Nail­biter vic­tory keeps mi­nor ti­tle hopes alive

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

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.”

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