A second quarter flurry from the Dandenong Stingrays has helped hand the Northern Knights a 99 point loss in their game at Shepley Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Knights had a strong first quarter, leading for most of the term thanks to two first quarter goals from Sam Binion, including one right on the siren. However, the Stingrays proved to be too strong, using a nine goals-to-one second quarter to take the lead for good. Stingrays forward Tom De Koning kicked 9 goals in the win.
Despite the loss, Knights coach Andrew Shakespeare stated that there were a lot of positives to take from the game: “our effort and intent was good… we had ten 17 year old players playing today. Was exciting to see them go out and play against the best in the competition and hopefully learn from it”.
The coach cited that the execution fell down under some intense pressure throughout the game: “We play well in passages but if we lose focus on what we are trying to do, quality opposition will always get you in the end, we’ve just got to learn the game goes for 4 quarters”.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. First gamer Ted Clayton gave the Knights a highlight in the final term when he kicked his first career goal. Coach Shakespeare said “it was fantastic to see a kid come in, his first game and kick a tough goal into the breeze after a good contested mark”.
Captain Mason Blakey had another fantastic outing, finishing with 29 disposals and a goal.
Bobby Lamanna (23 disposals) and Jamison Shea (21 disposals) also had strong outings for the young side.
In the ruck, Joel Grace and Chase Roberts battled manfully, while young John Naylor impressed with some strong contested marks.
While it was a disappointing result today, there was still plenty of positives to come out of it as the Knights look ahead to next week.
The Knights take on the North Ballarat Rebels at Preston City Oval next Saturday at 1:00pm.
Northern Knights 3.3 4.5 6.11 7.13 (55)
Dandenong Stingrays 4.1 13.8 15.8 24.10 (154)
Northern Knights: S. Binion 2, P. Lipinski 2, M. Lentini, M. Blakey, T. Clayton
Dandenong Stingrays: T. De Koning 9, S. Fowler 5, D. Allsop 3, C. Martello 2, A. Darling, M. Poholke, N. Scagliarini, R. Piper, M. Kleverkamp
Northern Knights: M. Blakey, M. Perry, S. Binion, A. Fable, B. Paterson, C. Roberts
Dandenong Stingrays: T. De Koning, M. La Fontaine, R. Piper, M. DeWit, M. Poholke, S. Fowler