PICTURE: Belconnen’s James Bennett looks to hit a target.
Belconnen have continued their undefeated start to the season after Chris York booted nine goals in a win over Ainslie at The Nest on Sunday.
Down at quarter time, an undermanned Magpies side responded to the challenge by posting a comprehensive 19.10.124 to 8.6.54 victory to hold their spot on top of the ladder.
York has now kicked twenty-two majors in three games to move eight goals clear on the Leading Goal Scorers List.
Belconnen stalwart James Bennett labelled York’s start to the season as nothing short of fantastic.
“Once the footy goes in to the forward line it’s pretty hard to miss him. He’s clearly a better player than the level that we’re at here.”
Coach Jeremy Rowe echoed the two-time premiership player’s comments, labelling York as one of his side’s best.
“Last week we had Yorky having kicked eleven, and he kicked another nine today. So, credit where credit is due.”
In a fiery contest that saw four players reported, Rowe was proud of his side for remaining composed, with the home side doing the talking on the scoreboard.
“There was a little bit of feeling in the game for sure, but that’s certainly the expectation when Ainslie and Belconnen clash, so no real surprises there.
It was nice to end up on the right side of it by a fair margin in the end.”
The Tricolours took a three-point lead in to the first break, with the Magpies looking a shadow of the side that ran over Eastlake the week before.
“We’d spent a lot of the week focussing on the fact that we knew this week the challenge was going to be a little bit stiffer, and making sure that we got right back to basics and didn’t get too far ahead of ourselves in our preparation for this game,” said Rowe.
“I thought that our Belconnen basics went out the window to a degree, so I was really happy to see for the final three quarters that that wasn’t the case.”
The Magpies struggled in the first term to get the ball moving downfield, often trapped inside Ainslie’s forward 50.
A different Belconnen side emerged for the second quarter, kicking five goals to one as tempers flared between the two sides.
York proved hard to stop after returning to the field, following a knock to the head which left him dazed, constantly finding space and tormenting Ainslie’s back six.
Ainslie regained the momentum late in the quarter before Dom Bunyan found his feet and nabbed a goal, before laying on a massive tackle that allowed Patrick Horan to kick one of his own.
Ainslie’s James Rice saw himself reported and yellow carded in the third period after a late hit on Matt Kelly saw the Magpies youngster stretchered off.
Things looked like they had reached boiling point before York did the damage where it counted, extending the lead off the ensuing free kick.
Luke Wharton produced a dominant fourth quarter for the hosts, bursting free out of the pack and finding York in the forward line, who continued to kick goals like they were going out of fashion.
Rowe was extremely pleased with the way in which his side did the job in a physical contest that left them with one man on the bench to finish the game.
“We had Matt Kelly with what looks to be a fairly significant concussion, Mitch Moody with [a] foot injury, and Ryan Bradley with a shoulder injury as well.
So I guess that adds a little bit of kudos to our win as well, having done it reasonably undermanned from a rotational perspective.”
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA: http://www.yabba.guru/belconnen-battered-but-not-beaten-by-ainslie/