So much was expected of the 2023 Grand Final between Newborough and Fish Creek, both sides with impressive performances leading into the Big Dance.
The Bulldogs had been unbeaten, but the Kangaroos had got within a kick just a fortnight prior.
The weather was near perfect, the ground excellent, but for Newborough,
that's unfortunately where it stopped, the premiership favourites not able to get themselves in the game at any time.
Fish Creek 9-12-66 to Newborough 5-8-38.
Craig Skinner, Newborough coach "beaten, I know it was only four goals in the end, but we were beaten from the start almost through to the end it didn't really seem like we were in it at any stage."
The Kangaroos jumped out of the blocks courtesy of a two maybe three goal breeze, inaccuracy in some ways keeping the Bulldogs in the game
(quarter time 2-6-18 to 0-1-1)
Newborough stopped the bleeding by half time but didn't bridge the seventeen point gap.
There was concern for concern but it was not yet a crisis.
Jarrod Walker, Fish Creek coach "Newborough have been the benchmark, and it was probably not a bad place for us to be coming into the game as underdogs, with Newborough coming into the game undefeated, there was a bit of pressure on them, and they are going to be a strong team for a long time to come, but it wasn't to be there game today."
The third quarter was when the Kangaroos put some space between themselves and the Bulldogs, a thirty six point margin was always going to be a bridge too far with just twenty five minutes of football remaining.
Craig Skinner, Newborough coach "Look I'll be honest, I'm starting to get sick of this feeling, It's not what we play footy for, but I've got a very good group of footballers and outside of footy they are really good people, the whole thing is that you gotta keep turning up and doing your best and that's what we have done."
Newborough's best, not good enough on the weekend, every door they opened was quickly closed, but that didn't stop them trying to break the door down, their last quarter, their best as they cut the margin but still fell short by just over four goals.
Jarrod Walker Fish Creek coach "when we play our best footy we have the full twenty one, but definitely today we had a few stand out as well Mcgannon, Jack Hayes down back, a few dangerous forwards, Blaine Coates through the midfield as well but the whole team did very well."
Fish Creek maintain their title as the most successful team in regional Victoria, their 2023 premiership, their thirty seventh, keeping them at the top of all clubs in country Victoria.
Jarrod Walker, Fish Creek "I think just our physical game that we started to play through the season, through pre season we worked on being fit and being competitive, you know we've got some skilful players but we base our game on that pressure and it really pays dividends in the end."
Season 2023 has been quite possibly one of the more competitive years in the MGFNL's long and respected history, and Fish Creek have proved themselves worthy premiers rising above the pack of talented teams.