THURGOONA have won back-to-back premierships after a second-half rout against Kiewa-Sandy Creek on Saturday afternoon.
An arm wrestle in the first half gave way to a Bulldogs barrage in the second, as Thurgoona booted eight unanswered goals in the third quarter.
Full-forward Matt Fowler finished with nine-goals in Thurgoona’s 22.10.142 to 8.9.57 win.
The Hawks were slow out of the blocks, giving up the first two goals of the game, but recovered well to hold a seven-point lead at half-time.
It was one-way traffic after the main break through, with the likes of David Price, Daniel Kannenburg, Joel Roberson and a host of others getting their hands on the ball first.
As dominant as their midfield performance was, the Bulldogs defenders were equally influential in the second half.
Mark Haydon restricted Kiewa spearhead Guy Telford to just three goals, while their half-backs provided plenty of run and carry.
Price was named best on ground for his dominant around the ground performance.
...We've changed the way we’ve played a little bit being the hunted as opposed to hunting the pack.Jayden Kotzur
Co-coach Jayden Kotzur said there was little that could top the feeling of going back-to-back.
“It’s exciting to finish on top, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.
“The boys have worked so hard all year, it’s reward for effort.
“I believe we’ve been the best side all year, we’ve really put some structures in place and changed the way we’ve played a little bit being the hunted as opposed to hunting the pack.
“We’ve got a group of 28 or 29 senior players who were all probably worthy of playing today, and the 21 today got the job done.”
Kotzur’s coaching colleague Jamarl O’Sullivan echoed the sentiment, saying it was a privilege to be a part of the club’s renaissance.
“For some of those guys who have been around the club for a long time, when things weren’t great, it’s reward for effort,” he said.
“Clubs like Kiewa have been up for a while, they know how to win flags, we’re hopefully starting to build that tradition.”
Hawks coach Adam Mudra said Thurgoona’s inside grunt and clean use of the ball was too much for their midfield to handle.
“We knew they’d be big and strong, and we thought our ability to run and carry and move the footy was going to help us, but full credit to them, they won the footy inside and out,” he said.
“We just couldn’t get it on our terms, they had first hands on it and from there when you have forwards like Fowler, (Aiden) Brown and (Jake) Bruce you’re going to kick a big score.”