Kangas rally to find final term edge

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Reigning premiers North Albany have withstood a strong challenge from Denmark-Walpole, kicking five unanswered goals in the final quarter to secure their first win of the new season at Collingwood Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Kangas, coming off a five- day break, made four changes to the side that lost in the opening round to Railways but it was the visitors that made plenty of the early running.

After trailing by a six points at quarter-time the Magpies kicked three goals to one in the second term through surprise inclusion Tyler Stone, veteran Dylan Judd and recruit Paris Ropiha as they took a four-point advantage into the main break.

Again the Magpies surprised many at the ground when they wrestled the lead back from the home side and went eight points up midway through the third stanza.

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North Albany's Regan Lloyd looks to handball.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Regan Lloyd looks to handball. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The Kangas rallied though, led by star midfielder Matt Orzel who set the tone in the middle of the ground, and goals to utility Luke Cameron and Nick Barrow gave their side a three-point buffer at the last change.

In the last quarter it was all Kangas as they ran over the top of their opponents.

The home side won numerous clearances in the final term and had 17 inside 50s to six as they careered away to a 38-point win at the final siren.

The Kangas kicked the last seven goals of the game and were best served by the prolific Orzel, defender Jack McPhee and wingman Corey Hitchcock in the 13.16 (94) to 8.8 (56) victory.

Cameron was also impressive with three goals and plenty of influence around the ground but he came from the ground with a suspected medial ligament injury to sour the Kangas first win of 2017.

Kangas coach Craig Dew was pleased his side were able to get the win after their slow first half.

“They were getting outside us in offence and defence,” he said.

“In the last quarter we just overran them, we started to use the footy, use it to our advantage and looked more dangerous.

“What I’m most excited about is our kids, Jack (McPhee) and Matt (Orzel) led the way but Becroft, Hitchcock, Jack Steel on debut, Nathan Shanhun and Barrow were all really good.”

Denmark-Walpole’s Brody Hickey and North Albany's Graham Ross contest the ball.
Camera IconDenmark-Walpole’s Brody Hickey and North Albany's Graham Ross contest the ball. Credit: Albany Advertiser

McPhee completely shut Magpies star Shayne Zanetti out of the game after he kicked an early goal in the first quarter but the visitors had a number of pleasing signs, including the clearance work of Ryan Gaerth, Stone’s three-goal return and the influence of Jak Phillips and Jack Hickey.

Magpies coach Matt Candy was frustrated his side let their hard work slip away in the final term.

“We just got tired,” he said.

“We were pretty good for the best part of it, the signs were good but we’ve still got a bit of work to do (giving that up).

“In the last we didn’t put any pressure on them and they just opened up the doors.”

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