The Northern Knights have finished off the 2016 on a great note with a 15-point win over the Western Jets on Saturday afternoon.
Three last quarter goals to Joel Naylor who was moved forward after being injured in the third term guided the Knights to the win.
The Knights kicked the first four goals of the game before the Jets kicked eight of the next nine. The Knights were able to take back control of the game which really pleased coach Andrew Shakespeare.
“This is one of the things we’ve really been focusing on, about critical moments and game awareness, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to test ourselves and show what we have learnt and clearly we did”, Shakespeare said.
“We haven’t won a lot of games but we have seen a lot of growth in the team across the year, been confronted but that situation we’re we are just in front or just behind and collapsed and today we’ve shown that we have learned from the mistakes and went ahead and to win the game against the odds, down on the bench with people injured and into a stiff breeze.”
“I’m really pleased for the boys, because it has given them so real reward for the continued work.”
Captain Mason Blakey and Steve Christou both injured their thumbs and were out of the of the game early. While Nick Coffield also couldn’t finish off the game, which meant that others had to stand up.
“After losing our captain to injury all of our other leaders stepped up, Jamison Shea who had one of his best games as a Knight, Luke Bunker and Lachie Murphy to stand up and drive things on field helped make a huge difference.”
“Joel Naylor was injured and wanted to come off but we asked to him to play a role he did and we were thrilled.”
Plenty of players played their last game for the Knights and many of them stood out in their final appearance. Jake Bradley (23 disposals, 5 marks), Lachie Murphy (29 disposals), Luke Bunker (30 disposals, 1 goal), Jamison Shea (35 disposals, 14 marks), Patrick Lipinski (23 disposals, 3 goals) and Matt Perry (40 disposals, 11 marks) all played outstanding games.
The Knights had a young team out there today and showed a real glimpse of what the future could be like in 2017
“We had nine seventeen year olds and one sixteen-year-old today and for them to experience that win and learn across the season and take it into next year will be really good for us going forward.”
Northern Knights 4.4 5.7 8.10 11.12 (78)
Western Jets 1.0 6.1 8.2 10.3 (63)
Northern Knights: J. Naylor 3, P. Lipinski 3, J. Bradley 2, C. Bland, O. Stapleton , L. Bunker
Western Jets: O. Junker 3, S. Syme 2, O. King, N. Giarrizzo, H. Bult, B. McGregor, B. Sullivan
Northern Knights: J. Shea, L. Bunker, J. Bradley, L. Murphy, P. Lipinski, M. Perry
Western Jets: B. McGregor, N. Giarrizzo, R. Carter, N. Buykx, B. Crofts, O. Junker
(PHOTO: AFL Victoria)