The Northern Knights have suffered their second straight defeat falling to the Eastern Ranges by nine points on Saturday afternoon at Box Hill City Oval.
After kicking the first two goals of the game with the aid of the breeze the Knights took control early in the first quarter. Eastern responded with two of their own to finish the term, with the Knights lead just two points at the first break.
The Ranges used the wind to their advantage in the second quarter kicking four goals to two and took a lead they would end up never relinquishing going into half time.
Coach Justin Wenke said the Knights missed an opportunity in the first quarter and it cost them.
“We didn’t use the breeze to our advantage and Eastern took full advantage of that.” Wenke said.
“It was a fairly strong breeze and we weren’t able to get the game on our terms when we had it and were not able to stop them when they did, so we were playing catch up from there.”
The second half was a tight tussle after Eastern pulled out to a 22-point lead. Goals to Nick Coffield and Braedyn Gillard brought the Knights to within 10 points before a late goal to Cody Hirst gave Eastern a 16-point lead at three quarter time.
Debutant Ben Laschko kicked the Knights first of the final term, but Northern couldn’t close the margin despite waves of attacks, to fall to 6-7-1 on the season.
“Every time we got close they responded straight away like a good team does. It’s something we need to learn to do when we have the momentum in games but we’ll keep learning and get better.”
There were some brilliant individual efforts on the day with Mitch Andrews and Braedyn Gillard playing their best games for the club while Kye Agosta was a big presence up forward kicking three goals.
The Knights will take on the Calder Cannons this Saturday at Preston City Oval in what will be an important match up to try and sure up the Knights Finals hopes.
“It’s going to be a crucial game, the Cannons got us last time so we need to get one back and get our momentum back going into the last few games of the season.”
Eastern Ranges: 2.2 6.6 8.10 10.11 (71)
Northern Knights 2.4 4.5 6.6 9.8 (62)
Eastern Ranges: C. Hirst 4, J. Lynch, K. Urquhart, S. Hayes, J. Rossiter, M. Doreian, J. Ross
Northern Knights: K. Agosta 3, B. Gillard 2, M. Andrews, S. Binion, N. Coffield, B. Laschko
Eastern Ranges : C. Hirst, R. Stoddart, J. Lynch, M. Doreian, H. Nolan, J. Stephenson
Northern Knights: M. Andrews, B. Gillard, J. Grace, K. Agosta, A. Fable, N. Coffield