North survive scare
Monday, 28th April, 2014
By Ethan James
A long range shot at goal after the fulltime siren almost gave South a miracle victory over North at the Jubilee Oval on Saturday.
Trailing by four points, South’s Sam Lines took a mark on the edge of the 50 metre moments before the hooter sounded.
Needing a six pointer to win the game, Lines launched everything at the ball but his kick didn’t make it past the goal square leaving North 11.8 (74) to 10.10 (70) victors.
“I could sense in the last five minutes that we were coming home strongly but we probably left our run a little too late,” South coach Craig Thomas said.
“We had our opportunities but it was basic skill errors that let us down.”
North coach Mark Pitt - as well as every spectator at the ground - held his breath for the kick.
“I looked at the distance and thought it just might be too far and it was,” he said.
The win means North are the only undefeated side after three rounds but according to Pitt there is plenty of room for improvement.
“I think it was our composure that got us over the line today but our execution and failure to hit targets let us down at times,” he said.
“We probably got a bit fatigued towards the end but the boys’ endeavour and willingness to dig in for each other was sensational.”
Thomas could sense his side was finishing strongly but conceded they left it too late.
As was the case against Central in the opening round, the Kangaroos started slowly and he said their failure to hit the ground running was a concern.
“We need to start games a lot better and we can’t rely on playing catch up football,” Thomas said.
“But the way we finished the game was a positive and it’s only round three, so it’s not panic stations by any stretch.”
The two sides were separated by just two points at quarter time but North kicked away in the second to lead by three goals at the main break.
On the back of ‘enthusiastic’ halftime instructions, South started the third term with a goal to Jordan Johns after just 25 seconds and it appeared as if a comeback was on cards.
The visitors pegged back the difference to just six points to set up a tense final quarter.
Both defensive lines upped their pressure, with North holding on to a slim four-point lead at fulltime.
After booting eight goals against West a fortnight ago, South’s key forward Todd Blacksell was kept quiet by a dogged performance from defender Matt Dempster.
“I spoke to Matty about it at work actually,” Pitt revealed.
“He did a sensational job in shutting him down and played a really good game.”
Another to impress was Shane Dalby, who made a transfer to the club after starting the year with the Robins.
North: A. Richards 3, J. Kelly 3, W. Burton 2, K. Grundy,
S. Dalby, E. Morgan
South: T. Boland 2, L. Lines 2, A. Bird, J. Johns, M. Henderson, J. Gepp, J. Staker, T. Blacksell
North: J. Kelly, Q. Beavan,
A. Richards, W. Burton,
M. Dempster, B. Pressler
South: C. Paull, T. Davidson,
B. Degoumois, M. Henderson, A. Bird, J. Johns
North: 10.6 (66)
South: 6.13 (49)
North: 11.15 (81)
South: 0.0 (0)