Bulldogs' famous five clock up six big ones

Scott Winduss, Nick Cronin, Robbie Rodgers, Joel Adams  and James Evans have special reason to celebrate Daylesford’s grand final triumph.

The famous five are in elite company having played in all six consecutive grand finals and putting three premiership medallions in their trophy cabinets.

You had to feel for Cade O’Brien who would have joined his illustrious team-mates, but missed his sixth grand final appearance due to a hamstring injury which will trouble him for another five weeks.

The heart-stopping nine-point win over Buninyong was particularly satisfying for Rodgers who had karma on his side after surviving a tribunal hearing.

He received  just a reprimand  and no match suspension against Hepburn in a qualifying final.

  The star utility  kicked two grand final goals and put off a sabbatical this year but will now take leave for 2013 season.

The  Dogs, who held an 18-point lead at the last change, were never headed throughout the match but were forced  into final quarter survival mode.

The Bombers produced a fanatical final quarter blitz dominating the centre clearances  with three goals in five minutes to reduce the leeway to just three points after 17 minutes.

At times the Dogs tail stopped wagging and there was no run in tired legs as an arm wrestle developed with a war of attrition in the hectic last quarter.

  It was left to Toby Hughes  to seal the deal with a kick of the ground with two minutes left on the clock. 

Best on ground, Nathan Gudgeon put on a display right out of Josh Gibson’s copy book which would have made the Hawk defender proud.

Gudgeon’s spoiling tactics punching the ball away from opponents was sensational along with his safe marking on the last line of defense.

But it was the entire defensive six of Simon Beattie, Darcy Shewell,   Evans, Gudgeon, Rodgers and Adams who rescued the Dogs time again.

The experience, tenacious tackling, slick hand ball out of defense and the stubborn will to win was the success in the 12-10 (82) to 11-7 (73) win.

The teenage tyros  Max Risstrom (2 goals) and Sebastion Walsh (1) particularly in the first quarter showed maturity beyond their years in the heat of senior battle.

The teenage tyros  Max Risstrom (2 goals) and Sebastion Walsh (1) particularly in the first quarter showed maturity beyond their years in the heat of senior battle.

Michael Cummings with his accuracy and long raking kicks was sparkling round the ground  while the mobility and agility of Winduss at centre bounces and boundary throw ins keeps amazing the fans. Coach Button rested on the sidelines at times chipped in with two goals.

“I’ll cherish this premiership for ever and the win is better than the last two years,” Button said referring to grand final defeats to Hepburn (2010) and Waubra last year.  “Lets have a ripper of a time (celebrating).”

Button relived his last minute goal which won the 2009 grand final saying this triumph was right up there with that win.

“Everyone played different roles today and did their job,” he said.   “I thought we had to work harder this time.

“There were some nervous moments when they came at us ( 3 points), but the will to win from the boys came through in the tight contest.

“The team had to stick together as a unit and maintain the intensity against a very good side. “The back six (defense) were sensational and some of them were young enough to be my son.”

Buninyong was a shattered team and coach Joe Gilbert, the hero against Hepburn in the preliminary final was too devastated when asked for a comment.

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