Daylesford booked yet another grand final appearance, storming home to defeat Bungaree by 45 points yesterday.
Bungaree gave the Bulldogs a scare midway through the third quarter, creeping up to within three points. However, like all good teams, Daylesford stepped up a gear to run out convincing winners of the preliminary final.
Daylesford was the more efficient side in the first quarter.
Its precision kicking was a strong contrast to the wayward efforts of the Demons, whose inaccuracy (2.7) saw them trail by 10 points at the first change.
An easy goal out the back to Bulldogs’ star Michael Cummings opened the second term.
It didn’t get much better for Bungaree, as a disastrous turnover from a kick-in proved fruitful for Daylesford’s Tony Castrignano.
In a flash, the Bulldogs had extended their lead to four goals.
The Demons found it almost impossible to penetrate their forward fifty in the first half, such was the quality of Daylesford’s backline.
On one of the rare occasions that Bungaree managed to thwart the Bulldog’s defence, key forward Josh Brown converted a goal after the half time siren to give the Demons hope.
The third quarter was fascinating. Bungaree lifted early in the term, kicking two consecutive goals to almost steal the lead.
Daylesford responded with a flurry of eight goals in 15 minutes, ending Bungaree’s season.
It was a demolition job by the Bulldogs and a scary reminder of just how good they can be.
Button said his team knows how to respond when challenged.
“I suppose we had a fair bit more experience than Bungaree did today. Maybe it was a bit of experience that came to the fore ... the older blokes started to step up,” he said.
Button was also full of praise for his side’s defenders.
“We’ve got a good back six and they’ve pretty much played the whole year together now, so they’re really settled and they work well together.
“They do the job. It’s not often a forward will get hold of them.”
The season is over for Bungaree, which was competitive but ultimately outclassed by a better opponent.
Coach Greg Middleton stated that his team has unfinished business.
“You don’t get any reward for making a preliminary final. We’re not happy with that performance and it’s not acceptable.
“Hopefully this side can learn from that and take something from it. I hope it’ll make us a lot hungrier next year.”
In his 300th game, Daylesford ruckman Scott Winduss was outstanding.
Midfielder Xavier Keighran ran amok during the course of the match, while Cummings showed signs that he is returning to his brilliant best.
DAYLESFORD 17.13 (115)BUNGAREE 9.16 (70)