The Northern Knights have secured a finals spot for the first time since 2013 with an outstanding 39-point win over the Murray Bushrangers on Saturday afternoon.
In what was their most complete performance of the season the Knights kicked six goals to three in the second term and five goals to two in the last quarter to run away with the victory.
The first quarter was a tight tussle with one of the Bushrangers knocked out in the first minute causing a ten-minute delay.
After that Murray kicked three of the first four goals before late goals to Ethan Penrith and Patrick Naish helped give the Knights a slender lead at quarter time.
The second quarter was one of the Knights best all year. Joel Naylor playing his first match from injury since Round 3, kicked his first goal, before goals to Naish, Marcus Lentini, Alex Federico, Nick Coffield and Tom McKenzie gave the Knights a 23-point lead at the main break.
Coach Justin Wenke said it was great to see the boys put together a four-quarter performance.
“We lead at every change and that’s the first time we’ve done that this season,” Wenke said.
“Our inside midfielders helped get it to our boys on the outside and that helped us get great attacking position on a regular basis.”
“That second term was really exciting to watch and gave us great momentum.”
The Knights extended their margin to 38 points late in the third term before Murray kicked three unanswered to close the gap to a tense 20 points.
In their most important quarter of the year, it was the leaders who stepped up and put the game away for Northern. Goals to Nick Coffield, Jamison Shea, Joel Naylor and two goals to Ethan Penrith helped seal, not only a memorable win but an all important finals berth.
“We were challenged but never looked like losing as we were able to keep the scoreboard kicking over which was pleasing.”
The Knights finish their home and away season with a game against the Sandringham Dragons in what will be a big test against one of the best sides in the competition.
“It’s great to qualify for the finals but we’ve got a massive game this week and hopefully we can build on this momentum from last week and bring that into the finals.”