Rosedale wins rematch

RELATED: Bulldogs bash Tigers

A FOUR-goal haul from full forward Brandon McDonald has helped steer Rosedale to victory in the North Gippsland football grand final rematch.

After unfurling their 2015 premiership flag, the Blues accounted for Heyfield at home 13.11 (89) to 7.7 (49).

The Kangaroos jumped from the blocks early, acing a six-pointer within the first 30 seconds. This was the only time the visitors would lead during game.

When Alex Whitehill kicked truly at the 15-minute mark, followed by McDonald a minute later, the momentum swung back Rosedale’s way.

Fierce tackling and good use of the ball paid off for Rosedale, and when Jack Tatterson snapped a goal at the 20-minute mark, the signs were ominous. Late goals to Frazar Brouns and McDonald had Rosedale going into the quarter-time huddle with a comfortable four-goal lead.

Heyfield mounted a challenge at the beginning of the second quarter, holding Rosedale well in the stoppages and starting to play possession football.

When Jordan Stubbe kicked a goal at the 10-minute mark, the Kangaroos were back within three kicks. But when Jesse Jackway wasted a valuable opportunity four minutes later and Ryan Jacobsen capitalised at the other end, Heyfield’s momentum was shut down.

Jeremy Reid was solid in defence for Rosedale and used his stature to great effect, repelling Heyfield’s forward advances and helping to steer the Blues to a 22-point lead at the main break.

The third quarter was an arm wrestle and the westerly breeze blowing across the ground from wing to wing favoured neither side. However, Rosedale did apply scoreboard pressure and goals to McDonald and Jake Suter midway through the quarter kept the Blues in front by a comfortable margin.

Heyfield began the final term well. Again it held up the Blues in the stoppages, playing the game on its own terms.

Possession football from the Kangaroos stopped the Blues’ forward momentum and when James Beha kicked his third goal at the 14-minute mark, Heyfield was within three straight kicks again. With plenty of time on the clock, the Kangaroos were in with a fighting chance.

The Kangaroos’ hopes were soon dashed when McDonald answered with the quick reply, and from that point on, the cracks began to show. The fat lady warmed up her tonsils and when Brouns snapped truly on the run, extending the margin out to 30 points.

At the 24-minute mark, Matt Bond put the icing on the cake for the Blues, sealing a 40-point victory.

New Blues captain-coach Sam Bristow said he was pleased with the way his players put their bodies on the line, ran with the ball and controlled the centre corridor.

“The boys used the ball really well, especially when they link up with the mid-field. I was happy with the win,” Bristow said.

When asked how he enjoyed the new coaching role at Rosedale, Bristow said he loved the challenge of the new role.

“I really want our club to see success this year.”