COLBINABBIN Football Club reserves season came to an end on Saturday as they battled hard, but came up short against a powerful North Bendigo outfit, 7.6 (48) to 9.13 (67).
The game was played at a frenetic pace and the intensity and pressure around the contest was enormous.
The Dogs adjusted to the tempo earlier and controlled majority of the play, though despite having three more scoring shots than the Hoppers they trailed by two points at quarter time.
The momentum shifted frequently in the second term and as a result there were several lead changes, this time it was the Hoppers that surrendered their advantage with the half time scoreline reading 5.0 (30) to 5.6 (36) in favour of the Dogs.
The free flowing, heavy scoring nature of the game slowed in the third as both sides were forced to grind and earn every clean possession.
This style suited the Hoppers as they had many opportunities to hit the lead but were wasteful, scoring 1.4 to the Dogs 1.3 to reduce the three quarter time margin to just five points.
The final quarter was hotly contested early but unfortunately for Colbo, fatigue began to set in and late in the piece North took control of the game booting 3.4 to the Hoppers 1.2 to seal the victory by nineteen points.
Geordie McMurtrie brought his own Sherrin, he was outstanding on a wing and was clearly best on ground and his pace and clean foot skills were a real highlight.
Alex Van Ruiswyk was sensational in a number of different roles, his ability to take on opponents and break lines were instrumental.
Damien O’Brien was the janitor in defence, mopping up regularly across half back and propelling the ball forward with precision and Ian Fullers excellent finals campaign continued as he provided a real spark with his explosive pace ability to shrug would be tacklers.
Liam Vale toiled hard in the ruck, providing first use to the midfielders as well as presenting as a lead up target. Other better players were Will Hayes who finished with three majors and Braydon Kerlin who booted two.