Strong Show by Reserves

THROWING A PASS: pictured is Tommy Connell in action for the Bulldogs reserve side last Saturday with Brad Piffero behind.THE Bulldogs reserve grade fell agonisingly short of a big victory on the weekend losing to the top placed Gundagai side 16 – 12.

In a tight first half the bulldogs were down 6 nil early after Gundagai got away to a good start crossing in the first 3 minutes to a well constructed try on the back of a Coota penalty. Coota were able to bounce back from this and get into the arm wrestle of the game and matched the Gundagai side for ability across the park for the remainder of the first half.

With good momentum from the bulldogs forwards and some classy movement from a set play Coota were unlucky not to draw level mid way through the half with the last pass on a good backline movement just going adrift. Continued pressure and several sets attacking in the Gundagai half led to Coota’s first try by new hooker Michael Cronin darting over for his first of the season.

Cootamundra continued its ascendancy in the half and were unable to go the break leading after classy half Andrew Bucknell was able to create some room only to see Gundagai dislodge the ball over the tryline with 40 seconds remaining in the half. Both coaches were happy with the sides efforts and went in at half time with the scores locked at 6 all.

Gundagai were once again able to get off to a good start in the second half after a mix up off the kick off led to try in the first minute of the half. Cootamundra were then able to get back into the arm wrestle with some strong running from the forward pack and were well assisted by Luke Levitt in the centres, who made several ensuing runs creating havock for the defence all game.

Once again some smart play from the backs saw Alex Jones in the clear and a good ball to Ken Buttriss in support saw him score the equalizer and a calm conversion by Andrew Bucknell had the Bulldogs in the lead with 15 minutes left in the game.

With the tough game taking its toll and the bench becoming scarce the bulldogs defended their line tirelessly for multiple sets but were eventually unable to withstand the pressure from the youthful tigers and with 8 minutes remaining found themselves trailing by 4.

Cootamundra were able to mount pressure in the remaining time but unfortunately could not convert this into points. Cootamundra now look to South City this weekend in a game that could have a large bearing on the finals make up.

Best on ground was veteran Steven Willoughby, who tackled and ran himself to a literal stand still. He was well supported by Luke Levitt Jack Hogan Andrew Bucknell John Vano and Andre Iro.

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