THE grand final rivalry between Leitchville-Gunbower and North Bendigo is now all square at two apiece after the Bombers’ Heathcote District league triumph on Saturday.
In the fourth grand final in a row between the two powerhouses, the Bombers hung on to win by nine points, 14.10 (94) to 12.13 (85), in front of a crowd that paid a gate of $41,000 at Huntly.
The victory gave the Bombers back-to-back premierships after they had previously lost both the 2015 and 2016 grand finals to the Bulldogs, with the two-all split a fitting reflection of what is the competition’s marquee match-up.
The game had threatened to be a blowout when the Bombers led by 43 points in the third quarter.
However, the Bulldogs stormed home, kicking seven of the last eight goals of the match, but were ultimately left to rue a poor 20-minute patch in the second quarter when the Bombers split the contest wide open.
North Bendigo’s Jordan Ford was awarded the AFL Victoria Medal for best-on-ground for his game in which he kicked six of the Bulldogs’ 12 goals.
In what continues a quirk of a trend in the Heathcote District league, Saturday’s result was the fifth year in a row in which the team that finished on top of the ladder was beaten in the grand final.
Meanwhile, in the A Grade netball, what promised to be an enthralling contest between White Hills and Colbinabbin lived up to it as the Demons scraped home by two goals.
Having lost the previous two grand finals to the Grasshoppers, the Demons turned the tables with a 48-46 win.
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