The Northern Knights have gone down to the Oakleigh Chargers by six points at Preston City Oval on Sunday. The Chargers used a five goal to three final term to steal the game from the Knights.
It was a disappointing finish to the game after the Knights played one of their best quarters of the season in the third term. They kicked six goals to three but ultimately couldn’t keep the momentum and fell away in the last quarter.
Coach Andrew Shakespeare says that third quarter shows what the Knights are capable of when they play the right way.
“One of the changes we’ve made is that we are starting to play some really good quality football. When we use the ball well and move through the field, it gives us that opportunity to score and we did in that third term.” Shakespeare said.
Again the Knights failed to finish off a strongly after leading at three quarter time for the second week in a row.
“It was a good effort across the whole day, we had a real focus on not ever giving up, the fact that we kicked the last two goals of the game shows we are learning, but again we’ve got to understand it’s a four quarter game not just three and a bit.”
Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen echoed the coaches’ thoughts on a disappointing day.
“[It] was frustrating today, we played well but just couldn’t finish off our good work. 51 skill errors to 20 tells the tale. Our endeavour, hunt and attack were all there just our decision making let us down but there was plenty of positives” Gieschen said.
There was plenty of positives to take from today’s game for the Knights. Luke Bunker had a terrific game playing midfield and forward, Marcus Lentini continued to impress and first gamer Jack Petruccelle showed a real glimpse of the big future he has.
“Bunks was outstanding, we’ve really been trying to get him to influence the game when he rests forward as a midfielder. For him to kick three goals today, shows that he is learning in that area as well as getting 30 plus possessions”
“Lentini a 17 year old, getting 37 possessions was really dynamic and provided plenty of ball movement, but still needs to work on the defensive side of his game”
“Petch was just sensational, it was really exciting to see, 16 year old coming into the program and just taking the game on. We told him to show us what he’s got and he did that with his electric speed, beautiful leap and good hands too.”
Lachlan Murphy (28 disposals, 2 goals), Mason Blakey (28 disposals, 5 marks) and Matt Perry (31 disposals) all had strong games for the Knights.
The Knights have the week off next week as a result of the development weekend before heading down to Ballarat to take on the Rebels.
Northern Knights 2.2 6.5 12.6 15.8 (98)
Oakleigh Chargers 3.3 8.4 11.5 16.8 (104)
Northern Knights: L. Bunker 3, J. Petruccelle 3, L. Murphy 2, J. Shea 2, M. Andrews, C. McKay, O. Stapleton , S. Christou, M. Signorello
Oakleigh Chargers: N. Larkey 3, J. Higgins 3, E. Phillips 2, L. Walker 2, D. Stanford 2, J. Daicos 2, M. Young, E. Hanley
Northern Knights: L. Bunker, M. Blakey, L. Murphy, M. Lentini, J. Petruccelle, M. Perry
Oakleigh Chargers: J. Higgins, L. Walker, E. Phillips, N. Answerth , N. Larkey, L. Tink