CHIDLOW spoiled Gidgegannup’s anniversary, with the Cougars proving too strong for the Bulldogs to run out 47 point winners, 11.15 (81) to 4.10 (34).
Gidgegannup were celebrating 40 years since the clubs formation.
It wasn’t the result they were looking for, although it didn’t dampen the spirits of the many past players in attendance.
Gidgegannup’s success’s over recent years is certainly comparable with the strangle hold that Swan Valley had over the Jacoby shield during the nineties.
In recent times the Cougars and Bulldogs have had some memorable games with the premiership count being at two all in the last five years.
This years finals could see the rivalry continue with both teams expecting several players to return from injury.
Chidlow coach Matt Mallaby continued his team shuffle, with several players in unfamiliar positions.
Tim Huntley, normally confined to the backline, started up forward and soon after the game started Brett McKinlay was pushed to full back, which didn’t appear to impede on his goal kicking ability, making some long runs forward to receive the give-off handball to slot a long distance goal.
Dylan Cahill continues to show good form and leadership qualities stepping up to the Bulldog’s captain role due to the long term injury of Sam Pedley Mulcahy.
At the first break it was the Cougars by a slender five points, 2.7 (19) to 2.2 (14).
The Cougars came out with more determination after the break.
Stewart Smith and Steve Scorer were playing their first games for some time and the rust was starting shake off, with both doing some good things.
Clint Farrell was covering plenty of ground getting the ball forward where Nathan Sutton was converting.
For the Bulldogs it was Gavin Scott and Levi Rosolin dropping back across half back in an attempt to slow down the Cougars advances.
By half time Chidlow had extended their lead to 28 points, 6.9 (45) to 2.5 (17).
During the break the Chidlow and Gidgegannup Auskick teams took to the field, much to the delight of all in attendance, putting the long term future of their respective clubs on display.
The healthy crowd were willing the Bulldogs on, along with their Auskick team loudly chanting.
This didn’t impact on the Cougars desire as they continued to extend their lead.
Michael McKinlay delivered the ball with precision, Reece Forbes drifted forward to get on the scoreboard and David Massie was winning in the ruck.
Bulldogs coach Brett Davis shuffled players around trying to shut down the Cougars run.
Ben Edlund and Callum McCrudden were solid in defense while Max Daniels and Ravell Mathews continued to battle hard.
At the end of the third it was Chidlow by 48 points, 9.13 (67) to 2.7 (19).
Gidgegannup didn’t lay down and fought the game out, managing to outscore Chidlow by one point in the last, but the damage had already been done.
By Brian Pallister