ELMORE’S season has come to a tough end against North Bendigo in the Heathcote and District Football League.
Coach Danny Brewster said the club always knew Saturday’s game at home wouldn’t be easy against a classy Bulldogs outfit.
The Bloods conceded 182 points in the thrashing, North’s Samuel Barnes making up the bulk of the scores with eight goals.
The Bloods brought plenty of pressure in the first and fourth quarters, but lacked the experience to bring the same high intensity for four quarters.
Joe Harney and Steven Carmody were both out with Kally McDougal and Bryce Niven stepping up to play their first senior game.
Brewster said they did what was asked of them and would be better for the experience.
‘‘The scoreboard says we’re a long way off those top sides,’’ Brewster said.
‘‘Internally we felt we should’ve won more games this year, (three wins and a draw), but we got a lot of improvement into our kids and inexperienced players which should hold us in good stead for next season.
‘‘We were looking to win five or six games and considering it was our building year it’s been a good result.’’
Elmore showed in patches at the weekend and throughout the season they could match it with the best.
The contained the Bulldogs to 24 points in the opening term and kicked one goal to one.
But they let the opposition get away from them in the second, dropping their defensive pressure and allowing the Bulldogs to kick freely for 11 goals.
They trailed by 75 points at the major break.
A scoreless third term saw the reigning premiers back to their impressive best, increasing the margin by nine goals and five behinds (59 points).
The last quarter had full-back Nick Page running forward to kick two goals for the Bloods, Mackenzie Whittle and James Harney also finished with one each.
Solid contributions from Nicholas Kellow, the most consistent player in the back half of the season, and Nathan Brewster, a leader across half-back, was a positive from the game.
Despite the 154-point deficit, Brewster was confident they would be in finals next year.
‘‘This season as been a good building block,’’ he said.
‘‘If we can add a couple of class players to boost the side and add more depth we’re not too far off playing finals next year.
‘‘Teams like North Bendigo and Leitchville-Gunbower have been playing together consistently for a few seasons now.
‘‘If we can keep everyone together for another season and get more senior games into our young guys we’d be better for it.’’
Brewster would coach next season and said the club was focused on keeping everyone local playing.
And while the seniors and reserves had struggled for 2017, the thirds were still in finals which gave a lot of promise to coming years.
‘‘Consistency starts with a good pre-season,’’ he said.
‘‘The guys are all looking forward to having a rest and then reboot in time for a big pre-season.’’
■ELMORE A grade netball has fallen away in the final game of the Heathcote and District Netball League season.
It narrowly avoided the wooden spoon with two wins for 2017, and fell short of a third against North Bendigo on Saturday at Elmore Recreation Reserve.
The Bloods came within four goals at the final whistle (29-33), an improvement from their previous 23-41 loss to North in round nine.
But there was still a lot of development left in the young side and they had expected a tough year given their inexperience.
Their focus now would be on retaining players for next year and continuing to build on their consistency.