By Gary Williamson
New Norfolk v Kingborough
NEW Norfolk again showed they will be the team to beat for this year's flag as they slowly strangled highly rated Kingborough and eventually kicked away in the second half to record a great victory on the day of their annual Red and Black Ball, winning by 71 points with inaccurate kicking of 14.21 (105) to 4.10 (34).
The first term was a really hard fought affair and there were no easy possessions. New Norfolk were slightly the better side but they wasted easy shots at goal and should have led by more than four points at the first change. The second term saw the Eagles again waste scoring opportunities and their defence was rock solid. The Tigers had problems getting a mark inside the forward 50 and could not kick a goal as the home side stretched their lead to 19 points at the main break but should have been a lot further in front.
The third term saw the Eagles really step up a gear and a one-handed mark and goal by the talented Josh Hall ignited the team as they slammed on eight goals to race away to a match winning lead of 56 points to blow away a dejected opposition. The last term saw the game slow right down but New Norfolk would not relax, keeping the opposition to only four goals in a great defensive performance, which will be required to win the big finals.
Best players for the Eagles were plenty with Crane and Barwick outstanding all day and they were well supported by Papera, Heron and the classy Hall whose brilliance and three goals turned the game in the Eagles' favour. Best players for an outclassed Tigers were Collis, Philp, Peterson and Booth as they struggled up forward all day with only kicking four goals.
East Coast v Central Hawks
- The Mercury's match report
East Coast recorded their third win of the season at home when they defeated a gallant Central Hawks by 29 points, 19.12 (126) to 15.7 (97). The Bombers could smell a winnable game and they started full of running, slamming on seven goals in the first term as they cruised to a very handy 26 point lead at quarter time. The Hawks after a blast from their coach really started to get their running game going and they controlled the aerial duels and got themselves back into the game and only trailled by 16 points at the main break and were starting to look confident.
The third term was an even contest and neither side could get an advantage. In the last term the Hawks started to look tired and the home side kicked a further seven goals to record a much deserved and needed four points. The Hawks again got close but failed to run out the game and they still chase that elusive first win of the season. Better players for the Hawks were Howlett with five goals along with Brown, Ladic and Horne.
- Video highlights
Huonville v Brighton
HUONVILLE recorded their third win of the season and caused a major surprise when they defeated an out of form Brighton, pushing them out of the top six and winning by one point, kicking 15.3 (93) to 14.8 (92). The home side really started the game full of running and played some of their best football for the year. They kicked seven goals in the first term while the highly rated Brighton were shell shocked and needed to improve quickly, trailing by 28 points. The Robin slowly worked their way into the game in the second term and played more accountable football as they closed the game up and reduced the gap to eight points at the main break and looked likely to run away with the game.
The third term saw the Lions slowly pull away again and looked to have the game in their keeping but the visitors really came home strongly in the last term and failed just narrowly. Brighton can blame their loss on a very poor start away from home and not being mentally prepared as the Lions were deserving victors. Best players for the Robins were Boucher, Willing, Matcham and Ling whilst Tubb kicked four goals in a lone hand up forward.
Cygnet v Claremont
CYGNET nosed into the top six and pose a real threat to opposition sides as they have now defeated two sides above them on the ladder. They easily defeated Claremont by 46 points, kicking 19.5 (119) to 11.7 (73). Cygnet were really fired up in the first term and with accurate kicking of six majors they controlled the game and grabbed a very handy 16 point lead at the first change. The Magpies were never going to lie down and they bounced back hard in the second term with five goals and clearly looked the better side as they grabbed a four point lead and looked to be playing the better football.
The third term saw a really fired up Cygnet really start to take the game on and they played on at all costs and moved the ball really quickly as the Claremont could not match their pace or slick ball movement as they kicked seven goals to blow the game apart and went to a match winning lead of 30 pints at the last change. The game slowed in the last term but the Port still controlled the state of play to record their best win of the season. Better players for a disappointing Claremont were Daley, Fewkes, Arnold and Kamaric with four goals and they now drop to fifth on the ladder.
Lindisfarne v Dodges Ferry
LINDISFARNE again showed they are a real force this season when they produced another solid performance at home to defeat highly rated Dodges Ferry under lights on Friday night by 37 points, 14.18 (102) to 9.1 (65).