As the Richmond Tigers held up the Australian Football League premiership trophy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, it was a different story in downtown Doveton for the Dogs of HMAS Cerberus, as their winning streak and dream of back-to-back premierships was shattered.
Playing in the Southern Football League Third Grade Grand Final at Power Reserve Oval, the Cerberus team - comprised of staff and students from Navy, Air Force, and Army - had ended the season as minor premiers, with 16 wins and one loss.
On the big day, the team got off to a great start kicking three goals, three points and keeping the opposition to just four points at half-time.
However, after the long break, their opposition, the South Yarra Lions, came out fighting and eventually outscored the Dogs, to win by 16 points - 4.9-33 to 7.7-49.
Cerberus club executive Chris Harrison said the team had beaten their opposition by 42 points in the qualifying final a few weeks earlier.
“On grand final day, both teams played exceptionally well and it was a hard fought contest throughout the entire match,” Mr Harrison said.
“Both teams were exhausted and gave their all.”
Best players for Cerberus were Leading Seaman Marine Technician Dimitri Garoufalis (two goals), Seaman Marine Technician Zachary Storry, M Parker, Petty Officer Boatswain Adam Quinn and Able Seaman Marine Technician Christopher Madson.
Cerberus playing coach Petty Officer Quinn was recently named the league’s best and fairest player.
“It was a great honour and one of the highlights of my AFL career, although I would definitely trade it for a premiership,” Petty Officer Quinn said.
“In the grand final, we had a lapse in the third quarter and that cost us the game. That’s why they call it the premiership quarter.
“I was extremely happy with the effort and commitment the players put in through the season, though.”
He said he was looking forward to the team going one better next year.
Mr Harrison said the executives of the club were pleased to announce the Cerberus team would be fielding a female team in the local 2018 competition.