Sharks fail to counter Bulls’ blitz
Albany were left to rue a costly third-term lapse which proved the difference as Mt Barker powered away to their second win of the season at Centennial Stadium on Sunday.
The Sharks failed the pressure test applied by the Bulls in the third quarter as the visitors piled on six unanswered goals in a 20-minute blitz which decided the 36-point win, 16.14 (110) to 11.8 (74).
A win would have moved the Sharks four points clear in the top four, with a clash against the winless Denmark-Walpole to come, but instead the Bulls seized their second-half opportunities and the decisive win.
With dangerous forwards Jesse Wynne (five goals) and Dionne Woods (four) combining for nine goals between them, the Bulls had too much firepower in attack for the Sharks to counter when it mattered.
The Sharks led by 19 points midway through the second quarter but goals to Wynne and Woods halted the home side’s momentum before the major break and then the tables turned.
With the lingering memory of the scare from the Sharks in the corresponding fixture last season, Wynne and Woods continued to bob up when required, booting goals in each quarter to be a constant headache.
It took 10 minutes in the third term for Bulls youngster Darcy Wallinger to break the deadlock and boot the first major of the term after Kim Mayfield’s men missed three opportunities to place the Bulls under significant pressure.
Veteran Sam Lehmann shone in a Bulls midfield missing injured captain Peter Taylor, while acting captain Luke Hammond also stepped up.
The Bulls’ injuries were compounded with the loss of rugged defender Adam Tissott in the opening minutes to a hamstring strain but their inexperienced defence held firm in his absence, which pleased coach Brad Hook.
“For the first time this year it was a game we really had to win and be in the four with a game clear,” Hook said.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves at half-time to make sure the third quarter we played the way we wanted to.
“Our midfield stepped up and won the stoppages and clearances in the third and it flowed on from there.”
Defenders Matt Baseden and Mitch Jackson toiled hard for the Sharks, while Coen Marwick booted three goals in the losing affair.
Sharks coach Kim Mayfield said his side was simply beaten at the clearances in “15-20 minutes of bad footy.” “It would be really bad if it was things we identified and we couldn’t fix,” he said.
“It’s not about effort or anything like that, it’s about football smarts and when we get in those situations how do we react.”
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