Benalla and District Football League (BDFL) since 1965
Blue, red and white
1966, 1989, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2008 (6 total)
Although a Bonnie Doon Football Club existed as long ago as the first decade of the twentieth century, most of the club’s success has been achieved over the past two decades.
The first half century of the Bulldogs’ existence saw them unable to find a permanent, or indeed even a long term home, as it participated at various times in upwards of eight different competitions. Since gaining admission to the Benalla and District Football League in 1965, however, the club has settled down to become a competition mainstay. Indeed, its impact on the league was significant, at the outset at any rate, with the seniors contesting the grand final at the first time of asking, only to lose a tight, low scoring game by 9 points to Goorambat. It took only a season for the Bulldogs to make amends, but thereafter there followed almost a quarter of a century of mediocrity, or worse.
Since claiming their second senior flag in 1989, however, the Tigers have emerged as a consistent contender, having made another eight grand final appearances for wins in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2008.
In 2007, Bonnie Doon comfortably qualified for the finals in third place before ruthlessly derailing Tatong’s premiership aspirations in the first semi final by 173 points. There then followed a nail-biting 4 point preliminary final success over Longwood, but in the ‘big one’ the side failed to do itself justice, and went down to Goorambat by almost 6 goals.
Twelve months later the Bulldogs atoned for this disappointment by claiming their sixth senior grade BDFL premiership courtesy of a 10.17 (77) to 11.6 (72) grand final triumph over their 2007 conquerors, Goorambat. The victory was all the more memorable in that it was the culmination of the perfect season, during which the side had won all 18 matches contested.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications