The Northern Blues went down by 21 points at Preston City Oval against Williamstown. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)
IT WAS a frustrating and disappointing afternoon for the Northern Blues on Sunday, going down by 21 points at the hands of the Williamstown at Preston City Oval.
After the thrilling win last week, Northern came up against an in-form Williamstown side in what was a scrappy contest between both teams.
It was the Seagulls who – despite inaccuracy in front of goal – ran away with the 8.22 (70) to 7.7 (49) win.
It was a scrappy contest early in the first quarter, with the first five minutes seeing Northern lock the ball inside 50 but not put the reward on the scoreboard. Williamstown broke through with back-to-back goals through patient ball use despite kicking into a heavy breeze. However, a seven-minute rush from Northern saw it pile on four quick goals thanks to Matthew Lobbe (two), Alex Fasolo and Matthew Owies. Sam Fisher led the way in the middle, collecting 12 disposals which helped Northern to finish the quarter strongly.
The second term began in similar fashion from the opening quarter, with both sides going back and forth between the arcs. A goalless 15 minutes was ended through Williamstown’s Nick Rodda, as the visitors controlled most of the possession from there. However, inaccuracy from the Seagulls saw the Blues trail by seven points at the main break. After sitting out in the first quarter, Liam Stocker made an instant impact in his return: the first-year Blue collected 10 disposals and displayed some fierce tackling for the term playing in the middle.
A constant theme continued, with turnovers and skill execution stopping both sides from putting pressure on the scoreboard. After a slow start, it was Northern’s turn to play the patient game: the reward came through an Alex Fasolo assist to Jesse Palmer. It was Northern’s turn to play the patient game, rebounding off half back through Williamstown dominated the forward 50 entries having 10 scoring shots on goal, but inaccuracy had them failing to put a single goal on the scoreboard for the quarter. Kym Lebois and Cameron Polson provided energy in attack, before the Blues hit the lead through a goal to Finbar O’Dwyer. However, five straight behinds to finish the term saw the Seagulls take a narrow lead at the final change.
Williamstown came out strong to start the final term, dominating possession with an attacking mindset and quick ball movement: two early goals gave them some breathing space on the scoreboard. The Blues found it difficult to break through Williamstown’s defensive zone, with its pressure leading to repeat entries, Sam Fisher was able to get a goal back late, but it was little more than consolation as Williamstown ran away with a 21-point win.
NORTHERN BLUES 4.1 4.3 6.6 7.7 (49)
WILLIAMSTOWN 2.3 4.10 4.20 8.22 (70)
GOALS: Lobbe 2, Fasolo, Fisher, O’Dwyer, Owies, Palmer
BESTS: O’Rourke, Phillips, Anderson, Fasolo, Johnson, Polson