Phillip Island broke through for an emphatic win in the Alberton FNL Senior Grand Final at Meeniyan on Saturday, the first time in 24 years that the cup has gone back across the San Remo bridge. The team; from left, back, Peter Colla (trainer), Will Van Diemen, Zac Brown (trainer), Michael Duiker, Mitch Price, Jarrod Henzen, Johan Van Zanen, Zach Wagner (runner), Ben Van Brummelen, Matt Jackson, Tom Cole, Josh Docherty, Jack Taylor, Marcus Wright, Mark Griffin, Geoff Daff (trainer), James Taylor, Rod Gysberts (PIFC footy operations) and Michael Taylor (PIFC footy operations) and front, Aaron Edwards, Darcy Johnston, coach Brendan Kimber, Liam Henzen, captain Jaymie Youle, Scott Riordan, Beau Runnalls and Shane Taylor.
By Mitch Guy
PHILLIP Island has broken a 24-year premiership drought after an impressive finals series culminated in the 2014 Alberton Football League Premiership at Meeniyan on Saturday.
It is just the sixth senior premiership for the club with their most recent successes in 1990 and 1981.
The Bulldogs finished third on the ladder and after showing inconsistent form heading into the finals including a shock loss to Stony Creek, many doubted the side’s premiership credentials.
But two big wins over Fish Creek and Inverloch-Kongwak saw their campaign gain momentum and a fighting win over Kilcunda-Bass last week had many tipping the side to win the grand final over Dalyston.
And the Bulldogs proved themselves on the biggest stage as they grasped a 16-point lead at the half time break and held off a fighting Dalyston side to win their first Alberton senior premiership by 45 points.
The team had a good blend of youth and experience, with an average age of 24 and 11 players coming up through the junior ranks at Phillip Island.
First year coach Brendan Kimber led his team to victory with a resounding performance to give the club the success it has long been waiting for.
After a career with the Casey Scorpions in the VFL, 29 year old midfielder James Taylor returned to his home club towards the end of the 2012 season.
The tough footballer had never played in a grand final before Saturday and was named as one of the best on the ground in the win.
Captain Jaymie Youle is another Bulldog who played at the higher level, winning the TAC Cup Under 18 premiership with the Gippsland Power in 2005 before a stint with Casey Scorpions.
His return to the club where he played juniors has resulted in the ultimate success, with Youle one of the most consistent performers for the club in the past few years.
The final siren saw scenes of jubilation for a club starved of success, with their first premiership since 1990.
It is a great reward for the efforts of the Phillip Island Football and Netball Club Committee, led by president Lex Munro and director of Football Operations Michael Taylor.
Saturday at Meeniyan was a celebration of an excellent Alberton season and finals series.
It was very much a Bulldog kind of day with the Korumburra-Bena recording a spectacular come-from-behind win over Kilcunda-Bass in the Reserves and Korumburra-Bena winning the A Grade netball against Dalyston.