CHIDLOW have gained the ascendency in their rivalry with Gidgegannup, with the Cougars putting on a final quarter clinic to claim victory over the Bulldogs 16.13 (109) to 7.8 (50).
With the win, Chidlow claimed top-spot on the Hills Football Association ladder.
Chidlow and Gidgegannup have had some epic battles over the past five years so expectations were high within both camps that this game would be no different.
With the temperature hovering around the 30 degree mark it was going to be tough on the players who would be needing regular fluid intake to stave off any dehydration.
Both teams resolutely attacked the ball knowing that top spot on the ladder was the end prize.
Bulldogs’ Ben Edlund had the task of minding Brett McKinlay, and managed to keep him to the Cougars only goal in the first quarter as the backlines for both teams held fast.
Clint Farrell – in his first game for the season – was lively on his wing while Dylan Cahill and Dylan Cozamanis were doing some good things for the Bulldogs.
At the first break it was the Cougars by one point. 1.4 (10) to 1.3 (9).
Blake Princen was on the receiving end of some good ruck work by David Massie and the Cougars appeared to be gaining the upper hand early in the second.
Sam Pedley-Mulcahy continued to lead by example, getting in and under to farm the ball out to youngsters Ravel Mathews and Max Daniels, keeping the Bulldogs within reach at half time with Chidlow 6.6 (42) to Gidgegannup 4.5 (29).
The warm conditions started to impact on both teams after half-time.
The Bulldogs lost Tom Power which seemed to unbalance them a little, although they stuck to their task and by the time the last break came they had managed to stay within 19 points.
The Cougars jumped out the blocks in the final quarter, kicking seven goals to one.
Eli Michon, playing some of his best footy, rounded off his day with three goals.
Michael McKinlay was instrumental off half back, while Matt Mallaby, Cam Reading and Dave Campbell helped keep the momentum going.
The Bulldogs never gave up, but with some key players missing had no answers to the Cougars dominance in the final quarter.
By Brian Pallister