LEAGUE powerhouse Bullioh remains in the hunt for a prized top-two finish after scoring a rousing two-point win over the previously undefeated Cudgewa at Bullioh on Saturday.
In a dour struggle, the Blues looked destined to remain undefeated as they clung to a four-point lead with less than a minute remaining.
Bullioh mounted one final charge when it cleared the ball from defence and found ruckman James Bannister, who soccered through a goal from 40 metres to hand the Bulldogs a thrilling victory. The final siren sounded seconds later.
Cudgewa coach Bill Deery said the Blues paid the price after failing to land the knockout blow when they had the majority of play in the final quarter.
“It was an old-fashioned slog,” Deery said.
“I haven’t seen conditions like Saturday since the mid-1990s.
“By the end of the game we couldn’t tell who was who, everyone was covered in that much mud.
“We probably had 80 per cent of the play in the last quarter.
“The ball was in our forward line for probably the last 10 minutes and we had four shots and missed.
“Then somehow their ruckman soccered the ball through from 40 metres in the dying seconds.”
The Bulldogs now trail second-placed Corryong by four points and percentage with six rounds left.
Match-winner Bannister was named the Bulldogs’ best after a tireless display in the ruck.
The Blues now meet Corryong, with the winner to assume flag favouritism.
Tumbarumba remains in finals contention after scoring a thrilling five-point win over fourth-placed Federals.
Adam Hansen and Andrew Reid combined for eight goals as Corryong enjoyed a 64-point win over Border-Walwa.
It was an old fashioned slog. I haven’t seen conditions like Saturday since the mid 1990s. By the end of the game we couldn’t tell who was who, everyone was covered in that much mud.