Bear's Lagoon Serpentine
The Bear’s Lagoon Serpentine Football Club came into being during world war two when former Gladstone Football Association club Bear’s Lagoon amalgamated with Serpentine of the Loddon Valley Football League, the competition in which the merged club would commence in 1945. The wisdom of the merger was swiftly emphasised as the club reached a grand final in only its second season before proceeding to claim a hat trick of premierships between 1947 and 1949.
The 1950s, by contrast, proved to be a barren decade, with losing grand finals in 1952 and 1954 the closest the side came to augmenting its trio of flags. The teams’ next premiership did not arrive until 1965 when Inglewood was vanquished in the grand final. This was promptly followed by a second successive triumph in 1966. There then followed a prolonged premiership drought which was finally broken in 1982. As was their wont, the Bears immediately backed up this grand final victory with another the following year.
During the 1990s Bear’s Lagoon Serpentine, with three senior grade flags, was the LVFL’s most successful club. Following the last of these, in 1995, the Bears continued to be competitive for a time, contesting a grand final in 2005 when they lost by 29 points to Calivil United. However, there then followed a period of decline which spawned wooden spoons in 2009 and 2010. The 2012 season brought a return to finals action and the following season saw the Bears qualifying for the grand final, only to lose to Bridgewater, a result that was duplicated in 2014. After dropping one place on the premiership ladder in 2015 the Bears endured a horror 2016 season which saw them slump to the wooden spoon after losing all 16 matches contested. The 2017 season brought considerable improvement as the Bears managed 9 wins from 16 home and away matches to qualify for the finals in fifth place, which was where they ultimately finished after going down by 35 points to Mitiamo in the elimination final. A year later their season was ended in almost identical as Mitiamo won the elimination final clash between the teams by 79 points. This was followed in 2019 by a highly promising campaign which saw the Bears finish third after getting as far as a losing preliminary final clash with Pyramid Hill.
Prior to the merger Bear’s Lagoon had enjoyed premiership success in the GFA on three occasions during the 1930s.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications