SANDHURST retained the Ron Best Memorial Shield with a grinding two-goal victory over Golden Square at Wade Street on Saturday.
In a low-scoring, but enthralling contest, the Dragons' defenders held the Bulldogs goalless from quarter-time until the 15.40-minute mark of the third.
Hurst was 15 points up at the long break before the Bulldogs re-bounded to close the margin to under two goals at the last change.
And the home crowd was in full cry early in the last term when majors to Tom Strauch and Jake Thrum handed the Dogs a three-point lead.
But the Dragons bounced back with crucial goals to Matt Thornton, Jasper Stewart and Cobi Maxted (his equal game-high third) to seal their second victory of the year: 12.10 (82) to 10.10 (70).
On a dark and gloomy afternoon, just five goals were nailed in the opening term and then just three - all to Sandhurst - in the second.
Jon Coe, Jack Merrin and Drew Barrett held the Bulldogs' backline together, while the Hurst defence was marshaled by Tanner Nally and Sean O'Farrell.
The ruck battles were fairly even as Dragons' big man Hamish Hosking matched Matt Compston, who was playing his 250th club game.
Jayden Burke was the pick of the Square attack with his three majors. His first came late in the opening quarter when he drilled a shot from close to the coaches' box flank at the newly-named Weeks, or Maple Street, end.
But the Dragons took control in the second term. Skipper Lee Coghlan continually drove the Dragons forward from midfield and Maxted was on target with a high, straight shot and Lachlan Zimmer with an opportunist snap got another.
The Bulldogs came out a different outfit in the third quarter.
They added 4.2 to Sandhurst's 3.3, with Ryan Hartley breaking the goal drought mid-term and Burke sinking another after taking a Joel Brett pass.
Brett then soccered a high shot of his own through the big sticks and suddenly the home side was just three points down: 6.4 to 6.7.
But again Lee Coghlan revived his Dragons. Maxted nailed a clutch goal and Lachie Hood was on the end of a Coghlan pass inside 50 and nailed a fine set shot.
Liam Duguid showed his skills with a top running shot, leaving the Dogs just 10 points adrift at the last break.
And as they were attacking the Best end - the old Wade Street goals - in the closing quarter, Golden Square's Tom Strauch and Jake Thrum nailed majors to give Dogs the lead: 9.6 to 8.9.
Enter Thornton. The big forward marked a James Coghlan kick and kicked truly to hand back the lead to the Hurst.
The three-point lead was extended with majors to Jasper Stewart and Maxted and the Dragons were home.
Post-match the Ron Best top player medallions were awarded to Dragons' skipper Lee Coghlan and Square's pacy defender Liam Duguid.
Sandhurst 2.3 5.6 8.9 12.10 (82)
Golden Square 3.1 3.3 7.5 10.10 (70)
GOALS: Sandhurst: C.Maxted 3, L.Zimmer 2, L.Hood 1, M.Wilkinson 1, S.O'Farrell 1, M.Thornton 1, L.Coghlan 1, J.Stewart 1, H.Free 1; Golden Square: J.Burke 3, J.Fitzpatrick 2, L.Duguid 1, T.Strauch 1, J.Brett 1, J.Thrum 1, R.Hartley 1
BEST: Sandhurst: L.Coghlan, T.Nally, H.Hosking, S.O'Farrell, J.Coghlan, L.Murdoch; Golden Square: L.Duguid, L.Barrett, J.Fitzpatrick, J.Merrin, T.Strauch, J.Coe
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.