Woods helps Bull-doze reigning premiers

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Mt Barker's Tyson Sujdovic sends his team into attack.
Camera IconMt Barker's Tyson Sujdovic sends his team into attack. Credit: Laurie Benson

The reign of North Albany is over with their season officially ended at the hands of an impressive Mt Barker side in wet conditions in the Great Southern Football League elimination first semifinal at Sounness Park on Sunday.

The Bulls had won two of the three encounters against the Kangas this year and that form remained true, the home side breaking the game apart with a five-goal second quarter.

A strong wind favoured the town end of the ground and that is where the Bulls did their damage in the second as attacking trio Tyson Sujdovic, Dionne Woods and Jesse Wynne orchestrated the 35-point win.

The Bulls had kicked two goals against the breeze thanks to the crafty Woods and they added the first four goals of the second to stretch their margin even further.

Mt Barker’s David Stone collars North Albany’s Nathan Crudeli in Sunday’s elimination final at Sounness Park.
Camera IconMt Barker’s David Stone collars North Albany’s Nathan Crudeli in Sunday’s elimination final at Sounness Park. Credit: Laurie Benson

Sujdovic slotted two early goals before Woods added his third, the Bulls scoring three goals from their first four inside 50 entries.

The Kangas lost Brock Ramsay to a broken collarbone, crunched by Jack Horrocks, and that led to the dangerous Wynne finding the big sticks.

Alex Pearce kicked one against the flow of the game, his kick from the 50m arc dribbling through, but the Bulls went into half-time 29 points up after a late Sujdovic set shot.

The visitors won the third term, kicking four goals to two, but they still trailed by 16 points at the last change.

North Albany's Mitch Lenegan holds out Mt Barker's Brent Parsons.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Mitch Lenegan holds out Mt Barker's Brent Parsons. Credit: Laurie Benson

The first two inside-50 entries of the all-important last quarter came from the Kangas but they were unable to score and the Bulls’ efficiency continued at the other end as Woods slotted a fifth and then Rhys Hogg jailed one from close range as the Bulls were preliminary final bound.

Woods was simply superb, kicking a goal in every quarter to finish with 5.3 as the Bulls won 13.6 (84) to 7.7 (49) to reach the preliminary final for the third straight year.

Bulls coach Brad Hook said his side were growing in confidence, having won their last four games.

“We went in with some confidence but 20 of North’s 22 were premiership players,” he said.

“Great players step up in big games and Dooper (Woods) is one of them.

Mt Barker's Dionne Woods gets around North Albany's Hamish Bigwood.
Camera IconMt Barker's Dionne Woods gets around North Albany's Hamish Bigwood. Credit: Laurie Benson

“When we can get the ball into our forward line quickly we look so dangerous, we did that today.”

Experienced trio Sam Lehmann, Nic Chidgzey and Daniel Henderson were everywhere in the first half, while Woods and Wynne (22 disposals) were a lively forward combination.

Defenders Lee Pavlovich and Brent Parsons were rarely beaten for the home side and Mitch Ballard helped quell the influence of Matt Orzel, who still had 21 touches.

Nitan Benavides (ankle) and Kym Monteath (groin) finished the game on the bench and Jye Williss also tweaked his groin for the Bulls.

The Kangas went in without captain Luke Cameron for personal reasons and got within 14 points during the third term but their run of premierships came to a close as a result.

Mt Barker's Daniel Henderson takes the ball out of the ruck.
Camera IconMt Barker's Daniel Henderson takes the ball out of the ruck. Credit: Laurie Benson

Orzel was manful around the stoppages, Nathan Crudeli won plenty of ball and Mitch Lengan and Hamish Bigwood toiled hard in defence.

Interim Kangas coach Rod Gillies said Woods’ performance was the difference.

“Their key forwards, in particular Dionne Woods were too good,” Gillies said. “We had it in our forward line a lot but we’ve been outplayed, they are a more even side and they won the big moments.

“We won out first four games and then have three games for the rest of the year so the writing was on the ball.

“The players tried their guts out and it would be nice to win all the time but reality is you can’t.”

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