NUMBERS 38 and 37 in the series looking back at the 50 most dominant premiership seasons across the Bendigo, Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues since 1990.
38 - NORTH BENDIGO 2019
Coach - Matt Dillon
Record - 17-2
Percentage - 191.8%
Average for - 114
Average against - 59
Points differential - +55
def Huntly 191-61
def Leitchville-Gunbower 114-44
def White Hills 96-56
lt Mount Pleasant 81-96
def Elmore 177-65
def LBU 79-55
def Heathcote 164-39
def Colbinabbin 60-47
def Huntly 106-23
def Leitchville-Gunbower 83-25
def White Hills 129-65
def Mount Pleasant 145-37
def Elmore 91-82
def LBU 127-126
def Heathcote 123-23
def Colbinabbin 88-77
lt Colbinabbin 78-104
def Mount Pleasant 156-66
def Colbinabbin 70-34
SUMMARY - There was no shortage of motivation for North Bendigo as the Bulldogs embarked on their 2019 Heathcote District league season.
The Bulldogs had lost the previous two grand finals to arch-rival Leitchville-Gunbower and right from the moment the ball bounced in round one, they were hellbent on not letting another opportunity slip.
They thrashed Huntly by 130 points in round one and then belted Leitchville-Gunbower by 70 points the following week to set the tone for their season.
The Bulldogs won 17 of their 19 games in 2019, their only hiccups being a 15-point loss to Mount Pleasant in round five and a 26-point second semi-final defeat to Colbinabbin.
In between the Bulldogs won 12 games in a row by an average of 59 points, while Matt Dillon's side was dominant at both ends of the ground, ending the season ranked No.1 for both attack and defence.
Gun midfielder Joel Helman won the Cheatley Medal with 18 votes and also finished No.1 in the Addy's player rankings.
The Bulldogs' attack was led by star forward Brady Herdman, who after a year in retirement returned to the field and slotted 67 goals.
North Bendigo also had Zach Alford (37) and Darcy Richards (36) combine for 73 goals.
The Bulldogs' dominant 2019 season culminated in a strangling of Colbinabbin in the grand final when they conceded just four goals in a 36-point victory.
The grand final performance was the 10th time in their 19 games the Bulldogs kept their opposition to eight goals or less.
"You don't get flags handed to you, but I felt our group really deserved it today with the footy they've played this year," Dillon said.
THE TEAM - Aarryn Craig, Brady Herdman, Darcy Richards, Jordan Ford, Ryan Alford, Tom Metherell, Tyson Findlay, Callum Tardrew, Jarrod Findlay, Ryan Gow, Storm Giri, Ben Knight, Brodie Thomson, Jack Donat, Jake Hyland, Jeremy Lambden, Joel Helman, Lachlan Ford, Shane Harris, Tim Devereaux, Will Brohm, Zach Alford.
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37 - LEITCHVILLE-GUNBOWER 2018
Coach - Michael Pilcher
Record - 17-2
Percentage - 198.0%
Average for - 121
Average against - 61
Points differential - +60
def North Bendigo 69-44
def Elmore 155-45
def Heathcote 185-9
lt Colbinabbin 73-97
def Mount Pleasant 132-59
def Huntly 126-94
def White Hills 138-39
def LBU 111-43
lt North Bendigo 70-143
def Elmore 192-16
def Heathcote 126-52
def Colbinabbin 61-32
def Mount Pleasant 145-65
def Huntly 122-70
def White Hills 84-55
def LBU 126-56
def Huntly 212-83
def North Bendigo 78-74
def North Bendigo 94-85
SUMMARY - The second of back-to-back premierships in the Heathcote District league for the Bombers.
And right from the outset in 2018 under new coach Michael Pilcher it was clear the Bombers were again going to be a force to be reckoned with in the defence of their 2017 flag.
After beating North Bendigo by 25 points in a dour, low-scoring slog in the grand final rematch in round one the Bombers demolished Elmore by 110 points and Heathcote by 176 points over the next two weeks.
They lost to Colbinabbin by 24 points in round four, but were beaten just once more for the season when they were handed a 70-point hiding by North Bendigo at Atkins Street in round 10.
The Bombers notched four victories by more than 100 points for the season, one of which was a 129-point thrashing of Huntly in a marathon qualifying final in a game that featured an 11-goal bag from Daniel Coates.
The Bombers' forward line featured a dangerous three-pronged attack, with the trio of Matt Perri (78), Coates (58) and Jake Vandongen (48) kicking 184 goals between them.
Combined, the gun forward trio kicked 15 hauls of five-plus goals, with Perri twice slotting 11.
The side also had four of the top seven players in the season-ending Addy rankings - Coates (No.2), on-baller Jack Gleeson (No.3), midfielder Matt Ladson (No.6) and the classy Tim Lincoln (No.7).
The season ended with a fourth-consecutive grand final showdown against North Bendigo, which had won the 2015 and 2016 encounters, before the Bombers' 2017 triumph.
Their 2018 battle was a nine-point victory to the Bombers, who assumed control in the second quarter when they kicked 7.1 to 0.6 on the way to a 14.10 (94) to 12.13 (85) win.
THE TEAM - Brad Ladson, Brady Hore, Daniel Coates, Daniel Couwenberg, Hoby Bussey, Lee Pollock, Liam Guinan, Logan Prout, Matt Ladson, Matt Perri, Matt Pollock, Mitch Bruns, Ryan Prendergast, Shaun Turvey, Tim Lincoln, Bart Walsh, Jack Gleeson, Jake Vandongen, Lincoln Sieben, Mitch McEwen, Russel De Groot, Sean Hay.
THE LIST SO FAR
No. 40 & 39 - Bridgewater 1991; Calivil United 2017
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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