GIVEN their relative ladder positions, the Korumburra-Bena Giants went into Saturday’s match against Dalyston as slight favourites, even with the inclusion of Brad Fisher for the Magpies and the absence of Giants’ playmaker Brad Monson with a broken hand.
And into the slight breeze at the netball courts-end of the ground, the Giants had the greater percentage of possession early ultimately resulting in a goal to ever-reliable Rhys Dixon, after a diving mark.
But the reality is they should have had more than one goal to show for their efforts by the time Dalyston swept the ball forward to where Dean Wylie ran on to the ball on the new clubrooms side of the ground for the team’s first goal.
Wylie was doing it at both ends of the ground and was one of the main reasons why the Giants didn’t take advantage of their superior possession count early in the game.
Hugh Suckling went for a bouncing run down the ground, Nick Besley took a nice mark, Rhys Dixon continued to be busy and Ash Snooks, Ben Fitzpartick, Bailey Patterson and others were active for the Giants but they couldn’t get the score they needed.
Dalyston by comparison was getting good reward for less time in possession and a running goal by Flynn Brosnan near the quarter time break really hurt.
As the siren sounded, Dixon was leading up to a laces-out pass from Ben Fitzpatrick but it came too late.
The second quarter saw the scoreboard pressure, in a low-scoring affair, start to count as Dalyston was the first to score into the breeze after a fine mark by the big ruckman Kurt Thomas and a pass to Brad Fisher on the lead. He scored his only goal for the day but it was an important one.
The Giants had the advantage of the breeze to the southern end but they constantly attacked on the eastern side of the ground.
When they did bring it in around the new clubrooms side, Dixon was in position again to make good use. The teams were separated by three points at half time.
There was really nothing in the contest all day but Dalyston’s slightly better avenue to goal made the difference in the end.
Eighteen year old Luke Gheller of Dalyston was the only goal kicker by either side in the third quarter, with end-to-end footy by both sides the feature. Fisher was off with a hamstring injury.
The last quarter was more of the same with a frenetic start and only eight points in it. A couple of early misses by the Pies were followed up by a goal to Manny Jakwot of the Giants, into the ruck now, and it was game on.
But best afield for Dalyston, Ryan Silver blocked about four repeat attacks by the Giants and their moment was lost. Ultimately Dalyston kicked three goals from midway in the quarter, the first by Blake Carew after a free and the others to Corey Wakefield and Carew again, and the deal was sealed. With eight minutes to go, they were 22 points in front.