Robins fly home
Monday, 11th April, 2011
By David Sedunary
In a thrilling match at Jubilee Oval on Saturday West managed to stop a North onslaught in the last quarter to record a three point win.
West kicked 10-8 (68 points) to North 9-11 (65 points).
As predicted, from the start both teams were hard at the ball and the player with it.
Jayden Kelly came into the North side and added drive and hard ball wins. His presence certainly lifted his teammates and with North's Jedd Watson leading the first Ruck, North got away to a two goal lead on West who had a three goal breeze.
West battled hard to even the score at quarter time and were well lead by Nick Christos and Leighton Raven.
Both teams were putting their bodies on the line at every contest and it was going to be survival of the strongest. An extra umpire was called into referee the match as tempers were wearing thin and play looked like getting out of hand.
It was a good decision by the League Executive to introduce the third umpire, but it didn't stop several scrimmages occurring.
North were getting plenty of drive from on baller Brett Johnson, Codie Howard and Jayden Kelly. They found it hard going against West's relentless attack, through Brett Rose and the elusive Rueben Haydn, who was in magical touch across the centre and half forward.
As Locky McGregor brought crowds to the game three seasons ago, Haydn will do the same this season as he has the look of an excellent player about him.
At half time North lead West by 14 points and it looked as though North were going to power on. West Coach Dale Tonkin told his young West side the days are gone when we lie down and get trampled, we will fight this game out.
West came out after half time with the slight breeze and kicked two goals in quick time - one to forward Greg Conway, who has good hands and is a long kick, and captain John Blore.
West managed another two goals and a determined North side never let up and kicked a goal against the breeze.
The North back men were under immense pressure from the West forwards. I was impressed with Matt Garrick, Matt Dempster and Brenton Olsen for
North who were relentless in their attack on the ball and set up their teammates further up field.
It was hard to pick standouts from both sides as wherever the ball went the play was contested - and at an intensity I had not seen for many seasons.
At three quarter time West lead by six points and players were beginning to cramp, as so they should with the speed of the match.
North had the breeze in the last and the West side flooded the North forward area. At the six minute mark North ruckman Jedd Watson, who was playing an inspirational role and giving away pounds against Matt Nelson, came off with a leg injury. He returned to the field as his team mates kicked two quick goals.
North utility player Wes Burton was in everything, as was Jayden Kelly, trying their hardest to get the edge on the Robins who were not giving in.
Kelly and Burton both missed opportunities to goals.
North hung onto a three point lead. With seconds to go the ball, somehow, came out to Mister Magic Rueben Haydn who goaled to seal the match for the Robins.
It was a match that had it all, and one that could have gone either way, fortunately for West it was their turn to win.
Full credit to both sides for giving their all, and making the match such great viewing.
Scores Q1 Q2 Q3 Final
West 3.2 4.3 8.6 10.8 (68)
North 3.2 6.5 7.6 9.11 (65)
West Best: B Rose, N Christos, L Raven, M Nelson, R Haydn, B Martin.
West Goals: R Haydn 2, G Conway 2, A Henderson 1, B Rose 1, L Raven 1, J Naden 1, H Teelow 1, J Blore 1.
North Best : J Watson, B Johnson , M Dempster, W Burton, C Howard, J Kelly.
North Goals: A Richards 3, O Richards 2, T Hunter 1, M Mason 1, W Burton 1, C Howard 1.