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VFL triumph for Footscray

02 Oct 2014

VFL triumph for Footscray Image

By Robert Bremner

The Footscray Bulldogs have come from behind to defeat reigning premiers Box Hill Hawks in the Victorian Football League (VFL) grand final at Etihad Stadium on September 21.

The 16. 13. (109) to 13. 9. (87) win was the Bulldogs' first major trophy in 60 years since their VFL/AFL grand final win in 1954.

2014 was Footscray’s first season in the competition after the Western Bulldogs ended their affiliation with Williamstown last year and created its own reserves side.

The match itself wasn’t without its controversies with Hawthorn players Ben McEvoy and Brad Sewell pulling out of the Box Hill side prior to the bounce.

And Cyril Rioli was rested in the last quarter after showing enough to possibly earn himself a spot in the Hawthorn grand final team.

This left the Hawks down three rotations, with Billy Hartung and Luke Andrews injured before three-quarter time, leaving Box Hill with only one fit player on the bench.

The match was tight throughout with only a couple of goals separating the teams in the first three quarters. Momentum see-sawed with no team able to take control of the match for long periods of time.

Box Hill led by six points at three quarter time and looked home after kicking the first two goals of the final quarter to break away with an 18 point lead. However, Footscray hit back with the last six goals to run away with the match.

Brett Goodes collected 30 disposals and was named the Norm Goss Memorial medallist as the best player on the ground while Liam Jones starred with five goals including two late ones to seal the win.

Footscray reached the grand final after knocking off first placed Port Melbourne in the preliminary final. Box Hill pipped Williamstown by seven points in the other final.

The match was played in front of 23,816 fans, the highest attendance at a VFL grand final in 25 years.

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