Lyndoch and Williamstown had been long standing rivals in both the Torrens Valley Football Association and the Gawler and District Football League when they elected to merge in 1980. It was actually the second occasion on which the clubs had forged an alliance but on the previous occasion, in 1919, the arrangement was terminated after just one season.
Initially, Barossa District affiliated with the G&DFL, in which the seniors were successful in claiming a premiership in only their third season thanks to a 16.21 (117) to 9.10 (64) grand final defeat of Gawler Central. Between 1987 and 1990 the Bulldogs competed in Division Two of the Hills Football League. The move was an inordinate success in that they managed to procure senior grade flags in 1987 at the expense of Mount Torrens, 1988 against Kersbrook, and 1990 against Nairne Bremer.
Since 1991 Barossa District has been a member of the Barossa Light and Gawler Football Association in which it would probably be reasonable to infer that success did not come easily, at any rate at first. However, after struggling for many years the Bulldogs contested five straight senior grade grand finals, accounting for Freeling in both 2006 and 2007, but losing to Tanunda in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The 2011 season saw the Bulldogs sensationally deprived of their score just prior to the commencement of the last quarter of their first semi final clash with Willaston. A head count by the umpires had revealed that Barossa District had an extra player on the field. Scores at the time had been tied but Willaston, not surprisingly, eased to victory by 75 points, 11.15 (81) to 0.6 (6).
Barossa District quickly made amends for their 2010 debacle by claiming their fourth BL&GFA flag the following year. The win was especially noteworthy as the Bulldogs started their finals campaign at the first semi final stage. In the grand final they were opposed by Tanunda who began the match as firm favourites but after an even opening term Barossa District pulled away to secure a solid 26 point win, 13.11 (89) to 8.15 (63).
The Bulldogs again made the grand final in 2013 when they locked horns with Gawler Central, ultimately emerging victorious by 5 points after a thrilling encounter. Scores were Barossa District 16.14 (110) defeated Gawler Central 17.3 (105) after the Tigers had led by 15 points at the final change.
After missing the finals in both 2014 and 2015 Barossa District resumed their winning ways in 2016 when they accounted for a previously unbeaten Gawler Central side in the grand final. After narrowly holding sway in the opening term the Bulldogs dominated the second quarter adding 3.6 to 1.2 to lead by 26 points at the main break. Thereafter the Tigers actually outscored Barossa District but the Bulldogs held on to achieve victory by 11 points, 12.12 (84) to 10.13 (73). A year later they again fronted up on grand final day, and despite going into the clash with Kapunda as slight underdogs managed to do just enough to enough to get home with scores of 9.15 (69) to 8.8 (56).
The 2018 season brought a slight fall from grace in that the Bulldogs' season was brought to an end at the first semi final stage by Willaston, a result that was repeated in 2019, albeit that it was Nuriootpa Rover who inflicted the coup de grace on that occasion. In the wake of the gobal coronavirus pandemic an abbreviated, seven round 2020 season followed during which the Bulldogs only won twice to slump to seventh place out of nine teams.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications