Doggies end streak
Monday, 20th May, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
The North Bulldogs kick started their 2019 season with a comprehensive 40-point win over South at the Jubilee Oval, handing the reining premiers their first loss in two years.
Saturday, May 13, 2017. That was the date of South’s last loss in League football as North beat them by 35 points at the Alma Oval. Malcolm Turnbull was still Australia’s Prime Minister, Steve Smith and David Warner still held leadership positions in the Aussie cricket team and we were still waiting for season seven of Game of Thrones.
After 32 straight wins, a local football record, South were finally defeated and once again it was at the hands of North who outplayed them from start to finish in a fantastic display at the home of Broken Hill football.
North’s success was set up by a five-goal first quarter in which they won the ball at the stoppages and moved it quickly and with confidence to their forwards who had the South defenders in all sorts.
Anthony ‘Wizza’ Henderson turned back the clock with three first quarter goals while Shane Dalby and Jayden Kelly also caused headaches for a South back six missing the likes of Angus Collins, Wade Gepp and Riley Schorn.
South managed just one point for the term as they struggled to move the ball with any of their normal accuracy or fluidity which was in part due to their own skills letting them down but also due to North’s pressure.
Trailing by 31, the Roos finally settled and managed to get the game back on an even keel with Cody Schorn slotting his side’s first goal six minutes into the second quarter. Alex Johnston led the charge for the Roos as he racked up a heap of touches and barely had a North player come within 10 feet of him throughout the quarter.
Dalby was able to hit back with his second goal of the day but juniors Connor Washbrook and Jordan Rowlands both goaled to reduce the margin to 17 points going into halftime.
Teams have been able to push South for a quarter, even a half, but time after time the Roos fight back and run over the top of sides in the second half. North needed to maintain their intensity in the second half to not let that happen again.
South made a great start to the third quarter as Schorn scored another goal but from there North rallied to take control once more.
Henderson and Bailey Shepherd added to North’s total, stretching the lead to 21 points at the final change. The Roos were far from out of it but they needed something special.
South’s ball movement had been well-below their usual high standards with many turnovers committed by foot. North, on the other hand, had been great in this department as they remained patient with ball in hand and waited for options to open up.
When Henderson kicked his fifth and sixth goals to start the final term, the Jubilee Oval crowd knew this was North’s day. Eddie Morgan, Codie Howard and Kelly all got in on the action while at the other end, Schorn ended his day with four including a consolation goal after the siren.
Kelly was outstanding, playing mostly a midfield role where he had a hand in almost all of North’s clearances while also slotting two goals. Howard was again very good, adding some class to North’s inside fifty entries, while Morgan and Trent Barraclough also stood out.
Ben Clements was superb off halfback and Anthony Tidball was important in the midfield rotation.
Henderson was back to his best up forward, whether that was leading up at the ball or on ground level, and his six goals was his best return since an eight-goal haul against South in round six 2017, which was South’s most recent loss before Saturday.
With so many first-choice players missing, South’s stars had to really stand tall but apart from Schorn there wasn’t much there. Marc Purcell again copped a tight tag and while he never gave up, he didn’t have much of an impact on the game.
Johnston was great, especially in that second quarter, as was Tyler McKenzie who is turning into one of South’s brightest young stars. Mitch Henderson and Drew Hardy also acquitted themselves well through the day.
South will finally get to play at home next weekend as they host Central at the Alma Oval while North and West do battle at the Jubilee in what should be a quality contest.
NORTH: 5.2 6.3 8.5 14.8 (92) def
SOUTH: 0.1 3.4 4.8 7.10 (52)
North - A. Henderson 6, S. Dalby 2, E. Morgan 2, J. Kelly 2, C. Howard, B. Shepherd
South - C. Schorn 4, J. Rowlands, H. Butcher, C. Washbrook
North - A. Henderson, J. Kelly, E. Morgan, B. Clements, T. Barraclough, C. Howard
South - C. Schorn, A. Johnston, T. McKenzie, M. Henderson, D. Hardy, M. Purcell