By Paul Sebastiani (@paolo016)
The Northern Blues notched up their first win for the season in breezy conditions against Frankston at SkyBus Stadium on Saturday.
In a combative contest, the Blues emerged with a hard-fought 14. 11. (95) to 8. 8. (56) victory against the Dolphins.
Northern had a number of contributors play their role in a match full of momentum swings, with Jacob Weitering leading the charge.
In his return from a quad injury, Weitering commanded his defensive post with aplomb to finish with 28 disposals and 17 marks.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Blues, who found themselves down by 22 points at the first change in a game dictated by the wind.
Frankston opened the game with the first three goals to have the Blues on the back foot early on in the piece.
Tom De Koning was able to stem the flow and stepped up late in the quarter, finishing off the fleet-footed work of Cameron Polson for his first goal in VFL football.
In the second term, the Blues managed to take control of the contest as Matthew Lobbe played his role to great effect.
The ruckman shifted forward to kick two of Northern’s five goals for the term, who ended the half slightly ahead on the scoreboard thanks to a goal from debutant Jean-Luc Velissaris.
Importantly for the Blues, they were able to stem the tide when Frankston had the breeze, conceding three goals and scoring two themselves to keep it close at the final change.
With the first four points of the season on the line for the Blues, tall forward Patrick Kerr booted three majors in the last quarter – with two in the opening minutes – to play a pivotal role.
Ultimately, Northern would run away from the game, keeping Frankston scoreless in the final term while kicking six goals of their own.
Led by Weitering, there was no shortage of contributors from the Blues across all lines.
Cameron Polson and Sam Fisher finished with 11 tackles each, while Darcy Lang continued his return from injury with a solid performance, collecting 18 disposals and seven tackles.
With the game on the line late, Jack Silvagni (20 disposals) stood up, while Kerr, De Koning and Jesse Palmer finished with seven goals between them.
Northern Blues will travel to Williamstown Football Ground next week to face Williamstown.
NORTHERN BLUES 1.0 6.4 8.5 14. 11. (95)
FRANKSTON 4.4 5.6 8.8 8. 8. (56)
Northern Blues: Kerr 3, De Koning 2, Lobbe 2, Palmer 2, Fisher, Hill, McCabe, Schumacher, Velissaris
Northern Blues: Weitering, Silvagni, Shaw, Polson, Kerr, Lang