Grand Final heartbreak for Rosellas
It was a familiar sight on the premiership dais: jubilant Dingley players, with their beaming coach, Shane Morwood.
Count them and commend them: the Dingoes on Saturday captured their fourth Southern league Division 1 flag in five years, defeating Cheltenham by 12 points and prompting Morwood to declare Dingley could now be considered a “great club’’.
Two weeks earlier Chelt had thrashed the Dingoes by 63 points, putting the Rosellas in contention to win their first division one premiership since 1934.
At a windy Moorabbin ground, Dingley took the prospect of a Cheltenham fairytale and turned it into an unforgettable adventure of its own.
The Dingoes led at every change, though by narrow margins, and they held on in the final quarter with desperate defence, failing to score themselves but restricting Chelt to two points.
The gusty wind was no friend to Chelt’s forward line either.
McTaggart booted two in the second quarter for the Rosellas, the first a superb snap in the demanding conditions.
He was among Cheltenham’s best, alongside his captain, Jack Worrell, and the doughty Weickhardt.
Rosellas coach Des Ryan said his team had a tremendous season and had played “exciting football’’.
“Unfortunately in the conditions today we didn’t take the game on as much as we could have,’’ he said.
“They (Dingley) closed us up at the right times. I wanted the boys to be courageous with their ball movement, change direction, but we didn’t do it enough. Disappointing because the opportunity was there. We had blokes in good form but we couldn’t get all of them in the game. The first half of the third quarter was really good but a good opponent who knows this end of the season rode it out.’’
Dingley 2.2, 5.3, 7.7, 7.7 (49)
Cheltenham 1.3, 3.5, 5.5, 5.7 (37)
Dingley goals: R. Goldsmith, R. Rusan, D. Farmer, R. Faulkner-Wood, V. Faik, L. Hard, T. Parker
Best: C. Horton-Milne, J. Ades, L. Walmsley , D. Ades, T. La Rocca, V. Faik
Cheltenham goals: W. McTaggart 2, D. Weickhardt, J. Worrell, D. Kelly
Best: J. Worrell, D. Vaughan, S. Hayes, W. McTaggart, D. Kelly, D. Weickhardt