Sharks no match for Kangas in historic day

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Albany's Jake Stuart takes on North Albany's Jacob Hobbs.
Camera IconAlbany's Jake Stuart takes on North Albany's Jacob Hobbs. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany’s Jake Stuart became the first Sharks player to reach 100 league games but the class of their opponent, North Albany, proved the decisive factor on Sunday afternoon as the reigning premiers ran out 70-point winners at Collingwood Park.

Stuart, who has missed only three matches since the Sharks inception as a league side in 2012, ran through a banner acknowledging his part of Sharks history but it was the Kangas who struck first with the opening three goals of the game.

The Sharks took a while to settle but were able to kick two goals with the strong wind favouring their end to trail by only eight points at the first change.

Star Kangas midfielder Matt Orzel played the entire game up forward and his third goal along with two from wingman Alex Pearce helped the Kangas take full control in the second as they opened up a 49-point half-time advantage.

North Albany's Alec Haskins gets his handball clear.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Alec Haskins gets his handball clear. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The margin ballooned to 59 points by three-quarter-time but a fighting final term from the Sharks with two majors to Zac Pearson and one to skipper Rick Wallis ensured their side would keep the deficit under 100 points, their best result against the Kangas this season.

Pearce roamed freely to finish with four goals and plenty of the ball in a highly influential display, while Nic Barrow, Mitch Lenegan and Stuart Parker were also strong contributors in the 18.17 (125) to 7.13 (55) win.

Kangas coach Craig Dew said his side bounced back well from last week’s loss.

“We used the ball a lot better going forward after the first quarter,” he said.

“We had 10 goal kickers and have changed our forward line, which looks more dangerous.”

North Albany's Ray Padfield and Albany's Jonas Mitchell contest the ball.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Ray Padfield and Albany's Jonas Mitchell contest the ball. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Young midfielder Bryce Blaszkow was superb for the Sharks while Jonas Mitchell, Stuart and Dylan Gowdie also played well.

“They’re a good side and I was pleased our guys fought it out in the last,” Sharks coach Kim Mayfield said.

“The only thing that let us down was our goal kicking.”

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