By Tara Murray
It might be season over for Burnside Heights, but the Bears will look back on the Essendon District Football League division 2 season as one where they have taken the next step.
With everything in place off the field, the Bears started to show they deserved to be spoken about as a team to watch in division 2.
They made their first finals series and went a step further, winning their first final.
While a grand final spot was a step too far, the season has been a success, according to president Justin Peagram.
“Regardless of the result, we set our sights on making finals and we did that and had a win,” Peagram said.
“That’s a huge step. It allowed us to achieve what we wanted to achieve without over-performing.”
It was a tough day on Saturday for the Bears in their preliminary final against Moonee Valley.
The Fog got off to a good start and led by four goals at the first break.
They maintained that margin in the second quarter.
After half-time the margin blew out with the Fog winning 18.12 (120)-7.10 (52).
Peagram said things just didn’t go their way.
“At times when we were needing a run-on, we couldn’t get it,” he said. “Moonee Valley was good and nothing worked for us.
“They had a fair bit of luck at the right points of the game.
“We had passages we looked good, but we couldn’t hold tackles and things didn’t work for us.”
Having lost two players with injury, including retiring ruckman Michael Wever, the Bears were down on rotations.
They took the game on in the second half to try and get back into it, throwing structures out the window.
However, as it often happens it went the other way, with the margin blowing out.
Peagram said the group fought it out to the end and they were proud of them all.
Vincent Angelone, who became the first Bears player to play 100 senior games at the club, kicked two goals.
He was the only multiple goalkicker for the Bears.
Kristian Rocci finished his year off strongly, having come back to the sport from basketball.
Under-19s player Nathan Galea, ruckman Logan Clegg and Nick Morda were the other standouts.
Peagram said things were looking bright for the future for Burnside Heights, with 90 per cent of the playing group having already signed on for next season.
“People are approaching us about recruiting for next year and wanting to join us.
“It’s put us on the map and people want to come and play for Burnside Heights.
“We’ve also got junior players coming through.”
Moonee Valley will face the Sunbury Kangaroos in the grand final on Saturday at Windy Hill.