Point Cook is on the winners’ list in the Western Region Football League division 1 for the first time in its history.
The newly-promoted Bulldogs powered to a famous 37-point win over cellar dweller Albion on the road at JR Parsons Reserve on Saturday.
Bulldogs coach Ian Denny said the breakthrough top-flight win was a landmark for the club.
“The players sung the song with as much enthusiasm as when we won the grand final,” he said.
“I know Albion is sort of in a world of pain at the moment, but we’re trying to push up and they’re trying to hang on, so we’ll take any win we can get at this point.”
After a competitive opening quarter, Point Cook began to take control from the second quarter onwards.
The Bulldogs opened up a 21-point lead at half-time and were comfortably in front thereafter.
Denny praised Albion, which had lost its previous three games by an average of 194 points, for tactics that made it tough for his side.
“It was tough and they made it in-close … full credit to them,” he said. “It wasn’t a pretty game to watch, but as long as we came away with the win, I didn’t really care.”
Point Cook had shown flashes of its potential in the early stage of the season without securing a win.
“Good efforts and good quarters, which is what we’ve been playing at times, are good, but it’s always better to win,” he said.
Point Cook was promoted with a fairly young team in tow.
Two of the Bulldog pups, Mason Taylor and Kane Ryan, thrived in the victory.
Taylor used his skills to good effect on a wing, while Ryan was lively across wing and half-forward.
Denny believes the game turned in favour of Point Cook on the back of a purple patch from Alex Grigg.
In one act, Grigg took a courageous pack mark, while in another, he broke the pack open with brute strength.
“Those sort of things change the game,” Denny said.
Daniel Bunworth’s on-field leadership at Point Cook has been profound.
Bunworth was a smart pick-up by the Bulldogs because of his experience as player-coach of Wyndhamvale, a side that was in a relegation battle in recent seasons before going down last season.
“He’s been fantastic for us,” Denny said. “I think he’s enjoying not being the coach and just playing footy.”
Aker Ali led the way in the forward line for Point Cook with three goals.
Point Cook could get a harsh dose of reality when it faces Altona this Saturday at Saltwater Reserve. Altona disposed of six-time defending champion Deer Park by 68 points last weekend.
Elsewhere in division 1, Werribee Districts held off a fast-finishing St Albans to win by 18 points at Kings Park Reserve.
Big man Caleb Sullivan and Chris Mollivas (three goals) were influential for the Tigers.
Hoppers Crossing went down on home soil by 22 points to Spotswood.
The Warriors could only manage eight goals against the stingy Woodsmen defence.
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