FINAL WORD: North fans on edge

HISTORIC: North Bendigo's last premiership team in 1977 as it appeared in the Bendigo Advertiser leading into the grand final against Northern United.
HISTORIC: North Bendigo's last premiership team in 1977 as it appeared in the Bendigo Advertiser leading into the grand final against Northern United.

LW: Doley, as a favourite son of North Bendigo, how are you feeling about your Bulldogs and their shot at ending a 37-year premiership drought against Lockington-Bamawm United this Saturday?

ND: Not too sure about favourite son tag, Westy, but I am still a keen follower of North Bendigo's fortunes.

I believe the long-awaited premiership drought will be broken on Saturday, but any clash with the Cats, especially in a grand final, is going to be hard-fought.

LW: It's one of those grand finals that pits the best side this year in the Bulldogs against what has been the best side of years gone by in the Cats.

Not surprisingly, the coaches have both played the underdog card this week.

Cats coach Adrian Dohnt spoke about North Bendigo having been the standout side this year, while Bulldogs' co-coach Rob Bennett talked up LBU being the reigning premiers and the side that they've been chasing all year.

​ND: Both line-ups are extremely even and were separated by a point when they last met in round 17 at Lockington.

North Bendigo fought back brilliantly to turn a 15-point deficit at the start of the last term into a one-point victory.

LW: Either way, there's going to be a good story unfold on Saturday.

Either the breaking of a 37-year premiership drought, or the Cats becoming the first HDFL club since Heathcote North during the 1950s to win four-consecutive flags.

There's probably a touch of tipping against LBU in September being fraught with danger, but I'm selecting the Bulldogs to get over the line and finally, capture that first flag since 1977.

At the QEO on Saturday night, Strathfieldsaye and Sandhurst will be vying for the first position in the BFL grand final in a fortnight.

The Storm and Dragons have been the two clear pace-setters in the BFL this year and it should be a belter of a game.

Who takes the direct route into the grand final?

ND: I will go for Strathfieldsaye to be first to play for the Bendigo Advertiser premiership cup on September 20.

Storm is on a 15-game winning streak, beat Sandhurst when these clubs last met on the QEO, and may have too many attacking options for the Dragons to hold over four quarters. 

LW: The Storm haven't put a foot wrong since they copped that round three hiding off the Dragons.

The closest any side has got to the Storm since their only loss back on the Easter weekend was the 22 points Sandhurst lost to them by in the return bout in round 12, which shows just how good of nick they are in.

They'll be better for the experience of last year's finals campaign and I'll tip them as well to make it 16 on the trot.

Sunday's clash between the Bulldogs rivals - Gisborne and Golden Square - should also be a ripper.

This is as good a rivalry as there is in Bendigo footy at the moment. They've played plenty of big finals against each other over the years and between them have won 10 of the past 13 flags.

But there will only be one left standing in the premiership race on Sunday night.

ND: Was impressed by Golden Square's fightback from a six-goal deficit to win the elimination final against Eaglehawk.

Carn the Bulldogs will be shouted a lot this weekend. 



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