gidge again! [Video]

Gidge Premiers 2013UPDATE: It was the quality Grand Final everyone was waiting for.

On Grand Final morning the Chidlow Cougars were set to put the icing on a stellar year. History records Chidlow as the Hills Football Association’s first ever Premiers in 1946. But ‘it’s been a long time between drinks.’

Gidgegannup Bulldogs have lost four games this season. They went down in three regular season match-ups and one semi final – three of those losses were to the undefeated HFA juggernaut Chidlow Cougars.

Adam ‘Plugga’ McKinlay (23) kicked 165 goals this season (including finals). A freakish tally that shot him to national prominence as Australia’s second highest goal scorer.

The Cougars forward dominance didn’t stop with Adam McKinlay. Adam’s brother Brett ‘Buzz’ McKinlay booted over 90 and Shane Fitzgerald gorged on another 80 odd goals in the forward pocket. In fact, these forwards accounted for all top three positions in the HFA goal kicking leader board.

Other forwards Chris Robinson, Nathan Firth and utility Michael McKinlay helped things along with their own hefty contributions. In combination the Cougars forwards achieved a staggering goal total for the season.

Of course forwards rely on supply and an awesome midfield and a solid defense meant supply was excellent.

It’s the way the Cougars have played all year for a win loss ratio of 18 – 0 and a percentage of 449.01

Gidgegannup have travelled unknown terrain this season. They suffered heavy losses to Chidlow in each of their three encounters (including a semi final) and were humbled by a rising Pickering Brook in an 11 goal drubbing in round 15.

Old habits die hard and by the preliminary final the Bulldogs reverted to the form of previous years. The Bullys crushed Pickering Brook, ending their season with a beating the Hawks may find hard to forget.

Gidge had made it through for their eighth consecutive grand final. This time it was against the odds.

A call the night before the grand final told Bulldogs assistant coach Brett Davis that captain coach Justin Pitt had would not make the big game. He was laid up in hospital with internal bleeding in his thigh. Davis was in charge.

And this was how the stage was set as the clouds parted for the opening bounce and the drama of the 2013 Grand Final.

The first quarter followed the script. Chidlow were dominating, moving the ball precisely and switching at will. McKinlay, Robinson and Fitzgerald all had set shots. The first quarter belonged to Chidlow. There were misses but they seemed affordable. The Cougars had outscored the Bulldogs 3 to 1.

The second quarter saw the Bulldogs push back hard. Bulldogs big-man Stephen Kelderman was hitting the packs and marking strongly. It was the beginning of a personal performance that would later see him named best on ground.

Obviously sore, Kelderman lifted the tempo – thundering into contests to kick four goals in a team rousing effort and his teammates lifted around him.

Injuries to Cougars’ ruckman Josh Tielen (knee) and fullback Tom Saville (ACL) left some awkward gaps to fill. By the time the Cougars had plugged the hole the Bulldogs were back in the game and asserting themselves.

Adam McKinlay was forced up the ground and Andre Smith who had been setting up forward entries was pushed back to help stem the flow.

Bulldog Michael McCrudden and Cougars’ Steven Schorer were locked in their own absorbing battle on the wing where both players had their moments.

At three quarter time the script had been re-written. From here on in it was the Bulldogs with their fingers on the premiership flag. Although Gidge held a seemingly modest 14 point lead (3 kicks), in the scheme of this game it may as well have been 50.

Australian Rules Football is famous for its drama and the story of this grand final was still to take another turn. At the last change the Cougars launched a flurry of forward offensives with the level of intensity rarely seen outside a grand final.

Even with some awful misses the Cougars reduced the margin to a single kick, momentum was running with them and Cougars fans felt the greatest of premiership wins, ‘the comeback victory’ was within their grasp.

The Bulldogs absorbed the onslaught and responded, making the most of their opportunities. Bulldogs captain Cameron Hore didn’t miss from range or on the run, finishing with a great snap to maintain a winning margin.

It was a thrilling game of football enjoyed by a big crowd. The Gidge Bulldogs won their seventh premiership flag in their eighth consecutive grand final in the best game of the year.

The story of this grand final was every bit as good as predicted. And the best stories are the ones where no one can predict the ending.

Gidgegannup 11.13 (79) def. Chidlow 9.11 (65)

We have access to the Chidlow Cougars highlights reel and have embedded it below. Enjoy some great local footy moments.













  1. “if you do have footage of the whole game why were only highlights of Chidlow’s play added to the write up? There was plenty of Gidge Highlights too”

    Fair enough question Anon. We’ve had a few like that.

    The Cougars commissioned a video of the Grand Final. Obviously, they hoped it would be a record of a glorious win. As well as a full match recording it became a ‘Cougars highlights package’ for their presentation night – and a way of acknowledging their local sponsors.

    We just thought it we should link it in and let people see a little bit more of Hills footy action.

    It should not be considered ‘Eye’ coverage. We do our best to support all of our Hills footy teams and welcome and encourage all club contributions.

  2. if you do have footage of the whole game why were only highlights of Chidlow’s play added to the write up? There was plenty of Gidge Highlights too.

  3. “Hi There, Thanks for your reporting on the HFA throughout the year. It’s been great having some extra publicity to promote the league.”

  4. Brendan Grima says:

    Eyes on the hills, a wonderfully unbiased article, well balanced and it’s good to see the journalistic integrity is alive and well, at eye on the hills.
    In case any readers out there are a bit confused, the doggies won, but in saying that I would like to congratulate Adam McKinlay on his stella season kicking 165 goals, it is almost impressive as 7 out of 8 grand final wins, GO DOGGIES!!!

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