GUNNEDAH Bulldogs shed the wooden spoon at No. 1 Oval on Saturday afternoon and then one of its stars, doubled up with two big awards on Saturday night.
Andrew George starred for the Bulldogs in their 33-point win over Tamworth Swans and then backed up to win the Sporting Pulse Award as well as the Tony Gillies Medal!
It was a big finish to the season for the Bulldogs.
They kicked 16.13 109 to the Tamworth Swans 11.10 76 in a wooden spoon show down in the first game of the double header.
George was one of the Bulldog stars kicking a goal and having a hand in a number of others.
Mitchell Swain kicked seven goals for the Bulldogs.
“It was good to get rid of it,” Bulldogs’ Ryan Cooper said of a wooden spoon they had won the previous year.
“But we were good for all four quarters today, first time all season. Usually we relax for one or two.
“It was great having Mitchell back from his overseas holiday too. He’s missed most of the season.”
While Andrew George and Scott Hardy were two of the Bulldog’s best young Luke Curgenven’s pace was also electric for the Bulldogs.
Tamworth Swans coach Andrew Donoghue could only lament the injury toll and lack of commitment from his club.
“It was a tough year,” Donoghue told The Leader.
“Injuries and lack of commitment.”
Janson Doughty was a standout for the Swans while Shane Kilby tried hard, stalwart Gavin Knee tried to inspire his team-mates and Josh McRae gave 110 per cent, Donoghue said.
He also said teenage forward Thomas Byrnes continues to improve and kicked another four goals in the loss.
Byrnes was then named the TAFL’s Rising Star for the season.
Narrabri Eagles had some consolation to their shellacking from Inverell Saints in the second game of the double header.
The Saints kicked 29.26 200 to the Eagles 8.5 53 and had posted 5.4 before the Eagles registered their first point!
But the Eagles’ Daniel Hughes did win TAFL Volunteer of the Year.
Lachlan McDonald kicked 11 of the 29 Saints goals while Michael Kenny (4), Russell Brien (4) and Garry Hadland (3) kicked multiple goals.
Minor premiers, New England Nomads, celebrated their final round win over Tamworth Kangaroos with Dave Richards’ winning the Gerry Griffiths Medal for the leading goalkicker.
Richards kicked four and Weston Whitby five as the Nomads registered a 15.13 103 to 12.6 78 win over the Kangaroos at Bellevue Oval, Armidale.
The diminutive forward finished with 66 goals for the year.
While the Roos were beaten, coach Brett Douglas was still happy with the performance.
“We actually led in the first quarter,” Douglas said. “But they got a few ahead of us in the second and third and we just couldn’t peg them back. every time we’d get a roll on and kick one they’d kick one too.”
Ryan Painter, Brock Quinn and Chris Rankmore were best for the Roos while Wulu Hall, Thomas Hunt, Zachary Wells, Weston Whitby, Johnathon Frost and Soloman Hanks excelled for the competition favourites.
TAFL TABLE (final)
New England Nomads 56 (227.92%), Inverell Saints 48 (190.42%), Tamworth Kangaroos 36(126.95%), Narrabri Eagles 24 (64.93%), Gunnedah Bulldogs 8 (55.42%), Tamworth Swans 8 (51.51%).