Coming off the bye, the Bulldogs were slow to put their best football together and fought out a two-goal-to-one first half against Berrigan.
For much of the first half it was a battle of half-back lines, with both sides controlling the football from deep, but struggling to possess it for the length of the ground.
For his first match this season Matt Shannon led the defence with courage and composure and had great support from O’Kane, O’Sullivan and the Laidlaws.
The game opened up in the second half, with both sides reinforcing their approach and individual roles.
Strathmerton kicked five of the nine goals in the third-term shootout with selfless running, disciplined team play and improved finishes through the middle.
Key position forwards Campbell and Bunge worked well together with great support underfoot from Betson, Cleary, Russo and Wagner.
The Bulldogs held on to win by four points, with Berrigan snapping a behind seconds before the siren.
With the possibility of a wet and windy day on Blighty’s home ground next week, Strathmerton will need to be out of the blocks early and straight into its structure to overcome the in-form Redeyes.
An undermanned reserves side took to the field and worked tirelessly in what felt like five quarters of football against a well-composed Berrigan side.
With a strong outfit of key position players and some wonderful assistance from the under-17s, Strathmerton is not too far away from some more victories. It would really benefit from those half-a-dozen players still sitting on the fence — bring your mates to training.
Standouts for the day were Mick Keane, Ryan Bury, Emiel Van Der Goor, Brandon Deakin and Damian Giddens, who is back after welcoming his first child during the week. Congratulations, Damo.
Brodey Rudd was on loan from Cobram and was fantastic across half-back. He is a very talented player with a bright future.
It was also fantastic to see the two Mahoney boys playing side-by-side again and holding together a backline that was under fire.
Jacko Hay was great, as was Jacob Gillie and Strathmerton first-gamer fMatt Sim.
The under-17s offered fantastic assistance with standouts Cunningham, Wyatt, the Cravens and Stokes, especially after dominating in the victorious thirds side earlier in the day.
It was another strong outing for the boys this week.
Dominating from the first bounce, the backline got very little action as the mids and the forwards had everything covered.
Berrigan fought strongly, making the Dogs earn every point.
It was a strong showing by all, with Beau Hall displaying his strengths and a welcome back to Nick Richards.
Even though the side is constantly struggling for numbers, the boys are showing they are strong contenders.
Thanks to the young fourths boys for helping field a team each week.
Awards to T. Collyer, B. Hall, J. Walkington, D. Craven and Z. Cunningham.
A slightly undermanned Strathmerton side took on Berrigan, giving an excellent effort all over the ground.
Jake Henderson seems to have found his spot dominating the ruck and Tristan Lee and Sid McNeil are playing their best games this season.
Unfortunately, Strathmerton couldn’t get the win.
Awards went to Tristan Lee — Strathy Pizza, Will Large — Subway, Sid McNeil — ladies committee, Jake Henderson — McDonald’s $5 and Caleb Wilson — coach’s award.