Naturals Best The Brewers
Sunday May 1 was a beautiful day for the third PAFL match of the season at Northgate Park. The two undefeated PAFL teams, the Naturals and the Brewers, were fired up to stay on top. Anticipation had been mounting all week knowing that club legend Glen “Greeny” Green was in town for the game visiting from Australia.
Some new faces were tested out in the middle with Rylan, Kerry, Jerad and Jake for the Naturals taking on Benjamin “Jamma” Ratcliff, Ben Hargrave , Greeny and James “Beggsy” Begg for the Brewers. Usual on ballers Martin Coventry (Naturals) and Nathan “Bottles” Weinstock (Brewers) were playing loose on the wing. Brewer Kyle Easton had been dominating down forward in the first two games and to combat that the Naturals tested out Peter “Pele” Blundell at full forward. The Naturals line up changes paid off immediately with the mid fielders getting the ball out quickly and straight down Pele’s throat for two early goals. Danger man Kyle was being well held at the other end with John Gawlista hot on his tail and Scott Johnson floating into the contest with his usual impeccable timing. After running himself silling in the wide expanses of the field Martin switched with Pele down forward and chalked up 3 goals for his trouble. The Naturals had taken full advantage of the scoring end to finish the first quarter with a handy lead.
1st Quarter – Naturals 5.3.33 v Brewers 0.0.00
After a nice tongue lashing at quarter time from coach Beggsy, the Brewers came out very determined in the second quarter. They started to get a run on and got the ball forward on many occasions. Coach Begg lead the way with a goal for the Brewers. A few opportunities were wasted under the defensive pressure from the Naturals. Nothing was coming easy for the league leading goal scorer Kyle as he sprayed a set shot he would normally have snagged. The Brewers defense got on top at the other end as well. The Brewers mid-field was slowing down and the master plan of Pele down forward shifted as Kerry had a rest and Pele did the grunt work. The Brewers had dominated most of the play, but had made little inroads on the scoreboard. The Naturals scored a lucky goal in the dying minutes of the half through Martin as he kicked blindly under pressure and it wobbled through.
2nd Quarter – Naturals 6.5.41 v Brewers 1.2.8
The intense pressure from the Brewers continued in the third quarter. Players from both teams were battling hard Some fantastic contests had developed with Mitch “Carl” Hooper presenting time and again at center half forward and Sam Hargrave hot on his tail at all times. Sam had great judgement of the ball in the air and snavelled it up anytime the ball was long, when his kicking improves he will be much more damaging (lucky he has one of those new footies to practice). When the ball was in front Mitch got hold of it and took off. The Brewers hit the scoreboard through Nick Wirth who had a great scrap with Chris Snider all day. Chris had made some great runs out of defense, but Nick always seems to bob up with a goal. Big Dougy Bonham had been playing hard all day and snagged his first goal of the year for the Brewers. The Naturals scored one goal against the flow of play through Martin running off the wing. The Brewers won the quarter.
3rd Quarter – Naturals 8.6.54 v Brewers 3.4.22
The warm weather and big field was wearing on the players, but they were asked to dig deep for the final 20 minutes. Coach Beggs could be heard loudly proclaiming “We can still win this!”, the Naturals were asked to leave it all out there. Having run the Boston Marathon a week earlier Greeny appeared fresh as a daisy as he lined up on the wing opposite Martin, who was on his last legs. Greeny kept getting loose out wide and Martin was unable to track him down. The Brewers took advantage with a goal from Beggsy. Adam Foxe, the youngest player on the field at 14, was excellent all day against his older opponent Lionel, who was having a real dip in his first game. Adam was the focal point of several forward thrusts for the Naturals, taking some big marks. Kerry had had a nice breather down forward and starting bobbing up in every contest finishing with two goals. Jerad Klingsporn had been busting through the middle all day and dobbed another goal for the Naturals. Mitch was rewarded for all his hard work with a goal of his own. The Naturals ran away with it in the end, but it was a fantastic contest all day. Thanks to all the players, umps and fans for a great day of footy.
Final Score – Naturals 12.11.83 v 4.6.30