Match Reports, U18 TAC Cup Squad

A Nick Coffield goal and an Oliver Wilson game saving tackle have given the Northern Knights a memorable three-point win over the Dandenong Stingrays on Saturday afternoon at Preston City Oval.

After trailing the entire day, the captain kicked a goal from 50 metres out off one step to give the Knights the lead with two minutes remaining, before second gamer Wilson with the Stingray’s Jackson Allen running into an open goal chased him down and won a free kick to help seal the game.

In a scrappy affair, the Stingrays used the wind to their advantage in the first term, kicking five goals to none before the Knights responded with their first goal in the second term to bring the margin back to just five points at halftime.

Coach Justin Wenke says he couldn’t be happier for the boys after the fight they showed to get back into the game.

“We were probably a bit lucky in the first term when Dandenong didn’t kick straight”, Wenke said.

“For us to fight back in that second term was really pleasing and showed the resolve that these boys have in them.”

The Stingrays again used the wind to their advantage in the third term taking a 15-point lead into the final change. A thrilling last quarter followed with goals to Sam Binion, Jamison Shea, Braedyn Gillard and Coffield helping get the Knights over the line.

“In that third quarter we were really challenged, it looked like a few times the Stingrays were going to pull away but we kept hanging in there and kicking goals at important times and it gave us that chance to win in the end.”

But it was the end that result stood out for Wenke not just Coffield’s goal but Wilsons amazing effort.

“Nick went forward and provided a real spark running through the midfield as well and for him to kick a goal when we needed it most was outstanding.”

“Oliver Wilson’s effort though summed him up perfectly, in just his second game of footy he delivered when we needed him the most and provided us all a moment we will never forget at this club.”

Jamison Shea was a star for the day kicking four goals, while Jack Petruccelle showed more flashes of brilliance up forward and in the midfield. Anthony Fable and Braedyn Gillard were both prominent in the midfield while Joel Grace played a great ruckman’s game alongside debutant Zac Hudson.

The Knights head down the highway next week to take on the first-placed Geelong Falcons in a much anticipated game at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.

(PHOTO: Mats Tveraaen)