FATE dealt the Bulldogs a cruel hand this year, but Tarrawingee coach Trevor Edwards refused to blame ill fortune for his side’s straight sets departure from the Ovens and King premiership race.
After finishing on top of the ladder with a 17-1 record, the Bulldogs were bundled out of the finals with losses to Benalla All Blacks and Glenrowan.
Throughout the first half of the season Tarrawingee was the unbackable flag favourite.
But a season-ending injury to Lachlan Raven, who had been one of the standout players of the competition before breaking his leg badly in round 12, provided the Bulldogs with their first major hurdle.
Daniel McCormick broke a toe in the same match and missed the next month, while Danyon Hearne missed 10 games with a broken wrist.
Tarrawingee’s woes were compounded in the semi final loss to Benalla, losing McCormick (back) again, Justin Hoggan (broken hand) and Ben Bell (broken ribs).