Plucky Sharks fall short in dour contest

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Scott Sedgwick says he is undecided if he will intend to become the first Albany coach to continue into a second season after Denmark-Walpole denied the Sharks their second ever league win in a dour struggle at Centennial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The final home and away match of the season for the two clubs was the closest of their three clashes this season with the Magpies holding off the spirited Sharks by 18 points, 9.11 (65) to 7.5 (47).

The Sharks led at quarter-time by five points with the breeze but play was delayed for more than 40 minutes as an ambulance was called after Sharks forward Jordan Oldfield suffered a sickening broken leg in a collision with teammate Stewart Davies.

When play resumed, the Magpies controlled the remainder of the term with the advantage of wind, taking a decisive 21-point lead into the major break.

The Sharks surged through goals to captain Rick Wallis and Nicholas Penny in the third term to bridge the margin to two points before Shayne Zanetti stood up to goal on the three-quarter time siren and give the Magpies an eight-point lead before coming home with the breeze.

Playing his first match since May after an injury ravaged season, Zanetti finished with three crucial goals to almost be the difference in a tight, low-scoring affair where the second half was reduced to 17-minute quarters.

Sedgwick said the unfortunate injury to Oldfield halted his side’s momentum but was pleased with their continued fight despite the emotion of seeing their teammate suffer a serious injury.

Sedgwick, who took over as coach with assistant Kim Mayfield replacing Mick Mustey on the eve of the season, was full of praise for his side’s endeavour all season.

“Under the circumstances it was very satisfying,” he said.

“To see the guys for the first time three weeks out before the season, the whole year the character they have shown has been great.

“They could have put their hands in the air and said, ‘this is too hard’ but they have stuck it out and they are a great group.”

While Sedgwick said he would make a decision on his coaching future in due course, Magpies counterpart Matt Candy indicated he was keen to continue at the helm after a season of development.

“I thought we were going to be competitive all season and I thought we were competitive,” he said.

“You measure success in different ways.

“We had 14 colts run through our league side this season so we have got some good numbers, we just need to work on getting a bit more quality into them.”

Candy said Zanetti had indicated to him he wanted to be a part of the club into the future.

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