The Northern Knights have posted their second win of 2017 with a 15-point victory over the Eastern Ranges on Sunday afternoon at Preston City Oval.
Joel Naylor starred kicking six goals including three in the first quarter to lead the home side on a cold and rainy day.
The Ranges kicked the first two goals of the game before Naylor kicked his first with Eastern pulling out to a 17-point lead late in the term before the Knights kicked four goals in five minutes to take the lead a quarter time.
Coach Justin Wenke was happy with the way the boys responded after that slow start to the game.
“Our first ten minutes we didn’t play the type of footy we are capable of, but to kick five straight goals and take the lead at quarter time was really pleasing.”
The rain really started to set in the second term as the Knights had the ball in their forward 50 for much of the quarter and were able to capitalise on that dominance with Naylor kicking another two goals giving him five at half time.
“For Nayles (Joel Naylor) to go forward as a backman showed great skill in the wet and put real pressure on the Eastern defence and for him to be able to convert that onto the scoreboard was great to see.”
The rain continued in the third quarter but due to some slick play from the likes of Jack Petruccelle and Ethan Penrith extended the Knights lead to 25 going into the final change.
“That third quarter we played was incredible, the ball was in our half for almost the entire quarter and for the boys to hold the ball in for that amount of time and then use that dominance and increase the lead was a just reward for them.”
Eastern challenged in the last term bringing the margin back to 12 points before Naylor kicked his sixth goal to help seal the win.
“We were put under pressure in the last term, Eastern was always going to come at us and we responded and we able to grind out a great win and start the season off extremely well, we are very happy to be 2-1.”
“Ethan was really promising playing in a different role to what he normally does and his burst in and out of packs while very exciting, Petch’s last quarter was exceptional, some of his efforts on the wing to help set up and save goals really helped us secure the win.”
The Knights will now have the week off due to the TAC Cup Development Weekend before resuming against the Murray Bushrangers on April 23rd.
Northern Knights 6.1 8.5 10.8 11.9 (75)
Eastern Ranges 5.0 6.0 7.1 9.6 (60)
Northern Knights: J. Naylor 6, J. Shea 2, P. Della Rocca, B. Gillard, E. Penrith
Eastern Ranges: D. Moore 2, M. Doreian, J. Duncan, K. Urquhart, T. Mynott, A. Kalcovski, A. Cerra, R. Stoddart
Northern Knights: J. Naylor, E. Penrith, M. Dreher, B. Gillard, J. Petruccelle, O. Stapleton
Eastern Ranges: A. Cerra, B. Cardamone, R. Stoddart, D. Moore, T. Mynott, L. Woodward