A late Jack Petruccelle goal has helped the Northern Knights seal a courageous three point win against the Bendigo Pioneers on Sunday afternoon in Bendigo.
Taking back the lead with three minutes remaining, the Knights managed to hold on and get their third win of the season.
Coach Justin Wenke says it was good to get the win but there was definitely some areas to improve on.
“It was pleasing to come away with the four points, but there is plenty to work on if we are going to really challenge this year. We were beaten easily in clearances and contested ball so we will work on that throughout the week.”
“Our forward line performed really well with limited entries, with the resting midfielders down there, they were really dangerous and for Vince Nativo to kick 3 goals and take some contested grabs was great for us.”
The Knights once again had a very young team with another four debutants on the day with all of them playing key roles in the win.
One of those first-gamers Lincoln Zhang, earned every bit of his debut in a startling play when he went back with the flight of the ball to spoil a marking attempt and getting himself injured in the process, but allowed for Knights’ midfielders to take it down the other end for a much needed goal.
Additionally, Joel Randall showed composure and poise to run off his man to complete and intercept mark before setting up 19-year-old Sam Binion for a goal in the last quarter.
“For our first gamers to be involved in critical moments was great to see, Lincoln’s courage was outstanding and we know Joel can do that kind of play and some of Oliver Wilson’s defensive pressure was exceptional.”
The Knights leaders once again stood up when the team was under pressure, Nick Coffield, Ethan Penrith and Jamison Shea all had great games playing in all areas of the ground. While Mitch Andrews played an outstanding game down back.
“Nick played an outstanding midfielder’s game and was close to best on ground. Ethan and Mitch down back were great as they were able to defend and then run off their man and set us up offensively was terrific.”
The Knights will head home to play the Dandenong Stingrays at Preston City Oval on Saturday morning to try and improve on their 3-2 record.
Bendigo Pioneers 2.5 6.6 6.10 10.14 (74)
Northern Knights 3.0 6.2 9.3 12.5 (77)
Bendigo Pioneers: D. Henderson 2, L. Wallace 2, M. Harvey, R. Mutch, R. Turner, B. Daniels, L. Davis, C. Sheahan
Northern Knights: V. Nativo 3, H. Grace 2, S. Binion 2, J. Petruccelle 2, J. Shea 2, N. Coffield
Bendigo Pioneers J. Warde, D. Henderson, B. Henderson, L. Davis, R. Turner, L. Wallace
Northern Knights: E. Penrith, M. Andrews, N. Coffield, J. Petruccelle, V. Nativo, P. Howe