The University Cougars have broken a thirteen year Premiership drought as they defeated the Christchurch Bulldogs in the Canterbury Grand Final at Hagley Park.
On a day with clear blue skies, the underdog University Cougars took on the Christchurch Bulldogs, who were searching for a three-peat of Premierships.
The game began ferociously as both sides were hungry to get their hands on the ball early on.
Canterbury stalwart Alex Deveraux produced some magic to open the scoring as he sidestepped a couple of Bulldogs close to the boundary before a miracle bounce sent the ball straight through the goals.
In a tight first quarter, the defending champion Bulldogs held a slender lead by three points.
The Cougars settled in the second quarter and started to play with structure.
Forward Jamie Day was receiving some clean ball from his midfielders and was managing to dominate his opposite, Sam Burdett.
The Bulldogs were hanging on but late goal from the Cougars caused frustration for the Dog’s just before the main break as the Cougars went into halftime with a two goal lead.
The Premiership quarter should be renamed the Brad Mavor quarter as the ex-Bulldog now Cougar took the game by the scruff and showed why he has won the Canterbury AFL (CAFL) Players Player, Coaches Player and the Nicky Dow Award (B&F) this year.
Laying dominant tackles, intercepting sloppy kicks with magnificent marks and even going for a run up the middle of the ground taking three bounces, Mavor split the game open.
Bulldogs player Steph Van Gruting got some good ball through the middle and found Stevie in the forward line, But the Cougars just swarmed with Cargill and De-Joux equal to the task taking clean marks and delivering clean kicks out from their defence.
The physical nature of the game was taking its toll on the Bulldogs as the Cougars dominated the final quarter kicking five straight goals.
The inspirational Jamie Day kicked the majority but also never-say-die Jacob Edy was impressive with lots to contribute till the end.
The Cougars momentum to finish the season on a high was testament to the long term building of the coach Chris Mintern who calmly repeated his message to play positive footy and the results will come.
It was a seven goal victory in the end as the Cougars held aloft the Premiership torphy for the first time in 13 years.
University Cougars: 12.5: 77
Christchurch Bulldogs: 5.6: 36
Story – Canterbury AFL