A late surge from Belconnen spoiled Tuggeranong veteran Ashley Pocock’s 200th First Grade game in a top of the table clash at Greenway Oval.
The Magpies overcame a nine-point deficit at three quarter time to topple the hosts 10.12.72 to 9.7.61 to remain undefeated in AFL Canberra First Grade.
The Hawks provided the ladder leaders with their toughest test for the season, but the fact that his side were still able to come away with the win left Belconnen Coach Jeremy Rowe very pleased.
“I do have a lot of pride and admiration for the way that we had that unwillingness to be beaten –when we were called upon in the last quarter, we rose to the occasion and did enough to win.
“I’m really quite proud of that, and certainly satisfied with the result.”
Two of the best midfields in the competition went head-to-head, with Rowe praising James Bennett as the difference between the two sides.
“We felt that James Bennett was at his absolute best today. I thought that he was quite inspirational.
“James probably was almost the difference in the end just to pull us above.”
Belconnen tested the home side’s back six early, before Jacob Taylor got the Magpies on the board with the opening goal.
The first quarter came to a close with Belconnen holding a slender two-point lead after failing to execute chances.
An enthralling battle between the league’s two leading goal kickers emerged in the second term.
Belconnen’s Chris York opened his account early in the quarter, before Tuggeranong’s Pocock booted two majors of his own.
Not to be outdone, York was on the receiving end of an Adam Lamb free kick, allowing him to slot his second for the day and put the Magpies back in the lead.
Down by two at the main break, the Hawks came out flying in the third quarter, with ill-discipline costing Belconnen.
Belconnen conceded two 50-metre penalties in the early stages, allowing the home side easy shots in front of goal to take the lead.
The Magpies clawed their way back in to the contest with goals from Bunyan and York reducing the margin to 2, before another 50-metre free allowed the Hawks to stretch the lead once more.
James Bennett provided a midfield masterclass as York kicked three goals in the final term that proved to be the difference.
“We were very ill-disciplined in that third quarter and we sort of fell apart a bit and they ran over the top [of us],” said York.
“We got a bit of a rev at three-quarter time and came out firing so it was a really good last quarter.”
Pocock said to lose after leading in the final quarter hurt, but was focussed on getting back on the training paddock.
“[We just have to do the] same as we always do – just go back, [and] work on what we need to work on.”
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA