Kangas end slump after accounting for Magpies

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
North Albany’s Mitch Woods and Denmark-Walpole’s Lee Gropp wrestle for position.
Camera IconNorth Albany’s Mitch Woods and Denmark-Walpole’s Lee Gropp wrestle for position. Credit: Richard Poulish

Defending premiers North Albany snapped out of a slump, accounting for Denmark-Walpole by 38 points in their GSFL clash at Collingwood Park on Sunday afternoon.

A six-goals-to-one first quarter proved the telling period as the home side led by 29 points at the first break.

The Kangas had to withstand two separate challenges from the Magpies in the second half but the result pushed them a win and significant percentage clear in third place.

Midfielder Nathan Crudeli did his Kleemann Medal claims no harm with a fine display in the midfield alongside grunt man Matt Orzel, while wingman Alex Pearce was outstanding with three goals and plenty of the ball.

Denmark-Walpole’s Tyler Stone gathers the ball.
Camera IconDenmark-Walpole’s Tyler Stone gathers the ball. Credit: Richard Poulish

The fightback came from the Magpies in the second half, as twice they rallied to challenge the Kangas but were unable to get the deficit under three goals.

The Magpies had the first two goals after half-time — two long bombs from right on the 50m arc from Tyler Stone — to bring the margin back to 24 points.

But the Kangas steadied through dangerous forward Jyrin Woods.

Effectively playing for their season, the Magpies stormed back into the game again as they conjured the first two majors of the last to reduce the Kangas’ lead to 19 points.

However, goals from Jacob Hobbs and Brodie Sumich, who both played important parts, virtually killed off the Magpies charge as the home side prevailed 14.11 (95) to 8.9 (57).

Denmark-Walpole’s Harry Lill lays a strong tackle on North Albany’s Jacob Hobbs.
Camera IconDenmark-Walpole’s Harry Lill lays a strong tackle on North Albany’s Jacob Hobbs. Credit: Richard Poulish

Woods finished with four goals, defender Regan Lloyd was dominant and Crudeli will attract Kleemann votes for his display over the four quarters.

The main concern for the Kangas was a severe concussion to Nic Barrow in the second quarter. He was taken to hospital.

North Albany interim coach Rod Gillies said it was pleasing to secure a win in the race for the finals.

“If we can now win two in a row, you can get a bit of confidence,” Gillies said.

“That’s a big thing in footy, and if you string a few wins together you never know.

“Losing Barrow to a very bad concussion, we’re disappointed with that.

North Albany’s Graham Ross tries to spoil Denmark-Walpole’s Ryan Gaerth.
Camera IconNorth Albany’s Graham Ross tries to spoil Denmark-Walpole’s Ryan Gaerth. Credit: Richard Poulish

“Denmark had a couple of good ones out and I think it was probably a false margin in the game. Tyler Stone and Ryan Gaerth both played very well.”

The fixture paid tribute to the late Benno Napier, a former Magpies player, and Jono Woods, who is still playing in his 50s and having been a terrific servant of both clubs at senior level.

Tony and Delwyn Napier tossed the coin in memory of their son Benno.
Camera IconTony and Delwyn Napier tossed the coin in memory of their son Benno. Credit: Richard Poulish

Magpies star Stone was awarded the Benno Napier Medal for his impressive game that yielded four goals while co-coach Ryan Gaerth, Lee Gropp, Jared Lane and Alec Haskins were among their better contributors.

The loss makes it extremely difficult for the Magpies to play finals, two wins adrift of the fourth-placed Mt Barker with three games to play.

Gaerth said the club’s depth problems and a slow start were the main factors in their ninth loss of the year.

“We got within three goals but we’d used all our gas to get there,” he said.

“Missing a couple of players really hurts us because we don’t have that depth.

“They burnt us with run and spread.

“We were just real flat but the boys fought on in the second and third and didn’t throw the towel in.”

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