THE next installment of our series looking back on the 50 most dominant premiership seasons across the Bendigo, Heathcote District and Loddon Valley leagues since 1990.
36 - MITIAMO 1999
Coaches - Ash Wilson and Barry Pitson
Record - 17-2
Percentage - 202.3%
Average for - 104
Average against - 51
Points differential - +53
def Pyramid Hill 97-46
def Newbridge 151-42
def Inglewood 181-44
def BL-Serpentine 113-70
def Bridgewater 104-31
lt Calivil United 63-88
def Marong 156-35
def YCW 74-49
def Pyramid Hill 118-60
def Newbridge 91-57
def Inglewood 156-35
def BL-Serpentine 120-65
def Bridgewater 130-30
def Calivil United 103-22
def Marong 138-47
def YCW 60-52
lt YCW 52-104
def Calivil United 69-43
def YCW 89-75
SUMMARY - At three quarter-time of the 1999 Loddon Valley league grand final even the most ardent of Mitiamo supporters must have been seriously doubting the Superoos' capacity to win the flag.
The Superoos had kicked just six goals for the game and trailed YCW by 30 points at the final change at Inglewood.
But in an unforgettable final term, the Superoos rose from the ashes, kicking eight goals to one to pull off a stirring 14.5 (89) to 11.9 (75) victory, capping a 17-2 season for the side that was jointly-coached by Ash Wilson and Barry Pitson.
"We had played in the finals in 1998 and retained every player and then went out and were able to bring in a few that we needed for the 1999 season," Wilson recalled this week.
"Barry and I had both been involved at Kangaroo Flat when they had their premiership success in 1996 and we both learned a lot under Simon Jorgensen that we were able to implement out at Mitiamo.
"They were just a great bunch of blokes out at Mitiamo who would do anything for each other... no-one thought they were any better than the bloke next to them."
Mitiamo imposed itself from the outset in 1999, beating Pyramid Hill by 51 points, Newbridge by 109, Inglewood by 137, BL-Serpentine by 43 and Bridgewater by 73 in its first five games, at which stage its percentage was 277.3.
Their only losses were a 25-point defeat to Calivil United in round seven and by 52 points to YCW in the second semi-final.
For the third year in a row dynamic Mitiamo small forward Shawn McCormick won the league goalkicking with 72 in the home and away season, before later kicking eight in the grand final, including five in the Superoos' memorable last quarter onslaught.
THE TEAM - Brett Hickman, Jeff Thompson, Ross Smith, Matthew Jackman, Rick Maguire, Tom Byrne, Scott Lawry, Greg Boyd, Gordon Hynes, Dan O'Bree, Craig Diss, Brad Gibson, Shawn McCormick, Barry Pitson, Brett Hay, Tim Wicks, Steve Travaglia, Ash Wilson, Dan Bowles, Danny Clapp.
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35 - SANDHURST 2016
Coach - Wayne Primmer
Record - 18-2
Percentage - 207.5%
Average for - 117
Average against - 57
Points differential - +60
lt Strathfieldsaye 70-102
def Maryborough 247-39
def South Bendigo 92-30
def Gisborne 119-67
def Castlemaine 131-62
lt Kyneton 92-95
def Eaglehawk 97-38
def Golden Square 103-56
def Kangaroo Flat 85-60
def Maryborough 240-47
def South Bendigo 108-53
def Gisborne 159-10
def Castlemaine 98-47
def Golden Square 88-75
def Strathfieldsaye 66-47
def Kangaroo Flat 146-48
def Eaglehawk 112-80
def Kyneton 116-83
def Golden Square 86-33
def Golden Square 90-58
SUMMARY - Sandhurst put the disappointment of back-to-back losing grand finals in 2014 and '15 behind it to dominate the Bendigo league's 2016 season.
With new coach Wayne Primmer at the helm, the Dragons went 16-2 in the home and away season, finished one game clear of Golden Square in top spot, and then beat the Bulldogs twice in the finals to capture their first flag since 2004 (featured at No.41).
Their season opened with a 32-point defeat to Strathfieldsaye at Tannery Lane in the grand final re-match, but the only other loss the Dragons suffered was by three points against Kyneton in round six when the Tigers' Bryce Hinneberg kicked a goal after the siren.
Maryborough twice copped the full brunt of the Dragons in full flight, with Sandhurst winning its two games against the Magpies by 208 points at the QEO in round two and 193 points at Princes Park in round 10, while the Dragons also decimated Gisborne by 149 points at the QEO in round 12 when they allowed the Bulldogs just one goal.
Of the Dragons' 18 wins for the year, 11 were by more than 50 points as they became the BFNL's first premiers in the era of player points and a salary cap.
Among the recruits to the Dragons in 2016 was country footy superstar Kristan Height, who had already won both Goulburn Valley and Ovens & Murray league medals.
Height added the Bendigo league's Michelsen Medal to his CV as well in 2016, winning with 24 votes.
Codie Price (back pocket), Joel Wharton (wing), Height (centre), Nick Stagg (forward pocket) and captain Blair Holmes (interchange) were five Sandhurst players named in the Addy's BFNL Team of the Year.
Height (44), Stagg (36), Wharton (33), Lee Coghlan (28) and Matt Thornton (27) all kicked 20-plus goals for the Dragons
THE TEAM - Adam Parry, Alex Wharton, Angus Parry, Blair Holmes, Braidon Blake, Brock Knights, Brodie Montague, Codie Price, Hamish Leahy, James Coghlan, Joel Wharton, Josh Hann, Koe Ngawati, Kristan Height, Lachlan Ross, Lachlan Tardrew, Lee Coghlan, Matt Thornton, Mitch Dole, Nick Stagg, Pascale Craig, Tim Martin.
THE LIST SO FAR
No. 38 & 37 - North Bendigo 2019; Leitchville-Gunbower 2018
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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