Western Bulldogs break longest Grand Final drought in VFL/AFL history with preliminary final win over GWS Giants

TWENTY eight million, 929 thousand and 600 minutes.

That is how long it has been since the sons of the west have played in a Grand Final.

The Western Bulldogs’ epic, incredible, historic win against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday evening wasn’t just one of the greatest preliminary finals ever but pure history in front of the stunned eyes of footy fans.

The Bulldogs haven’t played in a Grand Final since 1961 — one of two premiership deciders the club has been in for its entire history. They won their only premiership in 1954.

In case you were wondering, that gap between grand finals can also be measured in matches — 1221 of them.

Or if you prefer your measurements of time a bit longer, you could say it has been 482,160 hours since the last Grand Final including the Doggies. Or 20,090 days. Or 2870 weeks. Or 55 years — and one day.

And those numbers will finally stop rising next Saturday. It was the longest drought in VFL/AFL history.

Perhaps most remarkable is how the Dogs did it — not just on Saturday evening but over the last three weeks.

In victory they became the first ever team to make a Grand Final from seventh, having beaten last year’s grand finalists in their first two finals (the Eagles in Perth and the Hawks at the MCG, no less) followed by a victorious trip to Spotless Stadium.

An emotional Bulldogs president Peter Gordon after the final siren.
An emotional Bulldogs president Peter Gordon after the final siren.Source: News Corp Australia

It ends a horror run of form in preliminary finals for the Dogs, who have played in 10 grand final qualifiers in their history and lost nine.

Before this season, the Dogs had never won a final interstate — now having beaten West Coast and GWS, they have done it twice. It also equals their record for most games won interstate in a single season with five.

And by defeating GWS, they stop the Giants from becoming the first club (excluding the VFL’s foundation sides) to play in a Grand Final in their inaugural finals appearance.

How bloody good is footy?

Credit: Max Laughton

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