Barker bounce back from sluggish start to pip Magpies

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Mt Barker have overcome a sluggish start to record a comprehensive 48-point win against Denmark-Walpole in their GSFL opener at McLean Park on Saturday.

With a swag of new recruits the Bulls looked shaky in the first quarter, however chemistry among the players built as the game wore on and they pulled away in the second quarter, kicking five goals to one, to set up the 14.11 (95) to 7.5 (47) win.

Both sides struggled in the opening stages with the Magpies pressure causing the Bulls to turn the ball over on a number of occasions.

Kaden Godden scrambled the Magpies first goal against the flow of play, which seemed to settle the side, and when Tom Candy set up Jak Phillips for the Magpies’ second goal they looked the more dangerous side.

Jack Paterson pegged one back on the siren for the Bulls to give them some ascendancy heading into the second quarter.

After missing two set shots in the first quarter, new key forward Daniel Parker put through his first goal as a Bulls player in the second to get the premiership favourites going.

The Bulls piled on another four goals for the quarter, including two to captain Sam Lehmann, to go into the half-time break with a 20-point lead.

Kicking against the wind in the third, the Bulls continued to surge and looked particularly dangerous on the counter-attack as new recruit Corey Byrne linked up with midfielders Nic Chidgzey and Pete Taylor to give Parker quality service up forward.

A three goal to one last quarter sealed the victory for the Bulls as they got their 2017 campaign off to a strong start.

Chidgzey and Taylor were superb through the middle of the ground when the game was in the balance while defender Adam Tissott kept Shayne Zanetti at bay.

For the Magpies Kaden King-Davies accumulated plenty of the football while Jack Hickey was pivotal playing on the half-back line.

Bulls coach Shane Thompson said the slow start was expected.

“It was always going to be that way, it’s the first time they had all played as a 22,” he said. “We worked our way into the game and were able to capitalise on their turnovers and kick some goals.”

Magpies coach Matt Candy said he was pleased with his side’s pressure.

“There was plenty of pressure around the ground, we’ve got a few things to work on with our ball use but if we get that right we’ll be OK,” he said.

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