Preston Leader’s Chris Cavanagh had this report on the game
A BIG win was on the cards at one point, but in the end the Northern Knights just hung on to record their first victory of the season in the TAC Cup on Sunday.
The home side led by as much as 43 points at the 18-minute-mark of the third quarter at Preston City Oval before a fast-finishing Tasmania closed the gap to as little as 11 points at the 21-minute-mark of the final term.
But the Knights did enough to take the points, Corey McKay’s second goal on the final siren making for a 10.13 (73) to 7.13 (55) triumph.
“Credit to them coming back, but we had to fight to win and we saw a lot of positives in that,” Northern Knights coach Andrew Shakespeare said.
“I would have liked it to be a runaway victory but it wasn’t to be.”
Shakespeare credited his side’s defence for the win, which conceded just two goals before time on came around in the third quarter and held firm as Tasmania pressed in the final term.
“When we were faced with the fact that they were coming hard at the end we were able to find something,” the coach said.
“A couple of players in the back half there — Nicholas Coffield and Marcus Lentini — won some critical contests at the end and really stabilised us.”
Captain Mason Blakey was also a key in the final term, setting the tone and collecting six disposals through the middle of the ground to finish the day with 18 touches.
Lachlan Wilson (23 disposals) and Matt Perry (25 disposals) also put in strong performances in the midfield while McKay accumulated 27 disposals to go with his two goals.
Shakespeare said the win would breed belief among the squad on the back of four losses to start the season.
“It grows belief in what we’re trying to do and hopefully the players’ confidence, individually and as a team, continues to grow,” he said
The Knights next meet Dandenong Stingrays at Shepley Oval from 11.30am on Saturday.
Northern Knights 6.5 8.6 9.10 10.13 (73)
Tasmania 0.0 1.4 5.10 7.13 (55)
Northern Knights: A. Fable 2, C. McKay 2, C. Roberts, M. Harman, P. Lipinski, P. Howe, M. Lentini, B. Paterson
Tasmania: W. Edmunds 3, J. Maple, K. Wylie, N. Dodge, T. Mundy
Northern Knights: L. Wilson, N. Coffield, M. Perry, M. Blakey, B. Paterson, A. Fable
Tasmania: N. Dodge, T. Thomas, W. Edmunds, B. McGuinness, K. Wylie, K. Palmer-Hughes