Gisborne will take away plenty of lessons from its loss to Eaglehawk in the Bendigo Football League on Saturday.
The Hawks are the benchmark side in the competition this year, while the Bulldogs are one of the young, developing sides.
The Hawks jumped out of the blocks to have a six goals to none quarter-time lead and the game was all but over at half-time with the Hawks leading 70-16.
The Bulldogs tried hard in the second half but couldn’t bridge the gap and eventually lost 20.10 (130)-7.11 (53).
Bulldogs coach Brad Spear said that while they hadn’t been able to match it with the top sides this season, the manner of Saturday’s loss stung.
“It was disappointing to let Eaglehawk get away from us,” he said. “They worked hard and ran hard and much cleaner with the ball.
“We spoke about it after the game – that they have a similar game style to us and are the model of how to go about things.”
Jack Baker was best in the loss for the Bulldogs.
Spear said they were hoping to get reward for effort by snaring a few more wins before the season ends.
The Bulldogs have come on leaps and bounds this year, but the results haven’t necessarily reflected that progress.
Last season, they won three matches. They currently have four wins and are sitting in seventh position.
“We lost a few games where we’ve been really competitive, more so than last year,” Spear said.
“We’re improving as a team. If we were going backwards it would be a concern, but it’s not the case.”
The Bulldogs will be confident going into their match against Castlemaine.
Meanwhile, Spear, who is in his second year of coaching, said he was undecided whether he would continue next season.
The club has advertised the role as required by its constitution.
Kyneton defeated Kangaroo Flat
13.14 (92)-6.4 (40).
After an even first half, the Tigers blew the game open with eight goals to two in the second half.
Ben Weightman kicked four goals for the winners, with Rhys Magin named best on ground.
The Tigers sit fourth on the ladder.