Old rivals turn it on
Sunday, 21st August, 2011
Minor premiers North recorded a 12-point win over South at the Alma Oval on Saturday, and in the process registered their seventh win on the trot - something they haven’t achieved for 10 years.
With the Alma Oval bathed in bright sunshine the Bulldogs ran to the city end in the opening term and attacked the goal square in the opening minutes. After a Watson mark and goal the Bulldogs had a seven-point lead.
The margin was reduced to a point after Dunn showed his teammates how to attack the footy and kick a wonderful goal. North tried a few different things and Oldsen up forward was an immediate success when he kicked his first.
One move that didn’t work for the Bulldogs was playing Henderson as he tore his injured hamstring after 10 minutes which will put him in doubt for the Grand Final.
North were using the footy very well and when Bates kicked truly their lead was 16 points. The Roos had a 10-minute period where they controlled the play and the footy but poor kicking for goal cost them dearly as they kicked only four straight behinds to trail by 13 points at the first change.
For the Roos Dolan and Caldwell were in everything and Kelly and Bates were finding plenty of the footy.
The second term started with both sides showing plenty of aggression at the footy and some quick hands from both sides broke the game open for some quick flow-on football.
The Roos opened the scoring when Cody Schorn slotted through his first for the afternoon which also gave him his 50th for the season and the margin was back to seven points.
North’s first scoring chance came when Grundy marked and his first goal again gave them a 13-point lead, It was end to end stuff with both sides moving the ball quickly from the defensive halves and when Staker was on the receiving end of a good passage of play he reduced the margin to seven points. The contest was a beauty. But while the run and carry was first class the final disposal let both sides down at times.
North continued to attack and goals to Grundy and Bates saw them take a handy 21-point lead into half time.
The Roos hit the ground running in the third term and their ball movement was swift and it really caught the Bulldogs napping. While they had a lot of the footy wayward kicking again let them down before Marcus O’Brien kicked the term’s first and the margin was cut to 13 points.
But it was North against the tide who posted the next goal through Burton. The Roos continued to press hard and quick goals to Keenan and Dolan had the margin down to six points.
It looked like the Roos would roll all over the Bulldogs but they steadied and gained control of the footy and finished the term with goals to Bates, Napier and Mason to go into the last break with a 22-point lead.
The final term began with the contest lifting a gear as we have come to expect from these two sides. Dolan and Caldwell were in everything for the Roos and Kelly and Johnson continually got their hands on the footy for North.
It started in great fashion with Neal kicking an early goal to reduce the margin to 17 points and you could sense the Roos would be right in this. When Mackiewicz goaled the lead had been cut to 10 points.
Again North went forward for Burton to kick a valuable goal to make the margin 16 points with the clock ticking away. The Bulldogs kicked the next three behinds to go to an 18-point lead which was looking out of South’s reach.
Schorn managed to post his second for the day but the siren had the final say and it was the Bulldogs who would win by 12 points.
If these two sides meet in the Grand Final it is going to be a cracker of a contest. Their passion for the footy and desire to throw their bodies at every contest will give us another rough, tough Grand Final between these arch rivals.
North - J. Kelly, M. Dempster, B. Johnson, J. Watson, A. Bates, W. Burton.
South - B. Dolan, H. Caldwell, J. Dunn, M. O’Brien, M. Purcell, J. Higgins.
North - K. Grundy 2, A. Bates 2, W. Burton 2, J. Watson, B. Oldsen, A. Richards, J. Napier, M. Mason.
South - C. Schorn 2, J. Dunn, J. Staker, M. O’Brien, C.Keenan, B. Dolan, P. Neal, A. Mackiewicz 1.
South 18.9 (117)
North 4.8 (32).