Blighty let a golden opportunity slip to knock off another Picola & District League finals contender on Saturday, going down to Strathmerton by two points.
In front by 18 points at three quarter time, the Redeyes were staring down the barrel of a 5-1 start to the season.
However it was the Bulldogs that found another gear, kicking the last three goals of the game with the wind behind them to pinch the victory on the Redeyes’ home turf.
Zack Betson (two goals) was Strathmerton’s only multiple goalkicker, with Brandon Duckworth, Matt O’Kane and Matt Shannon impressing.
Brett Macdonald and Jed Brain kicked two each for the Redeyes, with onballer Ryan Chadderton and defender Tom Druitt having strong showings.
Final score, Strathmerton 7.14 (56) to Blighty 7.12 (54).
Blighty playing coach Jack Tyndall said it was a disappointing loss.
‘‘We shouldn’t have been in a position to lose the game,’’ he said.
‘‘When we had the breeze in our favour in the first and third quarter we controlled the play but missed too many scoring opportunities.
‘‘There were a couple of misses from 10m out straight in front of goal which you just can’t do against a side like Strathy.
‘‘They’re a side that has made the past five grand finals and with blokes like Matt Shannon and Matt O’Kane still running around, they will be thereabouts again this year.’’
Despite the loss Tyndall was still able to find some positives out of the game.
‘‘Ryan Chadderton’s attack on the footy was impressive and Tom Druitt ran hard all day,’’ he said.
‘‘Tom Billings has turned out to be a very handy pick-up in the off-season in the ruck. He was winning plenty of taps and floated down back to help our defenders out a fair bit.
‘‘We knew it’d be a tough month of footy but with that loss the pressure is really on us with a big test against Berrigan this weekend.
‘‘We’re desperate to head into the bye in winning form and there will definitely be some changes made to the side this week.’’
In a low scoring affair, the Redeyes reserves got back in the winners’ circle beating Strathmerton by 31 points.
Final score, Blighty 7.9 (51) to Strathmerton 3.2 (20).
Blighty onballer James Kennedy was the difference in the game with his run and carry leading to five goals in a best on ground performance.
Others who played well were Aaron Litchfield in the ruck, Jamie Shields in defence and veterans Jarrod Andrews and Brett Napier.
The match also saw William Barnes reaching his 100 game milestone for the club.
Blighty’s Jack Charlton celebrated his 100th fourths game in style, inspiring his teammates to his side’s first win of the season on Saturday.
The Redeyes were strong in the difficult windy conditions at Blighty Recreation Reserve, posting a 55 point win over Strathmerton in the Picola & District Football League round six clash.
Blighty used their handball and link-up football to perfection, with a four goal final quarter setting up the victory.
Better players for Blighty were the 100 gamer Jack Charlton, Charlie Waters, Dean Macdonald, Wispa Brain, Seth Morris and Harry Sides.
Final score, Blighty 10.14 (74) to Strathmerton 2.7 (19).
It was a tough day at the office for the Blighty thirds, going down to the Dogs by 91 points.
After a tight first quarter the Redeyes had no answers to combat Strathy’s run. Despite the loss, Billy Michael continued his good form while Mason Jennings-Case was a standout.
Dean Macdonald came up from the fourths and showed plenty of fight while Ronan Waters battled hard all day.
Final score, Strathmerton 15.9 (99) to Blighty 1.1 (7).