Monday, 30th April, 2012
North have recorded a runaway 46 point win over the Robins on Saturday, but don’t let the final margin fool you - this contest was hard and tough all day.
The Robins went to the last change with a one-point lead, but North tore the game apart with a four goal burst early in the last term and that was enough to deflate the Robins.
The opening three quarters was an old-fashioned shoot-out, with both sides trading goals.
The two teams ran the footy through the middle of the ground, but broke down inside forward 50.
North again had the firepower in the middle with the three amigos playing starring roles.
West ran to the northern end in the opening term and got the ideal start when Kickett goaled.
North replied soon after with McInnes kicking his first, before the Robins replied with goals to Naden.
Kickett booted his second to give West a nine-point lead, but North were able to reduce the margin to four points late in the term with a Ruddock goal.
The Bulldogs started the second term with an early goal to Billings to take a one-point lead, then proceeded to waste numerous chances in front of goal before Tonkin gave the lead back to the Robins midway through the term.
Henderson then swooped and kicked his first North had a four-point lead, and the contest’s seventh lead change had given the game the look of a classic.
The Robins soon regained the lead with a King snap, then the Bulldogs kicked two straight with Henderson and Kelly getting involved to give their team a ten-point lead approaching half time.
True to the script, the Robins hit back late in the term to reduce the margin to just three points with a Cynan Smith goal.
Patrons should have been pleased with the opening half with both sides having a crack at the contest.
The second half opened in a similar vain to the first with both sides throwing themselves at each contest around the ground, and with the pressure mounting by the minute Harwood was able to extend the North lead to nine points as the clock ticked towards time-on.
The Robins hit back hard with goals to McInerney and Matten and in a blink it was the Robins who would take a one-point lead into the last term.
At this stage there was a real buzz around the ground as the expectations of a thrilling finish continued to build.
The final quarter commenced with North doing all the attacking and with goals to Howard and McInnes North had opened up a 11 point lead and the Robins now had to dig deep.
North were determined not to let this one slip, and with goals to Billings and McInnes and the West spirit was finally broken as the margin reached 25 points.
Martin was able to kick truly against the tide before Henderson kicked his third for the afternoon, and North again peppered the goal face without much luck before Rayner, Henderson and Martin all kicked majors to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 46-point win.
It was a powerful final term by North, who kicked 8.7.
North coach Karl Berryman would be over the moon with his side’s performance on Saturday, especially the efforts of Borlace and Schorn in a pressure game.
The Bulldogs had made nine changes from last week, and while some expected them to win, the odds were firmly in the Robins’ favour.
West would feel that this is the one that got away, although it was only one quarter of footy that let them down.
However credit must go to North, they are now three from three and sitting on top of the premiership table.
Even Robins supporters had high praise for Kelly’s performance on Saturday with another best on ground showing, with Johnson and Howard not too far away. For the Robins toss a coin between Rose and Naden as they both gave their all.