Cougars claw their way to victory

Just one point separated the two teams at half-time.
Just one point separated the two teams at half-time.

The Chidlow Cougars prevailed over the Gidgegannup Bulldogs to claim the 2014 premiership in one of the closest Hills Football Association grand finals in years on Sunday, winning 12.9 (81) to 11.11 (77).

As expected, the contest developed into a titanic battle, with momentum ebbing and flowing throughout the contest at Percy Cullen Oval.

Chidlow gained the early ascendency, booting 4.4 to Gidge’s 3.1 in the first quarter.

But the Bulldogs hit their straps and struck back in the second term and, with some help from some straight kicking, booted 5.1 to Chidlow’s 3.3 to go into the long break with a one-point lead.

With neither side able to assert their authority, Gidge could have broken the contest open in the third quarter but for some inaccurate kicking. In a tight, defensive struggle, they booted 1.5 for the term to Chidlow’s 2.1.

So it was the Cougars who turned for home at the last change with a one-point advantage.

Neither side was prepared to yield in the final term as the game became a nail-biting thriller.

Just four points separated the teams as players threw themselves into the contest as time-on beckoned.

In the final minute, the Bulldogs charged forward and took a grab in front of goal as the final siren rang. But it was ruled the mark came after the siren and the Bulldogs were left to lick their wounds at the Cougars celebrated.

Chidlow’s Clinton Farrel was named best on ground. He was ably supported by Peter Harman, David Massie and Tim Huntley.

Eight Cougars players hit the scoreboard, with brothers Michael and Brett McKinlay heading the list with two apiece.

For the runners-up, Jamie McMahon and Gavin Scott led the way with three goals each.

Although Chidlow are the 2014 premiers, Hills football was the biggest winner.

But some clubs in the association continue to struggle and need help ” on and off the field ” if they are to remain competitive in 2015.