KORUMBURRA-Bena has ended Phillip Island’s season comfortably by 25 points in a low scoring battle played in terrible conditions at a sodden Alberton West on Sunday. Recent weather didn’t help the quality of football with only the most ardent of KB fans the only people to take any delight in the match played in front of a small crowd. With a strong wind blowing to the club end of the ground, the two sides were locked in a tight battle with KB leading by the barest of margins at the long interval.
A lift in KB’s intensity matched with a lack of Phillip Island discipline handed the match to KB after a tense third term. KB kicked with the wind in the opening term and could have been thinking they hadn’t done enough damage on the scoreboard come quarter time. Forward Chris Redl kicked KB’s only goal of the term with the game played largely in their half of the ground. PI’s best effort moving forward was stopped by dashing defender Scott Braithwaite 30m from the PI goal which was one of his many possessions. PI’s Wade McConnon was helped from the field with a shoulder injury following a collision with Braithwaite, but returned to the field by quarter time. Justin Smith was lively for KB early, while PI defenders Eli Richards and Marcus Wright intercepted a lot of KB’s advances. McConnon showed no ill effects of the shoulder injury when he booted PI’s first for the afternoon inside two minutes of the second term.
Both teams then tightened up again before Chris Redl kicked his second for KB, capping a team-lifting effort from Chris Paterson on the wing. Marcus Wright then kicked a goal following a 50m penalty soon after, which could have been two following another 50m penalty a minute later, but he missed. The ball was then locked in the PI forward half with Richards, Wright, Rob Linford and Jaymie Youle outstanding for the Island across half back but they were unable to score with Mark Bradley and Shannon Bray brilliant defensively for KB. The third term was a dour affair as the wind died off before KB were able to crack the Island, albeit with the Island’s own help, midway through the quarter. KB forward Michael Cooke presented well for the whole term and marked strongly 30m out. The following 50m penalty made a certainty of the goal. KB’s intensity lifted all over the ground and Jay Neagle was starting to have a big influence.
A wayward kick forward was marked just inside the boundary line by Redl, who handballed over to Ash Zuidema who goaled from point blank range between two napping defenders. Following a free kick to Roy Mullens, James Taylor was sent off and yet another 50m goal took Mullens to within 20m and he extended the KB lead to 20 points at the final change. The game was lost by PI as KB’s Ben Fitzpatrick put the result beyond doubt with a snap goal early in the final quarter. Mark Bradley continued to play his super game dominating the hit outs and taking countless marks. The Island had a glimmer of hope following a nice set shot from Shane Murdoch, but that was short lived as Chris Urie put an exclamation point on the win with a long goal shortly after. The win caps what has been an impressive month for KB, with only that one quarter against Dalyston last week costing them five wins from as many games as they prepare for Fish Creek on Sunday.