Bullioh produced a flawless final quarter comeback to claim the Upper Murray grand final by 28 points against Federal at Tallangatta Valley Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The Bulldogs redeemed themselves from their loss in last year’s decider with a 12.18 (90) to 9.8 (62) victory.
Bullioh’s victory was soured by a broken jaw to Kelvin Wallace in the final quarter.
Wallace was hit by Ashley Tyrell who was immediately sent from the field.
Federal looked as though it was going to run away with the game in the second half after piling on five goals to one in the third to term to lead by 11 points at the final change.
But it was all one-way traffic from there as Bullioh piled on six unanswered majors and put their kicking woes to bed to capture their first senior flag since 2011 – without dropping a game.
Co-coach Hamish Clark was named best on ground and was classy through the midfield.
Brandyn Phillips was also outstanding with seven goals, particularly given he dislocated his knee in the second quarter and pushed through.
Federal led by a kick at the first break, but Bullioh began to stamp its authority in the second quarter, however, they were extremely wasteful in front of goal.
For all their dominance, the Bulldogs could only muster 3.9 in the second term, with Federal’s only goal coming on the stroke of half-time to keep them within 14 points.
Whitty and Keiran Brennan kicked truly inside the first five minutes of the third quarter to cut the margin to two points for the Swans.
Bullioh responded with their only goal for the quarter, before Federal finished strongly with Andrew Saliba and and Tim Seymour putting the Swans 11 points clear at the last change.
However, Federal couldn’t maintain the ascendancy for long as Phillips put Bullioh back in front with his fifth 10 minutes in and had his sixth moments later.
Eddie Menz extended the margin to 14 from a free kick following the send off of Tyrell and Clark put it beyond doubt inside the final two minutes.
Bullioh won the clearance from the centre and Phillips marked just before the siren, cooly slotting his seventh as the celebrations began.
Bulldogs’ co-coach Clint Ried was relieved to turn around the heartbreak of grand final day last season.
“They had a real crack and tried their guts out, but to our boys’ credit, they just kept going,” Ried said.
“We could have put them away early, but that’s the way football is.”
“Unfortunately we’ve got a young bloke (Wallace) with a broken jaw, it was disappointing to see him finish like that because he had a very good year.”
Federal coach Gerard Midson couldn’t fault the effort of his side.
“No-one outside our four walls gave us a chance, but we were right in it at three-quarter time,” Midson said.
Midson added the last quarter incident was disappointing and put it down to a “brain fade”.
Daniel Hales was the Swans’ best.
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