Blues go down fighting against Cats

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The Northern Blues fell by 14 points against Geelong at Ikon Park. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)

THE Northern Blues went down by 14 points in difficult conditions on Saturday afternoon going down by 14 points to Geelong at Ikon Park.

In an evenly matched Round 13 contest full of momentum swings, the Blues weren’t able to come away with the result they wanted in the 8.10 (58) to 10.12 (72) defeat.

The result saw the Blues slip to a 5-5 record after 13 rounds, with Geelong consolidating their one-spot advantage against Northern on the VFL ladder.

After a disappointing result last round, Northern was eager to bounce back and they got off to a great start thanks to Andrew Phillips.

Forward pressure was always going to be the name of the game in difficult conditions, with the Blues showing the intensity from the outset.

However, Geelong adapted its approach to the game and had the instant reply, going direct in attack to kick three consecutive goals.

A responding goal from Jarrod Garlett brought the Blues within eight points at the first change, in a quarter which set the tone for the rest of the contest.

Northern regrouped after the opening term to be more composed and efficient with their disposal, with Alex Fasolo and Garlett again reaping the rewards in front of goal. The latter was lively in a move up forward with three goals, while Fasolo collected 20 disposals and a goal rotating between the midfield and forward lines.

After Northern’s good work in the second, a similar story emerged to the opening term with the Geelong side sparked into a response. It saw the Blues trail by 11 points at the main break.

The beginning of the third term saw Northern sparked into life, finding more threats in attack to give themselves a big chance to record their sixth win of the season. Goals to Matthew Owies and Finbar O’Dwyer gave the Blues the lead, thanks to the good work in the middle from Sam Fisher and Darcy Lang.

However, they were to be Northern’s brightest moments of the game, as the Cats put the Blues to the sword with four of the last five goals.

A late Patrick Kerr goal gave the Blues hope, but in driving rain and minimal light at Ikon Park, the hosts were rendered to a 14-point defeat.

Hugh Goddard’s ability to do the intangibles in the conditions – smothering and spoiling in the air – was crucial once again for Northern. Tasked with the captaincy on the day, Goddard led from the front with 20 disposals and his ability to hold Northern to its defensive structure.

He was well-supported by Lang, whose fast start (11 first-quarter disposals) saw him finish the game with 25 disposals and eight tackles. His midfield counterparts in Fisher (26 disposals) and debutant Josh Deluca (20 disposals)also enjoyed promising showings.

The Northern Blues will look to build on the positives and bounce back when it heads to Casey Fields to take on the Demons next Saturday.

NORTHERN BLUES        2.5        4.7       7.10        8.10      (58)
GEELONG                       4.1         6.6         8.9       10.12      (72) 

GOALS
Northern Blues: Garlett 3, Fasolo, Kerr, O’Dwyer, Owies, Phillips

BESTS
Northern Blues:
Lang, Goddard, Fisher, O’Rourke, Fasolo, Deluca