Stone steps up to release panic button
Denmark-Walpole survived a third-quarter scare from a plucky Albany to register their first win of the Great Southern Football League season, kicking clear in the final term to win by 62 points at Centennial Stadium on Saturday afternoon
On the back of a four-goal game from Tyler Stone, the Magpies booted six unanswered goals in the final stanza after a worrying third term which gave the home side a rare sniff of snatching their second-ever victory.
Led by ruckman Stewart Davies and debutant Zainel Bin Busu, the Sharks bridged the margin to only 21 points at the final stage but failed to carry on their work.
The Magpies led comfortably by 35 points at half-time but the wheel began to turn in the Sharks’ favour through the pace and daring play of their younger brigade, including the lively Bin Busu and second-gamer Fraser Eaton.
Captain Rick Wallis booted two goals for the term, and when newcomer Vince Augustson strolled into an open goal, the margin was under four goals on the eve of the final break.
In a sign of panic, Stone moved into the middle of the ground for the first time this season and had an immediate impact, booting his fourth goal and the sealer early on in the term as the Magpies registered their first premiership points in five rounds.
Sharks coach Scott Sedgwick said his side was again let down by fitness when the game was on the line in the final quarter.
“Again, fitness came into it,” he said.
“The ball movement in the first two quarters was outstanding and the third quarter was really good.
“At three-quarter-time it was a good feeling but we unfortunately couldn’t finish it off.”
The home side missed livewire forward Shaquielle Narrier and new recruits Michael Simpson and Nathan Woods, while the Magpies were again without key forward Shayne Zanetti and former captain Brody Hickey.
A relieved Magpies coach Matt Candy conceded his side had begun to panic and played into the Sharks’ hands for most of the contest. “At three-quarter-time I suppose we were a bit tense,” he said.
“Obviously the last quarter was what we should have been doing all game but I guess what killed us was our ball skills were terrible again.
“It was like it was a greasy ball we were chasing around.
“Credit to the Sharks, they were good but we just have to be smarter with our ball movement.”
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