The first grade Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs put on an impressive and polished performance to close out a win over the Bombala Blue Heelers on Sunday.
The Heelers are shaping as one of the biggest premiership contenders and very difficult to shut down, but after jostling for control in the first half, the Bulldogs got the upper hand to claim a 40-20 win.
The two teams had been devastating in their early sets, trading blows with try after try, while a penalty goal helped the Bulldogs to an 18-16 lead at the break.
The defence from the home side was impeccable as Bombala repeatedly launched raids from within the Bulldogs’ 20, but were still turned away.
The visitors became visibly frustrated as they ran into a wall of blue and white and tempers flared in the second half.
However, the Bulldogs capitalised on what errors they could force and piled on a series of tries with strong runs from Ryan Becker and Grant Moon laying a platform for good expansive footy.
Earlier, the reserve grade match came to an unfortunate close with the game called early in the second half when a Bombala player broke their leg and an ambulance was called.
The Bulldogs had the advantage 22-12 when the remainder of the match was called.
In the opening piece, the High Heelers had unsettled the Hot Doggies to score a comfortable 20-0 win in the league-tag fixture.
The match was almost a polar opposite of the first grade as the High Heelers played crisp sets as the Hot Doggies became visibly frustrated in the second half.