NORTH BALLARAT CITY has turned around its fortunes in dramatic fashion, thrashing Darley by 61 points at Darley Park yesterday.
In a warning to the other clubs still in the Ballarat Football League finals race, Peach’s North City humbled the Devils 23.9 (147) to 13.8 (86) to advance to a first semi-final against Redan next weekend.
In perfect conditions for finals footy, the black and whites showed their intentions early, hunting the ball at every contest and giving their Darley opponent no time or space with the ball.
It was practically all over at half-time with North City kicking the first eight goals of the match.
The North City forward midfielders led by Kal Young were dominant from the outset, the forward group capitalising on numerous opportunities and the defenders effectively shutting down Darley’s dangerous forwards.
“We got a contribution from everyone today which was really important,” North Ballarat City coach Rob Waters said.
After being blitzed from the start, Darley attempted to stem the bleeding through the second term. The Devils successfully managed to win back some control, keeping North to just one goal while kicking two themselves through Brendan Porter.
However, this was undone with three North City goals late in the quarter to blow the half-time margin out to 56 points.
There was no relenting in the third quarter. North Ballarat City kicked the first three goals of the second half, for a total of six for the term.
Ayden George added two for the term while Ryan Hobbs also provided a target up forward. Darley managed four goals but it still left the Devils 14 goals behind North City at the final change.
Darley, to its credit, continued to stick to the task and finished strongly with six last term goals. Brendon Porter provided a focal point and was clearly Darley’s best with six goals in a side that was heavily beaten.
For North Ballarat City it was an even contribution, George being one of the few stand outs.
Darley coach Rod McPherson had mixed feelings at the end of the game.
Unhappy with the way his team finished the season, he was nevertheless upbeat about the club’s journey from last to fifth this year.
“We never recovered after the bye, and we had 10 injuries out of last week,” he said.
“The club has a lot of areas to address but we have come along way from where we were. This team has a lot of heart.”
North City’s own journey will continue with a first semi-final at Eastern Oval next Sunday.