Kangas keen to shake “bogey team” trend

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
North Albany coach Craig Dew.
Camera IconNorth Albany coach Craig Dew. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

North Albany coach Craig Dew says his side will be eager to shake their “bogey team” trend against Railways after continuing their winning form with a comprehensive win over Mt Barker on Saturday at Sounness Park.

The Kangas inflicted the Bulls’ biggest loss at home since 2015, the 65-point win setting up a tantalising early season top-of-the-table clash with the undefeated Tigers.

The reigning premiers have won their last four matches since losing to the still unbeaten Tigers on Anzac Day after storming clear of the Bulls in the final term.

The Kangas got the flying start with a five-goal-to-none opening term and fought off a third-quarter fightback by the Bulls in which the margin was reduced to 15 points.

However, late goals to Taj Williams and ruckman Jacob Hobbs steadied the visitors’ ship before running away in the final term with six goals to nothing to spoil Michael Wright’s 200th game for the Bulls.

Teenage sharpshooter Williams booted four goals for the Kangas and Nick Barrow added three in the win, 15.11 (101) to 5.6 (36).

The Bulls sorely missed forward Kym Monteath, while the Kangas showed no signs of missing key midfielder Matt Orzel, with last year’s Kleemann Medal runner-up Jack McPhee enjoying his best game of the season.

McPhee was ably supported by new recruit Michael Trevenen and understudy Barrow, with Dew impressed by his side’s ability to be steady under siege from the home side in the third quarter. “I thought he was best on ground or second-best — it’s certainly a luxury to have him (Trevenen) step in and play that inside midfielder role,” Dew said.

“I don’t think the scoreboard reflected our dominance in the first half.

“We weren’t getting value for effort. We were dominating and not putting it on the scoreboard, which has been a bit of a trend this season.”

Bulls coach Brad Hook said his side did not have the same depth as the Kangas, with 12 of their best 28 on the sidelines, including Monteath, who missed with the flu.

Veteran Sam Lehmann, defender Ty Miller and youngster Joel Gray were influential in the Bulls’ revival in the second and third quarters but faded as the Kangas’ superior fitness proved decisive.

“They jumped us, which makes it hard for us,” he said.

“Their run and spread really got us off guard.” Dew said his side would again have to contend with the unavailability of Orzel because of work commitments, along with some injury concerns to first-choice players if they were going to topple the undefeated Tigers.

“They are clearly the trendsetter,” he said. “In my coaching tenure they have been our bogey team.

“I don’t know why we just seem to struggle. “I’m really looking forward to this one — it’s going to be a cracker.”

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