Raging Bulls into prelim

Published on Sunday, September 10, 2017

Author : Samuel Zito

Bundoora advanced to the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 preliminary final with a 53-point victory over Greensborough in the first semi final.

Leading by 18 points after an enthralling first half, the Bulls asserted their authority after the main break to romp to a 16.12 (108) to 8.7 (55) at Preston City Oval.

With the game still in the balance at half time, the Bulls piled on four unanswered goals in the third term to take commanding 45-point lead into three quarter time.

They didn’t relent in the final term, adding another four majors to take plenty of momentum into Sunday’s preliminary final against Northcote Park.

Danny Younan made his presence felt in his return from Essendon’s VFL side, setting the game alight with a stunning opening half.

Starting the game in attack, Younan’s explosiveness proved impossible for the Boro to contain. He kicked three majors in the first half and played a major hand in setting up other opportunities for the Bulls.

Liam Byrne was the game’s most damaging midfielder and won plenty of the ball at the coalface. He was particularly dominant in the third quarter as the Bulls broke the game wide open.

Jack Furlong and Matty Dennis were also influential, while Dom Nixon and Brent Marshall controlled the game from the back half of the ground as their side contained the Boro to just 15 scoring shots.

Greensborough suffered a blow before the first bounce with key defender Nick Riddle a late withdrawal after failing to overcome an injury sustained in the elimination final win over West Preston-Lakeside.

His replacement Jake Lambert produced a steady performance in defence and contained Gary Moorcroft to two goals in an entertaining battle.

Matthew Haynes was Greensborough’s best in defeat and offered plenty of drive, while Jason Rogers and John Desmond also had positive impacts on the game.

Despite the Boro’s season coming to its earliest finish since 2013, the first semi final exit was still a commendable effort after a 0-5 start to the 2017 campaign.

They made a fast start to the semi, with Josh Grubb kicking the game’s opening goal in the second minute. His side had numerous chances to add to their tally throughout the first quarter, however missed a number of gettable set shots at goal.

Bundoora had much fewer entries inside 50 in the opening 20 minutes but was a lot more efficient going into attack.

Three consecutive goals to Nathan Thomas, Nick Grabowski and Younan – after a classy left-foot snap from deep in the forward pocket – gave the Bulls a 10-point advantage at the first break.

They continued their charge early in the second term as Isaac Muller added another major, before Greensborough rallied with an inspired six-minute passage that netted three goals.

Jason Rogers started the charge with a goal at the four-minute mark, before Brody Tickell dribbled through another one minute later. Mitch Hill then put the Boro ahead after capping a great coast-to-coast play with a one-handed juggled mark and goal from close range.

Younan swung the game back in Bundoora’s favour with two goals in as many minutes before setting up Josh Grabowski for another shortly after.

Mitch Merkel pegged one goal back for the Boro, however a long-range shot from Todd Hughes on the half-time siren gave the Bulls a handy buffer at the main break.

Ricky Dyson’s side completely controlled the third stanza. They locked the ball in their attacking half for the majority of the term, before piling on three goals in time-on to take an unassailable lead into the final quarter and secure a preliminary final place.

Final score: Bundoora 16.12 (108) def Greensborough 8.7 (55)

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