JINDERA rammed the last nail into CDHBU’s finals coffin with a gutsy 19-point victory at Coreen on Saturday.
Both sides were playing for their finals survival but it was the Bulldogs who had the ascendancy with a 29-point lead at the final change.
With its season on the line, CDHBU mounted a spirited fightback in the final term but an inaccurate 1.5 to 0.1 allowed the Bulldogs to prevail 11.5 (71) to 7.10 (52).
The loss signals the end of the Power’s finals aspirations with mid-season losses against Culcairn, Murray Magpies and Lockhart proving costly.
Fifth-placed Jindera still must defeat either Lockhart or Rand-Walbundrie in the final two rounds to guarantee a finals berth after the Demons kept their finals aspirations alive with an upset win against Osborne.
Bulldogs coach Josh Walker said it was a gutsy performance after they lost defender Nathan Chamings (broken leg) and forward Isaac Pound (concussion) in the opening quarter.
“It was a real test of character with the stakes high for both clubs,” Walker said.
“We only had one man on the bench after halfway through the first quarter so it was a pretty tough effort under the circumstances.
“I was fairly proud of how they stuck to the task.
“But when I found out Lockhart had upset Osborne it certainly took a bit of gloss off the win.
“Instead of having a bit of breathing space in fifth spot we are now faced with another cut-throat encounter against Lockhart this week.
“We thought Saturday was our season-defining moment but it looks like it will be this Saturday instead.”
The loss also put a dampener on celebrations for Power coach Brad Talbot in his 250th match.
Talbot bravely returned early from a broken hand and battled gamely to emerge as one of his team’s best alongside Tim Cooper and Josh Lewis.
The Bulldogs had winners in Daniel Middleton, Nick Nott and Campbell Wylie.
In a further boost for the Bulldogs, Walker last week re-signed as coach for a further two seasons.
Walker said the majority of the list had also recommitted for next season, which was a major factor behind him extending his coaching tenure.
In other matches, Culcairn notched its sixth win of the season with a 16-point win over Billabong Crows.
Henty’s top-two aspirations survived a huge scare after it scraped in for a four-point win over Holbrook.
Murray Magpies took until the final quarter to shake off a determined Walla by 22 points.