THE next edition of the series looking back on the 50 most dominant premiership seasons across the Bendigo, Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues since 1990.
46 - MOUNT PLEASANT 1990
Coach - Robert O'Connell
Record - 16-2
Percentage - 161.8%
Average for - 121
Average against - 75
Points differential - +46
def Huntly 200-52
def Stanhope 120-91
def Broadford 70-50
def White Hills 111-69
def Rushworth 162-90
def Colbinabbin 132-117
lt Heathcote 66-97
lt Elmore 83-91
def Huntly 183-47
def Stanhope 125-86
def Broadford 76-53
def White Hills 137-70
def Rushworth 144-64
def Colbinabbin 153-55
def Heathcote 97-92
def Elmore 99-57
def Heathcote 107-78
def Heathcote 108-84
SUMMARY - Mount Pleasant's 1990 premiership coached by Robert "Ninga" O'Connell was the first of five Heathcote District league flags the Blues won through the decade.
After a bye in the opening round the Blues produced an ominous performance in their first game of the season when they belted Huntly by 148 points, 29.26 (200) to 7.10 (52), in round two.
That first-up victory set the Blues on the path to a 14-2 home and away season and top spot on the ladder after they finished one game clear of reigning premiers Heathcote.
The only losses the Blues suffered came in back-to-back matches in rounds eight and nine when they went down to Heathcote by 31 points and Elmore by eight points.
But that just proved to be a small bump in the road as the Blues won their next 10 games, culminating in a 24-point grand final win over Heathcote, 15.18 (108) to 12.12 (84).
"We'd had a reasonable side already, but we added in a few handy players that we topped up with," O'Connell recalled this week.
"We got in Dugald Aitken, who had played a few games in the Melbourne reserves and he was a gun for us.
"And Peter White had played the first few games down at Carlton, but decided to come back and play with us... that was a fairly handy pick-up during the season.
"We lost a couple of games in the middle of the year, but after that it was reasonably plain sailing.
"That was the first premiership I'd coached, so there's a lot of great memories from that year.
"The seconds also won the flag that year, so we had plenty of depth."
Among the Mount Pleasant premiership side of 1990 was key forward Mick O'Shea, who won the league goalkicking that season with 68.
THE TEAM - Robert O'Connell, Dean White, John Craig, Mick O'Shea, David McNamara, Kevin Tuohey, Chris Heizer, Wes White, James Sexton, Dugald Aitken, Peter White, Paul Gee, Mark Conroy, Tony McKenzie, Graeme Rohde, Rod Brady, Mark McGrath, Alan Kennedy, Damien Tuohey, Matt Beddoe.
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45 - NEWBRIDGE 2018
Coach - Brad Comer
Record - 16-2
Percentage - 163.4%
Average for - 102
Average against - 63
Points differential - +39
lt Pyramid Hill 40-49
def BL-Serpentine 96-78
def Marong 109-84
def Mitiamo 82-42
def Inglewood 179-48
def Bridgewater 110-88
def Calivil United 88-73
lt M. Gully YCW 83-95
def Pyramid Hill 94-52
def BL-Serpentine 89-75
def Marong 129-68
def Mitiamo 94-86
def Inglewood 119-47
def Bridgewater 88-50
def Calivil United 89-34
def M. Gully YCW 140-41
def M. Gully YCW 132-82
def Mitiamo 77-33
SUMMARY - Newbridge entered the 2018 Loddon Valley league season as the raging hot flag favourites and duly delivered on the hype.
It was a scratchy start though for the Maroons, who lost their round one encounter against Pyramid Hill by nine points - their inaccurate scoreline of 4.16 that day didn't help their cause.
But their only other defeat came in round nine when they were upset by Maiden Gully YCW by 12 points.
Apart from the pair of defeats the Maroons won their other 16 games by an average of 46 points.
The hallmark of the Maroons' success was built on their defence. They conceded an average of just 63 points per game and in the grand final on a horrendous day at Bridgewater held Mitiamo to 4.9 (33).
Over the last four rounds of the home and away season leading into the finals the Maroons kept their opponents to scores of a mere 47, 50, 34 and 41.
The Maroons' side featured the competition's leading goalkicker in skipper Jordan Gilboy, who was forced to spend the bulk of the season playing permanent forward as opposed to his customary midfield role due to a foot fracture.
Gilboy revelled in his forward role, slotting 74 goals, while opposition defenders also had to contend with Sam Mildren, who came out of retirement and bagged five goals in the grand final, and Rhys Ford.
The midfield pair of Nathan Bacon (third) and Tommy Horne (fourth) both finished top four in the Harding Medal.
Coached by Brad Comer, the Maroons' 2018 premiership was the club's first since 2000 and 14th in their history.
"I'm so happy for the town and the boys... they deserve it," Comer said after the grand final win.
"I truly believe we worked the hardest over the pre-season and I couldn't be more prouder or happier for the boys."
THE TEAM - Sam Mildren, Sam Kennedy, Jordan Gilboy, Tommy Horne, Brad Comer, Tyler Romeril, William Daly, Alex Code, Billy Price, Jack Fowler, Jack Clark, Zach Heaslip, Connor Toohey, Chris McLean, Alex Farrow, Nathan Bacon, Chris Dixon, Rhys Ford, Cameron Grant, Ash Trollop, Austin Fithall, Brendan Josey.
THE LIST SO FAR:
NO. 48 & 47 - Gisborne 2006, Calivil United 1990
NO.50 & 49 - Calivil United 2003, Eaglehawk 2018
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