As the supporters and players clamoured into the change rooms after Saturday’s game at Mooroopna Recreation Reserve, the word on everyone’s lips was ‘‘finally’’.
After holding the lead at some point in at least five of their past 10 defeats, Tatura was finally able to hang on to victory.
The scenes in the change rooms bordered on euphoric as players belted out the tune of Hello Bulldog for the first time since the end of April.
However, the day did not start out as planned when Mooroopna kicked the first four goals of the game.
While both teams seemed to have as much of the ball as the other, it was the Cats who were more accurate in front of goal.
It was not until the 17-minute mark of the first quarter that the Bulldogs kicked their first goal, after a 50m penalty to Mitch Elliott, and a second goal to young gun Colby McDonald followed shortly after.
The second quarter was the game breaker, as Tatura piled on six goals while keeping the Cats scoreless.
The Bulldogs started to link up through the middle of the ground, as the pace of Tom Miller, James Sullivan and Rian McGough broke the game open.
The Bulldogs seemed to grow another leg as their confidence began to soar.
Their delivery by hand and foot improved as they consistently hit their targets further upfield.
The confidence of the defenders also soared as Mooroopna continuously failed to get the ball past their half-forward line.
The second half became a tug of war as both defences took control, however the damage was done and the Bulldogs were never really threatened for the remainder of the day.
The performance of youngsters Charlie Hill and Tristan Castle was a highlight for the Bulldogs’ brains trust, particularly that of Hill as he ran down the ground bouncing the ball on more than one occasion.
Che Walls was also impressive with his run and carry from the back line, while Liam Borrelli continued his return to form after a frustrating year of injury.
Mitch Elliott continued his break-out year with a dominant midfield performance, and topped off his hard work with two goals.
The Bulldogs now go into the remaining five rounds with restored confidence and a renewed hope that they can finish off the season with a few wins.
Score: Tatura 12.8. 80 to Mooroopna 7. 6. 48.
Best for Tatura: T. Miller, M. Elliott, C. Walls, C. Hill, J. Sullivan and L. Borrelli.
Score: Tatura 10. 9. 69 defeated Mooroopna 10. 6. 66.
Best for Tatura: Jamie Jones, Shane Kay and Robbie Montgomery, Dylan Burls, Daniel Maher and Bryce McDonald.
Score: Tatura 8. 13. 61 defeated Mooroopna 5. 5. 35.
Best for Tatura: Mason Farley, Matt Dodd, Brodie Sanders, Jayden Armstrong, Ethan Moor and James Gerrish.