The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have been beaten by the Parramatta Eels 8-6 in a thrilling Legends of League grand final.
The Bulldogs led by 2004 premiership winning captain Andrew Ryan were looking to claim a three-peat.
Canterbury had won both tournaments since inception in 2017 and had never lost a game.
The Bulldogs opened this year’s tournament with a 30-13 win over the Barbarians, before securing a 17-10 victory over Brisbane to set up a semi-final clash with Newcastle.
The Dogs and Knights have featured in the past two finals series, including the grand final in 2017 that saw Canterbury claim a hard-fought 10-6 victory.
The Bulldogs ended Newcastle’s campaign in 2018 with an 11-10 win and this year the boys from Belmore secured their grand final spot with another victory over the Knights.
The win set up a clash with long-time rivals Parramatta, led by Eels great Nathan Hindmarsh.
Canterbury were first to score when Tony Grimaldi darted over from dummy half to plant the ball down near the touch line. Brent Sherwin converted from the sideline to give the Dogs an early 6-0 lead.
The game went from end to end with either team trouble the scoreboard and the Bulldogs went into the break with a six-point lead.
The Eels crossed midway through the second half when former winger John Williams scored a brilliant solo try in the corner to close the gap to two points.
A late try to Joel Reddy with 90 seconds left on the clock gave Parramatta an 8-6 lead and the two-point victory to claim the 2019 Legends of League title.
The Bulldogs legends put up a gallant fight and should be proud of their performances over the past three tournaments.