The Northern Knights have been defeated by the Oakleigh Chargers by 84 points at Preston City Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Chargers kicked eight goals to two in both halves to run away with a dominant victory.
The Knights had a very young side for the game in the first of three ‘Futures Rounds’ for the season, where teams have to play at least eleven bottom age players play.
Oakleigh pulled away early kicking the first three goals, the Knights kicked two of the next three goals but still trailed by 19 at quarter time.
Ryan Bowkett and Debutant Connor Rutland both kicked their first TAC Cup goals in that first term in what was one of few bright spots on the day.
After quarter time it was all Oakleigh. The Chargers kicked 11 goals to 2 from then on and completely took control of the game from the Knights.
Knights Coach Justin Wenke says Oakleigh played an outstanding game and really worked well on both sides of the ball.
“It was a really disappointing day for us, but credit to the Chargers they came out and executed their game plan to perfection and played great team football both offensively and defensively.”
Wenke said while bitterly disappointed with the result it was pleasing to see those young guys take the game on.
“I thought our four boys who made their debuts on the weekend really gave it their all,” Wenke said.
“Connor Rutland’s goal, bursting through the pack was really exciting to see. Ryan Gardner will benefit enormously from getting his first taste at senior level as a 16 year old. Rayden Garrard showed a bit in the last quarter in the ruck which was good to see.”
However, it was Evan Tsitsis who stood out from the four debutants. Tsitsis, who has played the entire year at Macleod JFC played down back the entire game and locked down on his opponent.
“Evan was fantastic, while not always making the correct decision his ability to take the game on and contest was very exciting to see from a first game player.”
The Knights will take on the Greater Western Victoria Rebels on Sunday at Eureka Stadium in what will be a great test for the boys.
Oakleigh Chargers 5.1 8.2 12.7 16.14 (110)
Northern Knights 2.0 2.2 3.2 4.2 (26)
Oakleigh Chargers: D. Stanford 4, R. Jones 3, D. Scala 2, J. Gasper 2, M. Day 2, N. Reeves, J. Troiani, X. Fry
Northern Knights: J. Shea, P. Howe, C. Rutland, R. Bowkett
Oakleigh Chargers: L. Bugeja, I. Quaynor, D. Stanford, N. Reeves, M. Day
Northern Knights: L. Sinclair, E. Tsitsis, J. Shea, B. Bell, C. Rutland, R. Bowkett