THE next installment of the series looking at the 50 most dominant premiership seasons across the Bendigo, Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues since 1990.
40 - BRIDGEWATER 1991
Coach - David Collins
Record - 17-1-1
Percentage - 162.7%
Average for - 122
Average against - 74
Points differential - +48
def Marong 128-91
def Mitiamo 134-64
def Calivil 126-94
def Inglewood 175-67
def YCW 153-78
def BL-Serpentine 139-56
dr Newbridge 52-52
def Marong 129-82
def Mitiamo 81-66
def Calivil 165-63
def Inglewood 105-87
def YCW 123-46
def BL-Serpentine 200-79
def Newbridge 82-80
def Marong 89-80
def Mitiamo 124-95
lt Newbridge 102-115
def Marong 141-93
def Newbridge 74-39
SUMMARY - Bridgewater's 1991 season was a case of the Mean Machine hitting back with vengeance.
Having missed the finals the previous two years following their 1988 premiership, the Mean Machine were a powerhouse in 1991 under coach David Collins.
Bridgewater went through the home and away season undefeated, although, the Mean Machine didn't win every game after playing out a 52-all draw with arch-rival Newbridge in round seven.
Newbridge also inflicted the only loss the Mean Machine suffered for the year, winning the second semi-final by 13 points.
The Mean Machine bounced back though by beating Marong by eight goals in the preliminary final and then knocking over the Maroons by 35 points in the grand final to cap a season in which they won 17 of 19 games.
"Like any premiership team, we had a really good balance," Collins said.
"We recruited Ian Garland, who had a fantastic season in the centre and won the Harding Medal (tie with Inglewood's Peter Larson).
"We had a lot of good young locals in the side... Tim Hobbs held down full-back most of the year as a 17-year-old; Travis Hall was 17 as well and played full-forward; and Adam Harrison, Murray Saunders and Matt Symons were others in their teens as well.
"We also got Mark Rohde, who had played in four premierships at Northern United, as an assistant coach, who was a big asset to us, and Wayne Naughton came out from Eaglehawk and played centre half-forward, so we recruited well."
Bridgewater kicked more than 120 points in 11 of its 19 games, while forward Peter Collins booted the competition's biggest haul in round four when he slotted 15 goals against Inglewood.
THE TEAM - Adam Harrison, Murray Saunders, Ricky Poulter, Travis Hall, Lee Moore, Peter Collins, Ian Garland, Chris Pollock, Wayne Pickering, Mark Rohde, Tim Hobbs, Gary Collins, Bruce Vallance, David Collins, Brett Ayres, Barry Baines, Jack Preece, Noel Belsar, Wayne Naughton, Mathew Symons.
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39 - CALIVIL UNITED 2017
Coach - Anthony Dennis
Record - 17-2
Percentage - 179.2%
Average for - 109
Average against - 61
Points differential - +48
def Mitiamo 72-61
def Inglewood 146-69
def Maiden Gully YCW 94-43
def Newbridge 136-97
def Bridgewater 90-73
def Marong 166-63
def BL-Serpentine 118-62
def Pyramid Hill 110-80
def Mitiamo 110-58
def Inglewood 155-30
def Maiden Gully YCW 141-35
def Newbridge 128-37
lt Bridgewater 67-75
def Marong 103-58
def BL-Serpentine 98-60
def Pyramid Hill 73-52
lt Bridgewater 82-91
def Newbridge 90-53
def Bridgewater 94-60
SUMMARY - The third Calivil United team to feature in the series so far, the Demons of 2017 will go down in the Loddon Valley league history books as the side that ended Bridgewater's record run of premiership success.
The Demons denied Bridgewater an eighth-consecutive premiership when they beat the Mean Machine by 34 points in the grand final at Serpentine.
Coached by Anthony Dennis, the Demons spent 17 of the 18 rounds sitting on top of the ladder, with the only two losses they suffered for the year being a combined 17 points, both against Bridgewater - in round 15 when they blew a 39-point half-time lead and lost by eight points and in the second semi-final when they went down by nine points.
One of the features of the Demons' premiership season was their conversion in front of goal - in only four of their 18 games did they kick more behinds than goals.
The side was captained by midfielder Ben Knight, who won the Harding Medal with 25 votes, while full-forward Bryce Curnow led the league's goalkicking with 76.
Ruckman Chris Down finished third in the Harding Medal, and Curnow was equal fourth - a big effort given votes don't tend to come easily for key forwards in league medals.
The Demons won 59 of 76 quarters for the season in what was their first premiership year since the last of their six flags in a row between 2003 and 2008.
"It's obviously going to take a while to sink in... I'm just stoked for all the boys and it means a lot to the club," Dennis said after the Demons' 13.16 (94) to 8.12 (60) grand final win over Bridgewater.
"It's not just the 22 players who stepped onto the field today and throughout the year, there's a lot of work that goes in off the field and it's great today that the whole club gets this reward."
THE TEAM - Luke Marchesi, Bryce Curnow, Anthony Dennis, Lachlan O'Neil, Nathan Ryan, Ben Knight, Jonas Somerville, Jordan Lea, Mitchell Brewer, Sam Brinsmead, Chris Down, Evan Ritchie, Blair Richards, Levi Moss, Jake Lawry, Alex Davis, Lachlan McAllister, Vincent Rodi, Matthew Magee, Henry Miller, Walter Miller, Caleb Smith.
THE LIST SO FAR
No. 42 & 41 - Heathcote 1992, Sandhurst 2004
No. 44 & 43 - Eaglehawk 2008, Elmore 2007
No. 46 & 45 - Mount Pleasant 1990, Newbridge 2018
No. 48 & 47 - Gisborne 2006, Calivil United 1990
No. 50 & 49 - Calivil United 2003, Eaglehawk 2018
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