By SHELDON NOUCHY
ON Sunday, North Albany were looking to build on the momentum gained last week when their first win of the season saw them beat Albany at Centennial Stadium.
The reigning premiers ran out of that match convincing winners by 105 points.
Heading into this round three game against Albany Sharks, North Albany were forced to make a number of changes; Dom Knight, Luke Cameron had both suffered injuries against the Magpies while Matt Orzel was rested.
This opened the door for the premiers to debut Taj Williams, Kohen Lemin, Angus McKercher and Tom Bigwood.
On a warm day and in front of a decent-sized crowd, North Albany made a strong start to the game hitting the scoreboard first.
It was then a hard-fought first quarter with both sides applying great pressure.
The visitors came out on top at the siren, to go in at the first change up 16 points, 4.6 (30) to 2.2 (14).
Sharks started the second quarter as they had finished the first – by kicking the first major when Shaquille Narrier slotted one through from a tight angle.
However, the Kangas found their aim and kicked six goals straight to two one and finished the term 10.6 (66) to 4.3 (27).
After the long break North Albany had much of the play and although they made the Sharks pay by adding another six goals they also added eight behinds. So possessive of the ball were the Kangas, that the Sharks were only able to add two behinds to their score.
It was damage limitations in the final quarter for the home side in the hope they didn’t suffer a third consecutive lost by 100 points or more.
This wasn’t to be as North Albany once again contained the ball allowing Sharks just one scoring shot – a goal, while adding another six goals six to win 5.5 (35) to 20.20 (140).
The match produced a long list of goal-scorers for the red and white side with 11 different names.
Jake Becroft was top with five followed by Corey Hitchcock with two. The former along with Grant Corcoran and Jack Mcphee featured in the winning side’s best.
For the home side, Shaquille Narrier kicked four of the team’s five goals with Michael Simpson getting the other.
Narrier took home the Best on Ground for Sharks with Fraser Eaton and James Eaton also stand-out performers.
In last Saturday’s games, Railways headed down to McLean Park to take on Denmark-Walpole.
After a poor first term, trailing by 25 points, they came away with a 49-point win, 19.12 (126) to 12.7 (79). Coen Marwick had a good day out with six goals.
Unbeaten sides Royals and Mt Barker faced off at Centennial Stadium with the Lions gaining the upper hand early and never really gave last year’s grand finalists a chance, winning 8.14 (62) to 4.3 (27). Samuel Baddeley-Holmes was the only multiple goal-scorer of the match, kicking four.
This weekend’s matches will be highlighted by the grand final rematch between North Albany and Mt Barker at Collingwood Park on Sunday.
There will be two Saturday games.
Denmark-Walpole will be looking to cause an upset when they host Royals, and Railways will take on Albany at Tigerland.