BLACK Diamond AFL representative coach Chris Bishop hopes his side get another crack at their Sydney AFL counterparts next year after their 17.12 (114) to 14.4 (88) loss on Saturday at Adelaide St Oval.
The BDAFL side had won their past four annual games, against Farrer in 2013 and 2016, the NSW/ACT under-23s in 2015, and Sydney under-22s in 2014. They also beat Riverina in 2010.
However, Bishop was keen for the tougher test against the senior Sydney line-up, who kicked three late goals on Saturday en route to their 26-point win.
BDAFL led 25-13 at the first break and 56-52 at half-time but the Sydneysiders were up 82-69 at the last change.
Bishop’s side stayed in the contest until “a couple of cheap free kicks at the end” helped the visitors put the result beyond doubt.
“Until the last seven minutes there was only seven points in it but then they had three late goals, so I’m really proud of how the boys went,” Bishop said.
“We challenged them all day.
“We started really well and they came back at us hard.
“It was just a good, hard contest and they probably just had that class behind the football to get it forward, but our boys were outstanding.”
Paddy McMahon kicked five goals for BDAFL, while Conor Haswell and Corey Billins were among their best.
Bishop believed his side showed they were up for the challenge again in 2018.
“We’ve been waiting for this for five years so to actually play it and do really well, we’re obviously unhappy about the loss, but we did the region really proud today,” he said.
“The board is really happy so hopefully next year we can have another crack.”
Wayd Blackburne, Ben Zoppo, Karl Merson and Mark Weekes booted three goals each for Sydney.
Scott Reed and Benjamin Kernahan kicked two each for BDAFL.
In the women's game, Sydney won 10.12 (72) to 1.4 (10).