Bulls pinch rematch thriller

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A scintillating last quarter from Mt Barker propelled the Bulls to a 12-point victory against North Albany in an entertaining grand final rematch at Collingwood Park on Sunday.

The Kangas held a 12-point buffer at three-quarter-time and were ahead by three goals early in the fourth quarter before the Bulls stormed home, kicking the next five goals to finish ahead, 13.11 (89) to 11.11 (77). Kicking with a steady breeze in the opening quarter, the Kangas failed to capitalise on their eight scoring shots as they kicked 1.7 to 3.0 to trail the Bulls by five points at the first change.

By the second quarter, the game was evolving into a scrappy affair as both sides’ pressure lifted a notch.

The Kangas looked to have gained the ascendancy when Matt Orzel goaled from 30m out, but Bulls recruit Kym Monteath bobbed up for his third goal to keep the Bulls in front at the main break.

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With a fading breeze, the Kangas piled on five goals to three in the third term as they took control through the middle of the ground with their intensity at the contest and took a two-goal lead into the final quarter.

When Luke Chambers converted a 50m penalty, the Kangas held an 18-point lead early in the last quarter and looked to be in the box seat.

However, the Bulls turned the tide when Corey Byrne and Jack Paterson both goaled to bring the margin back to a kick.

Monteath then slotted another from 40m on a tight angle to level the scores before Nic Chidgzey kicked two near-identical set shots from the pocket to put the game beyond doubt.

Monteath finished with four important goals for the Bulls, while Byrne and Brendon Wynne were crucial to their side’s victory.

Matt Orzel and Jack McPhee impressed for the Kangas through the middle of the ground. Bulls coach Shane Thompson was impressed with how his side finished the game.

“We gave ourselves a chance going into the last quarter — their run and spread got us in that third term, which was worrying,” he said.

“The most pleasing thing was we were challenged and were able to finish strongly and kick 5.6 in that last quarter.”

Kangas coach Craig Dew said his team made some critical mistakes in the fourth quarter.

“I think we made some crucial errors in the middle of the ground in that last quarter; we turned it over a few times,” he said.

“Probably a little bit of class showed through for them at the end — they steadied and started to use the ball nicely and just got over the top of us.”

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