals and it was us that missed out,'' Kangaroo Flat coach Jason Stevens said.

"It's disappointing to finish the season with a performance like that, but this club has come a long way this year.

"To go from bottom of the ladder to just miss the finals shows we are on the right track."


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