East Point 16.11 (107)
North City 14.20 (104)
IF East Point plays finals football this season it will look back to Sam Kitchin’s goal after the siren that gave the Kangaroos a three-point victory against North Ballarat City on Saturday at Eureka Stadium.
If North Ballarat City misses out on a top three finish it will rue the six consecutive behinds it scored in the dying seconds of the match before Kitchin kicked the winner.
East Point has squared the ledger on the Red Onion Ballarat Football League table at two wins and two losses after defeating North Ballarat City 16.11 (107) to East Point 14.20 (104), despite the Red Lion Kangaroos’ third final quarter fade-out this season.
While Peach’s North City’s inaccuracy in the final minutes was to prove critical, East Point coach Dan Jordan said his team showed more resilience than in its previous outings against top level opponents.
“I am really happy we got some reward for effort,” Jordan said.
“We dropped off again, which is a bit of a worry, but we didn’t give it up.
“We had been trying to play a man-on-man game but in that last quarter we got sucked into everyone trying to get the ball, and (North City) was able to get some space.
“The guys need to stick to the game plan instead of panicking.
“Having said that, there are a hell of a lot of positives.
“This is the first time we have won at Eureka Stadium since North City came back into the league.
“They are a young group, improving all the time and hopefully they can take a bit of confidence out of this.”
North Ballarat City looked clearly the better team in the first quarter, with 119 possessions to a mere 68, the 15-point margin flattering the visitors.
The match opened up in the second term, to East Point’s advantage, as the Kangaroos kicked nine goals to North City’s six.
Jordan was virtually unstoppable, kicking five goals for the quarter (for a total of seven) despite the very best efforts of North City full-back Brendan Howard. North Ballarat City’s goalkicking woes really began in the third term (two goals, six behinds) but that was only a taste of what was to follow.
At the 13 minute mark of the final quarter, when Ryan Luke goaled, North City was 14.14 and trailed by three points – at the end of the quarter that scoreline read 14.20, and the same three point deficit.
“We didn’t finish it off,” North Ballarat City coach Rob Waters conceded.
“(East Point) played very well and stuck to its structures.
“We did a lot things right. We found our (key performance indicators) with winning the contested footy, our tackles and scores from turnovers, but we had way too many misses.
“I think our guys just rushed it a bit.”
Apart from Jordan, East Point had quite a few players playing well in patches.
Jason Delaney was good until brought from the field with an injured calf, Daniel Tung did a lot of things right, and Josh Discher and Paul Koderenko contested well against Tristan Cartledge.
Jason McNamara was close to best on ground for the home team, Keenan George kicked four goals and was busy up forward, and Rob Lockett’s delivery of the football was a standout.