The Christchurch Bulldogs and Mid-Canterbury Eagles played out an action packed draw in the fourth round of the CAFL, to breathe life into an otherwise sluggish start to the season.
Early season favourites the Bulldogs were in the unfamiliar position of scrambling for players with a number of high profile injuries and absentees, while the Eagles welcomed back some quality midfielders.
The Bulldogs player woes were compounded by a first quarter head knock injury which forced a halt in proceedings until star player and Co-Captain, Dale Stevenson was taken care of and helped from the field. Stevo has since recovered and expressed his heartfelt thanks to all those who were able to assist.
The draw leaves the Bulldogs one game clear on the table, with a healthy percentage still in the back pocket to give them a slight advantage in the race for the minor premiership and a record eighth straight Grand Final berth.
A number of quality Bulldogs are returning for their next clash against the struggling Eastern Blues, who for the first time in recent memory are coming off of a loss to the University Cougars and languish just one percent clear of the Cougars, who are at the bottom of the ladder.
The Blues can never be written off and they revel in the chance to knock off their more highly fancied opponents of recent times. The unpredictability of which team will show up for the Blues is both their strength and potential weakness.
The experiment of Sunday games will be completed after the next round and games will revert to Saturday games for the remainder of the year including finals.
Potential for the season is building, the games are getting more exciting and skillful and the best are starting to show their wares. The TAB have stopped taking bets on who will win as there are no clear winners from week to week. This will be a tight finish for CAFL 2016.