Border Mail – Grand Final – Review

Leading by five points at the final change, Kade Stevens’ line-up kicked 8.6 to 1.3 in the last quarter to run out comfortable victors.

Stevens had a huge second-half in the centre, Lachie Boyd turned back the clock in defence and John-Roy Williams played well on a wing.

Jeremy Luff held Trent Castles to one goal.

“We’ve worked really hard and I had faith in the boys running the game out,” Stevens said.

“The boys were sensational.

“Jindera took it right up to us and to finish like that was fantastic.”

Jindera youngtser Dylan Pettingill kicked three goals in a fine performance and Tom Weldon played well on Nick Brockley.

It was Jindera’s third successive grand final loss.

In a day of upsets, Rand-Walbundrie-Walla shocked Jindera, Osborne beat Holbrook in the thirds and the Giants capped off a fine finals series by defeating Holbrook in the fourths.

Meanwhile, Billabong Crows defeated Lockhart 46-32 in A grade with Brooke Morley best on court.

It was the Crows’ first flag in the top grade.

“I’m just so relieved,” coach Beck O’Connell said.

“To go through the season with only one loss is a great effort.”

The Saints backed up their successes in 2013, 2015 and 2016 with another ruthless performance led by twin towers Matt Seiter and Aidan Johnson.

The favourites led by only five points at the final change but kicked a stunning 8.6 to 1.3 in the last quarter to post an emphatic victory.

Coach Kade Stevens, who was ill in the lead-up to the match, was proud of the way his players responded after being seriously challenged.

“It’s so good,” Stevens said.

“I didn’t see that margin at the end coming.

“Jindera were hard to play against and it wasn’t until the final quarter that we were able to break them.

“We have a great club and I’m really happy for everyone involved.”

While it was utter joy in the Brock-Burrum camp after the match, Jindera were left shattered by a third straight grand final defeat in coach Kerry Bahr’s final match at the helm.

Once again it was a key forward who hurt the Bulldogs on grand final day.

Brock-Burrum’s Kylin Morey brought them unstuck in 2016 with six goals, Osborne’s George Alexander was the matchwinner last season and Johnson did the damage on Saturday.

Johnson, who was recruited from Lavington and looks set to play in the Ovens and Murray next season, was a powerhouse in the air.

He finished with two goals including one in the final quarter when he defied his height to pick up a bouncing ball and kick truly.

Johnson narrowly missed another when a booming set shot from 55-metres hit halfway up the post.

Seiter won the ruck contest, John-Roy Williams was electrifying on a wing, Stevens had a huge second-half, Eddy Ziebarth showed flashes of brilliance in attack and Lachie Boyd mopped up superbly in defence.

Full-back Jeremy Luff capped off a fine season by restricting key Bulldog Trent Castles to one major.

Jindera had to fight every inch of the way to make the grand final and the effort took its toll in the final 25 minutes.

After being brave for three quarters, the wheels fell off as Brock-Burrum’s midfielders seized complete control.

Young wingman Dylan Pettingill kicked three goals in a fine performance while Tom Weldon held Nick Brockley and Rhys Preston was a workhorse on the ball.

“We knew we had the group to do it and I’m so happy we did,” Stevens said.

“It was do-or-die.

“I thought everyone played their role.

“It’s fantastic.”

The triathlete, who has previously won a flag in London as well as with Lavington’s seniors in 2005 and reserves in 2015, was a rock on the last line of defence.

“This is pretty good,” Boyd said.

“I’ve loved going out bush to play with a lot of mates.

“It’s been great fun.”

Boyd proved invaluable under pressure in the opening three quarters as Jindera’s runners had patches of dominance.

He admitted there were some anxious moments.

“I was buggered in the first quarter when they were running everywhere,” he said.

“It was a great effort by our boys to finish like that.”

Boyd keeps himself fit by competing in triathlons over the summer and is a regular at the gym during the week.

Despite being in the twilight of his career, Boyd played 19 matches this season.

But losing simply wasn’t an option for the ruckman who helped Brock-Burrum kick eight goals to one in a stunning final quarter blitz at Walbundrie.

“I didn’t think I did much in the last quarter because I was done, but the boys were fantastic,” Seiter said.

“We have had two games in a month and we’ve trained hard all year.

“It didn’t matter if we were going into the wind or anything like that.

“We were good to go.”

Seiter did a power of work at the centre bounces and in defence during the opening three quarters before drifting forward when the floodgates opened.

While he kicked one goal, another shot didn’t go to plan when he missed from the top of the goal-square.

“I thought bugger it, we’re six goals up so I’m going to give a torp a go,” he said.

“I bloody missed though.

“I’d say I’ll cop a bit about that.

“You have got to laugh.”

Seiter joined Brock-Burrum from Wodonga this season and, like many of his teammates, hit top form in the second-half of the home and away series.

He and Aidan Johnson formed a powerhouse combination with Kade Garland providing another tall option in attack.

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” he said.

“I just what to thank all the supporters and the people who put in the hours behind the scenes.

“We just play footy.

“The twos boys behind the goals were great today.

“A few players were stiff to miss out, particularly Aaron Livermore.

“He’s played almost every game this season and is a really big part of this grand final win.”

While Seiter was judged Brock-Burrum’s best player, talented youngster Dylan Pettingill was a standout for Jindera.

He was close to best on ground at half-time after kicking three goals and continued to play well when moved to a wing opposed to Saint star John-Roy Williams.

Pettingill returned to the side after missing last weekend’s preliminary final win against Henty with a back complaint.

“We run out of legs and they got away from us,” Pettingill said.

“It’s unfortunate I suppose.

“It would have been nice to get over the line with the boys but what can you do.”

Jindera has lost to Brock-Burrum (2016), Osborne (2017) and Brock-Burrum (2018) in the past three grand finals but is confident of remaining a force next season.

The Bulldogs are set to announce outgoing coach Kerry Bahr’s replacement in coming days.