AFL Broken Hill, in partnership with Lifeline Broken Hill – Country to Coast celebrated How’s Ya Mate Round, as the season entered its second week with an A-Grade doubleheader at Jubilee Oval on Saturday.
We saw North prevail over Central for its first win of the season, while reigning premiers South were shocked by last year’s wooden spooners, West.
In the first matchup of the afternoon, North and Central battled it out, and it was the former club which took control of the game early, kicking the first six goals of the match through five different goalscorers. Central got its goalkicking underway in the twenty-first minute of the first quarter through Patrick Reincke.
North’s run forward allowed for the side to transition quickly with pace and carry, often leading into space deep inside the forward 50, allowing for additional chances, and goals. But, coming out of the quarter time huddles, Central responded with the first two goals as the rain started coming down, to go into the main break trailing by four goals.
North came out of the rooms firing on all cylinders in the second half, kicking the first two goals of the third quarter within two minutes of each other, and kept the pace on through to the end of the quarter, and through the final term to run out 64-point winners.
Luke Jones kicked four goals for the Bulldogs, with Jayden Kelly kicking three majors – including two in the first quarter. Blake Gebhardt and Alex Huezenroeder each kicked two goals for North. Samuel Wilson kicked four goals for Central, including two in the second quarter.
North interim coach, Dale Tonkin, said the team really needed to start well, adding, “confidence for us was pretty big, and we needed to start strongly to set up the game”.
“It was very pleasing to share the ball around. I think they really did reward the runner, nobody really got burnt, and it was just a really good team performance. It was good to see them all connect with one another and really enjoy their footy.”
Central coach, Sheldon Hall, told the Truth the side was, “just a bit sluggish in the first quarter and North jumped us kicking with the breeze”.
“In the second quarter, we were able to change a few things structurally and get back into the game. Then, after half time, in the third quarter, they jumped us again with the breeze. So we played a good half of footy and a bad half, really, just fell away a bit.
“It’ll be a good challenge [this week against South] to go to the Alma. It’s going to be a bit of hard work for us being 0-2 and them coming off a loss. They’re probably going to be the most fired up team in the comp next week, I reckon. It’ll be up to myself and the coaching staff to pick a good 22 and hopefully go out the other side of the Hill, take the passport out and travel out the south and see if we can be a bit more competitive for longer and hopefully get some sort of a result.”
Goals: Luke Jones (North), Samuel Wilson (Central) 4, Jayden Kelly (North) 3
[X-HEAD] WEST VS SOUTH
The second game of the afternoon saw West hold off a late-surging South side to find its first win of the season to the tune of 13 points. It was an almost back-and-forth first quarter from both sides in front of goal, before West got the slight edge in a two-goal-to-none second quarter.
The third quarter saw a dominant West gain a strong lead, which continued with the first goal of the fourth quarter. However, the reigning premiers showed fight until the end, kicking the last five goals of the game to bring themselves into the contest, though without time on their side.
West coach, Nathan Pearce, said it feels good to get the win, but, “it’s not so much about who we played, it was more about how we played, how we gelled together that was probably the more pleasing part”.
“I think we identified early on some positional changes and some gamestyle changes that we wanted to put in place to bring us up to be competitive with South, and that’s probably the main thing. You go throw those things in together and we’ve achieved what we want to achieve. It’s still a long way to go and they still have improvement to do, but it’s looking good at the moment.”
South coach, Craig Thomas, told us his side only really played one quarter of football.
“We struggled the first three quarters to get our hands on the footy and then just turned it over too many times and West got us on the rebound. The last quarter we played the way we wanted to. We started getting our hands on the football in the last quarter and it showed what we can do when we can do that. And we just left it too late.
“We’ll keep playing the brand of footy that we want to play. And we have to make sure that we bring that effort. We didn’t bring that effort on Saturday. Once we bring that, you can see what happens, we can start getting our hands on the football and use our skills going forward. We just want to see from the guys just a bit more effort, that’s all.”
Goals: Harrison Butcher (South) 4, Lachlan Harvey (West), Jayden Sutton (West) 3