Northern Knights got off to another flying start, but couldn’t stop a fast-finishing Gippsland Power outfit, both teams settling for a draw.
Northern had the lead with 30 seconds left on the clock, but a miraculous boundary-line goal by the Power seconds before the final siren equaled the scores.
The Knights held the lead for most of the day, but a few crucial moments in the second half allowed Gippsland to get back into the game and eventually level the scoreline (Knights 10.6.66 to Power 10.6.66).
There were exciting passages of play from the youthful Knights outfit, with Ryan Sturgess running through the middle of the ground taking a bounce, giving off the hands, getting it back, taking another bounce and kicking it through the middle.
But, at other times Gippsland’s composure and experience was shown.
Coach Justin Wenke had a lot of positive things to say about Northern’s performance but insisted that the Knights were let down by critical moments.
“From a coaching point of view, it’s not about effort, it’s not about will it’s not about determination, it’s not about having a crack, we got all that right.” He said post-match.
“We just didn’t get our small moments right today.”
“Early on we didn’t make the most of our opportunity’s which put a bit of pressure on us.”
Wenke says that although the loss is disappointing there is still a lot of lessons that can be learnt.
“I Can’t fault your effort, I’m 100 percent gutted and disappointed for you, but I can’t fault your efforts.” He said.
“It’s disappointing as a club not to get there, but, at the end of the day there’s some good learning lessons out of it.”
Northern will be back at home this weekend, taking on Bendigo Pioneers 2.30PM on Sunday.
Goal Kickers: I. Mosquito 4, J. Smith 2, R. Baldi, M. McGannon, A. Young, T. Hayes
Best Players: I. Mosquito, K. Reid, R. Sparkes, J. van der Pligt, B. Smith, M. McGannon
Goal Kickers: S. Brazier 4, K. Agosta 2, J. D”Intinosante, B. Gillard, R. Sturgess, R. Bowkett
Best Players: B. Gillard, R. Sturgess, L. Potter, S. Brazier, T. Hallebone, R. Gardner