Men’s Premier Division MOTW: Bombers locked in as finals approach
Written by Michael Shillito
North Shore Bombers vs. Pennant Hills Demons – Gore Hill Oval on Saturday 27th July
We run a relay in time. Our league goes back to 1903 and across this century, many great players and even better people have come through our game. Those of us in the game today inherited a legacy from those who came before us. We make our mark, make a difference and in time we will pass the torch on to those who come after us.
And the history met the present at Gore Hill Oval on Saturday afternoon, as North Shore hosted its Back to Bears Day. North Shore greats from seasons past returned to the scene of past glories. Old team-mates catching up and reliving moments from their glory days. They saw a very different Gore Hill to what they once played on and saw the North Shore team of today taking on Pennant Hills.
It was one of the biggest crowds that Gore Hill had seen for many a long year, and there was plenty for them to like in the first quarter as the Bombers hit the ground running. The first goal was on the board within a minute, and the Bombers were never headed. The Bombers were hard to stop, and in the early exchanges the Demons knew they had plenty of work to do. North Shore were looking the stronger side, but Pennant Hills hit back late in the quarter to keep themselves within striking distance. Four goals to two and a 14-point quarter time lead for the Bombers was the start they wanted.
The Demons were all too aware they had to work hard to get back into the contest, and an early goal in the second term helped their cause. This posed no issue for the in form Bombers who were clearing the ball out of the centre with regularity and moving the ball into the forward line with plenty of run. Finding some handy targets on the forward line helped the Bombers score the next five goals and return to the rooms at half time enjoying a handy 35-point advantage.
North Shore had risen to the occasion, and were at their unstoppable best hitting their targets and making chance after chance. The Demons tried hard to hold back the tide, but wave after wave of Bomber attacks were proving hard to stop. It was another quarter that would yield five goals to one. The sun was setting and the yellow ball standing out as the lights were taking over. As day turned into night, the Bombers’ advantage remained intact as they powered to a 60-point lead at three quarter time.
The Demons never gave up, and salvaged something from the contest as they won the last quarter. It was a high-scoring term of footy that saw four goals apiece but the Bombers had been the better side all day and cruised home to a 56-point win. For the past players, another name joined their number as veteran forward Danny Roberts was chaired off the ground singing the song and taking off the North Shore jumper for the last time. His race in this relay in time is run, but another Bomber forward will rise to take his place.
Will Taylor spearheaded the Bomber charge to finish with five goals up forward. While Kyle Devlin, James Cubis and Shaun Crane picked up plenty of possession for the Bombers.
It wasn’t a great day for the Demons, and they were well beaten. There were some positives for the Demons and Jesse Hare, Marc Sheather and Ranga Ediriwickrama showed plenty of good form as we build up to the business end of the season.
In other results, UNSW-Eastern Suburbs tightened their grip on the minor premiership as they dominated from start to finish to record a comprehensive 139-point win over Manly at Weldon Oval. Sydney Uni ended Inner West’s finals hopes with a 44-point win over the Magpies at Sydney Uni No 1 Oval. East Coast Eagles returned to the winning list with a flying start taking them to a 30-point win against St George at Kanebridge Oval. UTS AFC took out their second win of the season with a tight 12-point result over Camden at Fairfax Reserve.
With just three rounds to go, we have our top five and the double-chance locked in. As they were last year, UNSW-ES, Sydney Uni and North Shore are the top three. The Bulldogs currently sitting in top spot a game clear of the Students and a further game ahead of the Bombers. The Bombers have a three-game break over Pennant Hills and East Coast and enough of a percentage break that they won’t be caught.
There’s another three-game break between fifth-placed East Coast and sixth-placed Inner West, plus enough percentage the gap won’t be overcome. We have our top five and we know that Pennant Hills and East Coast will face off in the Elimination Final. There’s still three weeks before that happens, and plenty to be played out before we get to the playoffs.
North Shore Bombers – 4.4 | 9.5 | 14.7 | 18.8 (116)
Pennant Hills Demons – 2.2 | 3.6 | 4.7 | 8.12 (60)
North Shore Goals – W Taylor 5, E Sertbas 3, D Roberts 3, C Silvester 2, S Carruthers, W Blackburne, C Parsons, Z Fyffe, S Lee-Steere
Pennant Hills Goals – T Edmonds 2, T Moraitis 2, J Boag, J Preedy, J Moran, N Hey
North Shore Best – K Devlin, J Cubis, S Crane, W Taylor, J Campbell, A McConnell
Pennant Hills Best – J Hare, M Sheather, R Ediriwickrama, C Smith, J Boag, T Angel