Gunnedah and District Bulldogs AFC men recorded their maiden win for season 2024 of North West AFL competition, accounting for the Tamworth Kangaroos by an impressive six-goal, 36-point margin at Wolseley Oval.

Meanwhile, the Poochettes women continued their unbeaten start to season 2024 of the women’s competition, disposing of the Kangaroos women in comprehensive fashion by a 12-goal, 72-point margin.

In a match that ebbed and flowed for the first three quarters, the Bulldogs put together a clinical last quarter, booting four majors in the final term to complete the 109-73 victory.

Most impressive in the Bulldogs victory was the stability of their backline, led by Zeb Dillon at fullback and in conjunction with Dan Pass, Beau Herbert and teenager Callan Gibson on a half back flank, combined to enable the Bulldogs a solid maiden victory.

After jumping out to a three-goal lead in the first quarter, the Kangaroos struck back with five straight majors of their own.

However, the Bulldogs held firm after the Kangaroos onslaught, responding with two goals and headed into the quarter time break with a slender three-point lead at 34-31.

Both sides traded four goals apiece during the second term, as the match followed a similar pattern in the second quarter to what transpired in the first.

But it was the Bulldogs, largely due to their backline holding firm, that kept their noses in front at the main half time break by four points at 60-56.

Both sides continued to trade blows on the scoreboard, as a shootout in front of goal ensued during the third quarter, with both sides converting limited opportunities available.

It was the Bulldogs though that gave themselves breathing space, booting three goals to two for the quarter and in the process, enabling breathing space by the last interval to be ahead by nine points at 80-71 at three quarter time.

That was when the shootout ended between the two sides though, where in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs were full of running out of the back half and midfield.

Bulldogs players Pass, Gibson and Herbert were crucial to this and while Dillon locked down the Kangaroos main attacking threat, they gave the Bulldogs the drive out of the back half to put the final nail in the coffin of their opposition.

Teenage sensation and wingman Mason Louis was ultra impressive for the Bulldogs, proving a crucial link between the backline and half forward line.

Importantly, he consistently provided an attacking outlet for the Bulldogs and once they turned the ball over in the back half, Louis was able to use his blinding speed out of traffic, continuously posing a threat inside the attacking half in hitting lead up and half forward targets such as Liam Naismith and Travis Oakley.

Louis was rewarded with one of the four majors booted by the Bulldogs in the final term and on the back of his and the backline’s efforts, they were able to run out impressive victors by 36 points at 109-73.

Impressively, the Bulldogs was accumulated by eight different goal scorers on the day, with centre half forward Oakley, captain Adam Curgenven and Mark Ewington slotting two each as multiple scorers while Louis, Corey

Robinson, Liam Herbert, Tom Carlyon and Boyd McCormack also hit the scoreboard with solitary majors for the Bulldogs.

In the women’s fixture, the Poochettes dominated the match from start to finish, punishing a willing Kangaroos’ side to the tune of 72 points.

Alexa Walker was a key figure in the forward line, booting three majors in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs the jump on their opposition, leading by the quarter time break 28-0.

Despite inaccuracy during the second term, the Poochettes stringent defence ensured they weren’t punished on the scoreboard and by half time were well on their way to victory, leading by 32 points at 33-1.

Laura Ewington was swung forward in the third term and her influence on the match put the result beyond doubt for the Poochettes.

She booted three majors as a focal point of attack, impressively able to impact contests through her aerial marking ability but also by winning the ball at ground level and turning her opportunities into majors.

By three quarter time, the Poochettes opened up a 51-point lead and never looked back, running out the match with ease to cruise to their third victory of the season, and in succession, by 72 points at 79-7.

Captain and ultra consistent performer Kartrina Rekunow was best on ground for the Poochettes, while Walker, Ewington, Charlotte Renshaw and Leah Schofield all had major influences on the victory.

Ewington and Walker finished with three majors each, combined with Annie Elphick who booted two as the multiple goal scorers for the Poochettes whilst Kelly Ewington, Zoe Palmer and Meg Leaton also hit the scoreboard.

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