PREMIERSHIP favourites, A&K Gardening Hawks, lived up to expectations when they secured a three goal win in the Stawell Thirteen and Under Football Association grand final.
Hawks had been the dominant team all season and deserved the tag of premiership favourite, after having downed their grand final opponents, the Norton Motor Group Bulldogs, by a massive 70 points in the second semi final.
However, Bulldogs were primed for a contest and the signs were promising early. Bulldogs did manage to restrict Hawks to just one goal in the opening term and added a behind themselves, to trail by only five points at the first change.
Bulldogs, with Ryan Nellthorp finding plenty of the football, Jacob Lowe dominating in the ruck and Angus Williams running hard through the midfield, tried desperately to keep up the pace in the second term and with an early goal, looked threatening.
Hawks steadied and with Bailey Taylor and Nathan Churchill creating plenty of opportunities for their forwards, Hawks had all the answers. From their six scoring shots, they added 3.3 to suddenly open up a 19 points lead at half time.
Bulldogs never gave up hope and kicked two goals in the third term, but Hawks matched this to still hold a comfortable lead at the final change.
Sensing the match was slipping away, Bulldogs threw everything they had at the Hawks in the final term and two quick goals suddenly had them back in the contest. Nellthorp and Lowe were still dominating and Aiden Graveson started to win some important possessions.
However, the charge was shortlived as Hawks, through Taylor, captain Jayden Wright, Nathan and Madi Churchill and key forward Caleb Bretherton, steadied to kick two final term goals, which sealed an 18 points grand final win.
Hawks 1-0 4-3 6-4 8-4 (52)
Bulldogs 0-1 1-2 3-2 5-4 (34)
Goals: Not supplied. Best: Hawks: B Taylor (VCFL Medal), J Wright, N Churchill, M Churchill, C Bretherton, O Summers; Bulldogs: R Nellthorp, J Lowe, A Williams, A Graveson, Z Jenkinson, L Rethus.