Development Blues defeat ladder-leaders

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A 17-point win over the first-placed Port Melbourne kept the Development Blues’ top-four chances alive. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sue Walson)

The Northern Blues Development squad returned to the winners’ list this week with a hard-fought victory over league leaders Port Melbourne at Preston City Oval on Saturday.

In a tight contest from start to finish, the Blues were able to finish the game stronger than their Borough counterparts to record an 11. 12. (78) to 9. 7. (61) win.

The Blues were unlucky to not be up by a lot more early on in the game, if not for some inaccurate kicking which similarly plagued them last week.

A lopsided inside 50 count (17-3) in favour of Northern equated to nine scoring shots, of which only three were goals.

After taking a 17-point lead into the quarter time break, the Blues were quickly on the back foot. Goals to Anastasio, Pickess and Treverton saw Port Melbourne take the lead.

A quick response from Blues key forward Bailey Jordan gave the Blues back the advantage, but a late goal to Port Melbourne saw them take a slender two-point lead into the main break.

The evenness on the scoreboard continued during the second half, with neither team was able to breakaway from each other.

Port once again outscored the Blues in the third quarter: the away side took a seven-point lead into the last term with the match firmly in the balance.

However, kicking towards the end where both sides had struggled to kick goals all day, Northern came out firing.

The Blues showed great poise and precision to round out the game. A five-goal final quarter to one was more than enough for the Blues to take all four points.

The win brought Northern to half a game outside the top four, while having a game in hand against the third-placed Sandringham and fourth-placed Williamstown.

Tim Jones was yet again the pick of the midfielders, as he continued his great month of form with another 30-disposal game along with two goals.

Kye Declase was also instrumental, controlling the back half with 31 disposals and a game-high 14 marks, while Bailey Jordan continued his goal-kicking form with multiple goals for the fourth straight week.

Northern Blues           3.6      4.7      6.10         11. 12. (78)
Port Melbourne          1.1       5.3      8.5           9. 7. (61)

GOALS
Northern Blues: Corboy 2, Jones 2, Jordan 2, Romero 2, Payne, Stevens, Thorpe

BESTS
Northern Blues: Declase, Ballard, Jones, Stevens, Thorpe, Bolger