King reigns supreme
Friday, 10th May, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
Central Under 18s opened their 2019 account with an upset win over North on Wednesday night by 15 points thanks to four goals by a returning Sinele King.
Having scored only one goal in the first two rounds and losing both games by an average of 106 points, the Magpies looked a different team with the first three goals of the game.
Two of those goals came from King who made his presence felt straightaway while impressive young junior Nick Devoy also chipped in with one before North fought back late thanks to a Bailey Adams major, reducing the margin to 15 points at the first break.
The Pies should probably have been further ahead having kicked three behinds along with their three goals. Those six scoring shots doubled their previous two efforts of three scoring shots across rounds one and two.
Central kept their momentum going as Jordan Willoughby pounced on a deep forward entry to kick his side’s fourth goal within the opening couple of minutes of the second quarter but it was a back and forth term as both sides enjoyed times in control.
The Bulldogs gained the edge with goals to Tarrant Lihou, Tom McRae and another to Adams to win the quarter 3.1 to Central’s 2.2 but the Pies still took a 10-point advantage into halftime.
Central’s improvement from the first two rounds was dramatic as they went inside forward fifty 20 times in the first half having only had eight entries for the game last week against South. Their stoppage work was also better with eight clearances to North’s four led by Austyn Page, Rory Schaefer and Daniel Ryan.
It was a tight third term as both teams had chances but could only manage one goal apiece, through North’s Kennedy and Central’s King respectively.
The game’s even nature was evident in this term as both sides went into their attacking fifty on seven occasions although Central had the slight edge in clearances (2-1) and in tackles (5-4) and they took a handy, if not match-winning, 11-point lead into the final change.
The final term was another hard-fought affair as North threw all that that they had at the Magpies only to be repelled each time. The Bulldogs had a game-high 11 inside fifty entries but managed only four behinds for the quarter.
Central went into attack only five times but made it count, scoring on three of those entries including a brilliant snap goal from King for his fourth of the night. That goal sealed the win for the Magpies who were justifiably elated after the final siren.
King was Central’s best on ground with his four goals. He gave them a much needed target up forward with his athletic qualities and good skills. Central coach John ‘Nocky’ Campbell will be hoping King is available for the rest of the season after Wednesday night’s effort.
Will Campbell played his best game with a superb display down back showing composure and class well beyond his years while the grunt work in the middle was provided by Page, Ryan and Schaefer with Devoy chipping in at times. Jake Davidson was also solid in defence for the Pies.
Dan Kennedy continued his strong senior form to be North’s best on ground as he found plenty of the ball and drove his side forward whenever he could. McRae and Blake Gebhardt got off to slow starts but came into the game after quarter time and Bailey Adams was dangerous around goals.
It was a very open game without a lot of tackling and stoppages. Central led the tackle count 26-20 and the clearances 12-6, 10 of Central’s clearances coming from centre bounces which proved crucial as the Pies went inside fifty 32 times to North’s 26.
North will be searching for a better performance next week and should regain the likes of Jaxon Cain, Luke Hall and Kody Ellis to help their cause against South while Central take on the undefeated West.
CENTRAL: 3.3 5.5 6.7 7.9 (51) def NORTH: 1.0 4.1 5.2 5.6 (36)
Goals: Central - S. King 4, D. Chestnut, N. Devoy, J. Willoughby. North - B. Adams 2, D. Kennedy, T. Lihou, T. McRae.
Best: Central - S. King, W. Campbell, A. Page, D. Ryan, R. Schaefer, N. Devoy. North - D. Kennedy, T. McRae, B. Adams, B. Gebhardt, T. Lihou, L. Baker.