Gallant Magpies run down in final minutes
Monday, 14th April, 2014
North remain undefeated after two rounds of football after registering a nail-biting seven-point win over the Magpies at League Headquarters on Saturday.
After trailing for most of the day, North hit the front at the 10-minute mark of the final term.
The contest was not a highly skilled affair but the pressure that both sides applied throughout the game was high quality.
The Magpies lost Balchin and Sullivan before half time and that was a huge advantage to the Bulldogs as they over run the Pies in the second half.
Central ran to the Essential Energy end in the opening term with the aid of a three-goal breeze.
While the Bulldogs opened the scoring with a behind it was the Magpies who dominated the opening 10 minutes with Mitchell, Bray and Turner all posting majors to race to a 16-point lead.
Grundy reduced the margin to 10 points with his first before Quinn again extended the lead to 19 points.
North struggled at times going forward with poor disposal and the Magpies’ back six standing firm.
North again managed to find Grundy and his second reduced the lead to 10 points, but as the term was drawing to a close Quinn again kicked truly and the Pies took a handy 19-point lead into the first break.
The second term was going to be a two-part question: What would the Bulldogs do with the breeze and could the Magpies hold them out and be competitive on the scoreboard?
The opening 10 minutes was just a hard slog with neither side able to grab the ascendancy and the Pies still holding on to an 18-point lead before new dad Justin Heath stepped up with his first and Central had a 24 point lead.
The Bulldogs again struggled with the ball in hand and it took until the latter stages of the term for North to kick their first through Grundy.
This was followed minutes later when Kelly goaled and the margin going into the long break was 12 points to the Magpies.
Central could feel satisfied with their efforts in this term but the all-important premiership term lay ahead.
The third term opened with first gamer Ethan Slater kicking his first league goal to reduce the margin to six points and the game’s intensity lifted a notch or two.
The pressure applied by both sides was first class and it made it difficult for them to play a flow on style of footy.
When Bray marked strongly and goaled the Magpies again had a 12-point lead. But then the game turned in North’s favor. They started to control the footy and with goals to Beaven and Slater, we had a even contest.
As the game approached time a late press from Central, resulting in a goal to Gauci, gave them a six-point lead at the last break.
The big question now was, had the Magpies done enough in the third term and could they score enough against the breeze to claim a win?
After a tense start it was the Bulldogs who again leveled the contest with Kelly kicking his second to lock it up after seven minutes. It was now hard and tight at each contest, with both knowing a mistake could be very costly.
It was the Bulldogs who would break the shackles when Beaven goaled to give them a seven-point lead.
The Magpies still had plenty of fight and with pure persistence they went forward and Beven with a steady head goaled and the margin was just one point with only minutes remaining.
From the centre North ran the ball forward and Barraclough marked and goaled. That would be enough to give the Bulldogs a win by seven points and keep them at the top of the ladder.
Both sides can take a lot of positives out of the game, not only with their performance but with the younger players who are showing real potential.
The difference was that the scoring against the breeze, while slight, was enough to tilt the contest in North’s favor.
North - Q. Beaven, J. Kelly, B. Johnson, E. Morgan, A. Richards, M. Garrick.
Central - C. Turner, J. Heath, J. Paull, P. Gauci, A. Berg, L. Jenkin.
North - K. Grundy 3, E. Slater 2, J. Kelly 2, Q. Beaven 2,
Central - A. Bray 2, B. Quinn 2, B. Mitchell, C. Turner, J. Heath,
P. Gauci, S. Beven.
North 17.14 (116)
Central 4.9 (33)
North 7.6 (48)
Central 4.4 (28)