Tumbarumba Roos bitten by ruthless Bullioh

LEAGUE powerhouse Bullioh advanced to the preliminary final with an 82-point thrashing of Tumbarumba at Bullioh on Saturday.

The fourth-placed Roos had failed to beat a side above them on the ladder all season and were sent packing from the finals race after the 25.10 (160) to 12.6 (78) loss.

The Bulldogs shot out to a 36-point lead at the first break and increased their lead at every change in a ruthless display.

The Roos’ sorely missed key forward Ben Carey, who missed with a hamstring complaint.

Versatile big man Matt Molkentin slotted into full forward in his absence and made the most of his opportunities to boot five goals.

Bullioh coach Peter Dean said the final scoreline was not a true reflection of the contest.

“The scoreline probably flattered us a bit in the end,” Dean said.

“Tumbarumba really missed Ben Carey up forward and it no doubt hurt their structures. But to kick eight goals in the opening quarter was pleasing and we should be close to full strength for the preliminary final.”

The Bulldogs went into the clash without best and fairest winner Clint Ried (neck) and defender Mark Nichol (unavailable). Dean said both were certain inclusions for the preliminary final in a fortnight.

Young defender Joel Bannister was the Bulldogs’ best and was the springboard for many of their attacking moves.

Key forwards Jade Culph and Tom Hickey were menacing in attack and combined for 13 of their 25 goals. Charlie Hindle and Taylor Fenton were also lively up forward and chipped in with two goals each.

Roos coach Matt Howarth led by example to emerge as his side’s best player alongside Molkentin, Jack Kelly and Aaron Hallcroft.

With Bullio having contesting six of the past seven grand finals for four flags, the loser of this week’s second semi-final between minor premier Cudgewa and Corryong would be nervous about the prospect of meeting the Bulldogs in the preliminary final.