Thrilling win for Magpies hand Kangas third straight loss
Denmark-Walpole held off a fast-finishing North Albany to snatch a narrow five-point win and hand the reigning premiers a rare third straight defeat at home, to end a dramatic Sunday fixture at Collingwood Park.
The Magpies led at every break and went into the last 38 points up but had to withstand a strong challenge from the Kangas in the final term as they kicked the only five goals to cut the margin to single figures.
The home side quickly began to erase the deficit going with a strong breeze and when dangerous forward Jyrin Woods kicked two goals in a row the margin was back to 20 points.
Two majors from Luke Cameron, a few minutes apart then made things interesting as the margin was back to single figures before Nic Barrow took a mark 40m out in the dying seconds of the match.
Barrow took his kick as the siren sounded, which if successful would have drawn the match, but if drifted left to leave the Kangas short, 10.16 (76) to 12.9 (81).
After losing their first five games of the season the Magpies have won their past two and the breakthrough triumph over the Kangas pushed them into fourth spot after seven rounds.
The Magpies’ last win over the Kangas at Collingwood Park came way back in 2011, when they went on to play in the grand final.
The visitors kicked five goals with the wind in the first and third, and booted two majors against it in the second as they led by 15 points at half-time.
Ryan Gaerth won the game ball as part of Talk To A Mate Round, a vintage performance from the co-coach around the stoppages.
He had plenty of support as the Magpies had winners everywhere including Tyler Stone, Kalin Lane, Jayden Pickett (two goals) and Alec Haskins against the side he played for last year.
After a couple of late omissions on Sunday before the game, Stone looked like he would compound the Magpies’ woes when he hobbled from the ground with a stiff back as the teams warmed up.
Stone spent at least 10 minutes in the rooms but returned to play a vital role as an inside midfielder.
Magpies co-coach Simon Barker hoped the win would drive his side to keep improving and push to play finals ahead of a defining next month.
“Our pressure around the ball was great,” he said.
“We really wanted to win the contest.
“I thought our ball movement into the forward line when we had the wind, we hit targets, and that second quarter probably won us the game.
“The best thing is we are not relying on one player to carry us.”
Jyrin Woods was terrific for the Kangas, booting five goals up front, and the home side were also well served by resolute defender Todd Knuiman, Nathan Crudeli and Talon Delacey.
The Kangas brought back several key players including Matt Orzel, Ray Padfield and Alex Pearce but frustrated coach Craig Dew questioned his side’s hunger for the contest.
“In the first half there was a total lack of effort and intensity,” Dew said.
“I hate to say it but we lacked a bit of ticker and are playing non-North Albany-like footy.
“We had a good side in and, in previous years, we’d find a way to win the close ones so it comes back to the hunger for the contest.
“We have half a season to turn it around.”
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