Northern prevails in nail-biter

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The Northern Blues kicked off their season in the best but most dramatic fashion. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)

THE Northern Blues kicked off their 2019 season in the most dramatic fashion, recording a one-point win over Geelong.

In a tense final 10 minutes, the ball was camped inside the Cats’ attacking half before the siren sounded to the delight of Northern.

Ultimately, it was a late goal from Ethan Penrith which proved just enough for the Blues, who prevailed 10.8 (68) to 9.13 (67).

Matthew Kreuzer starred in his return to action, collecting 16 disposals and kicking a goal in the first quarter to set the tone from the outset.

It was a performance which saw him named best-on-ground by his coaches post-match.

Joining him was Tom Wilson and Jack Silvagni, who stood up when it mattered most in the middle of the ground.

Northern showed how damaging they can be in attack in the first and third terms, kicking five and four goals respectively to take the game to the Cats.

Silvagni got the Blues off to the ideal start in the opening minute, while the third quarter yielded two Jesse Palmer goals which saw Northern kick out to a game-high lead.

While there were lapses throughout the game, it was the ability to respond and then grind out the narrowest of victories which would’ve pleased senior coach Josh Fraser.

It was the first time in five seasons where the Blues got off to a winning start.

Hugh Goddard continued his impressive form from the pre-season practice form with a strong performance in defence, while debutant Frank Anderson shone with 18 disposals.

The Blues were made to do it the hard way, with Alex Fasolo coming from the ground in the opening five minutes due to a back injury.

After collecting 12 disposals in a new role across half-back, Darcy Lang came from the ground as planned pre-match. It was his first game of the year after having his pre-season delayed by a foot injury.

Next up, Northern heads to Victoria Park to take on Collingwood.

GEELONG  VFL            2.3      5.7      6.10      9.13 (67)
NORTHERN BLUES    
5.2      5.4      9.7      10.8 (68)

GOALS
Northern Blues:
Kerr 2, Palmer 2, J.Silvagni 2, Garlett, Kreuzer, O’Dwyer, Penrith

BESTS
Northern Blues:
Kreuzer, Wilson, J.Silvagni, Goddard, Anderson, Hill