Tamworth Swans’ run came to a shuddering halt at the hands of a clinical Gunnedah Bulldogs at Wolseley Park on Saturday.
The reigning champions put together their best four quarter performance of the season to clip the Swan’s wings 30.21-201 to 6.4-40.
The signs were ominous for the Swans when the Bulldogs booted 10 goals in the first quarter, the home sides swift ball movement and running game seeing them dominate the contest.
Things didn’t improve much for the Swans from there, Bulldogs coach Andrew George pleased to see a few of the little things they’ve been working on at training come to fruition.
“There were plenty of handballs and shepherds and our short kicking game seemed to be on as well,” George said.
He also remarked about how clean they were.
“We won it out of the middle really well and were really clean. Clean by hands and clean by foot,” he said.
Going into the game they were a bit uncertain what they would be up against with the Swans enjoying a bit of a resurgence in recent weeks.
“The Swans have struggled over the last couple of years but were coming off the back of two wins in a row.
“In the warm-up I told all the guys it was about what we do well,” George said.
Mark Ewington and Jacob Spackman were devastating up front, Ewington kicking eight goals for the game and Spackman seven including four in the first term.
Mitch Swain backed them up with four and Scott Hardy three. Ethan George and Andrew Finlay kicked two apiece for the Swans, with the former one of their best.
The game was notable for being Brent Hartley’s 50th for the Bulldogs, but was soured by a knee injury to Liam Novley late in the first quarter, which is likely to keep him on the sidelines for a while.
“We’ll miss him. We’re using him as our number one ruckman,” George said.
Sam Proudfoot slotted in there on Saturday for the last three quarters and was among the Bulldogs best.
Mark Barrow also had a really good game, George said, as did Isaac Reeves.
Reeves is one of several players new to the game this season.
“He’s picked the game up well,” he said, adding that he has got a “nice left boot”.