Nailbiter victory keeps minor title hopes alive
THE University Hawks held off a fourth quarter fightback from the Hermit Park Tigers to secure a 13point home victory and maintain their charge for the Townsville AFL minor premiership.
University were outscored four goals to four in the final term but had already done enough to emerge with a hard fought 9.7 ( 61) to 7.6 ( 48) win.
Kept scoreless in the first quarter and trailing four goals to two at halftime, the Tigers’ day looked over when University kicked a further three majors to Hermit Park’s one in the following term.
But in a firm reminder they will be one of the big threats come finals, Hermit Park gained the ascendancy in a pulsating finale.
Phil Burger and Jozef Brown kicked two goals each for the Hawks, and Hermit Park’s Leroy Larson helped keep his side in the hunt with a game- best haul of three.
Hawks coach Zammi Rohan said the win at Harold Phillips Oval was built on the lessons learned in his team’s last encounter with Hermit Park, which the Hawks lost 112 to 18.
“They beat us really convincingly last time we met, so we worked on a lot of things since that game,” he said. “I think it was a whole team effort, and in particular our tackling pressure was excellent.
“The Tigers like to move the ball around quickly and use the open space, but we didn’t give them that space.
“A lot of people might have thought the Tigers would be favourites by a long way heading into that game, but our team was fantastic defensively and really well prepared from the outset.”
The Northern Beaches Suns overturned the previous weekend’s heavy loss to Hermit Park by thumping the rebuilding Curra Swans 18.9 ( 117) to 8.6 ( 54) at North Shore.
Curra, in a brilliant show of toughness, went into halftime lead- ing 31- 27 after two quarters of back and forth football.
But the Suns shone through in a strong second half to score another 14 goals to Curra’s three.
Northern Beaches’ Michael Wren had a field day by finishing with eight goals and Brock Wilson added to the Suns’ tally with four.
“We haven’t had a win in a while, so that result was good for the confidence,” Suns coach Brad McLaren said.
“It’s good to see them turn it around and we’re getting a few boys back in the next few weeks.
“We’re guaranteed to play finals, so what we want to do now is keep plodding along, keep improving and then see how we go.”