Bears claim back-to-back wins

Published on Sunday, April 21, 2024

Author : Jack Ryan

Lower Plenty have prevailed in consecutive MC Labour Division 2 games for the first time since 2022, after defeating Northcote Park by 53 points at Bill Lawry Oval.

It’s also the first time the Bears have triumphed at the ground since 2004, as a six-goal to one third term proved to be the catalyst in the side’s 18.13 (121) to 10.8 (68) victory.

Patrick Flynn was a colossal force for Lower Plenty and after being a late out last week, the big man had a major influence on the result, highlighted by a three-goal effort.

Emett Wise also kicked three majors, a career-high, while Joel Leslie and Tyler Wallace had strong performances.

Northcote Park captain Matthew Perry did everything he could for his side and finished the afternoon with five of his side’s 10 majors for the game, however his team failed to lead at any stage of the contest.

Jed Wallace got things going for the visitors after Flynn muscled his way through a tackle, allowing Wallace to take three bounces and run into an open inside 50.

Flynn would also help set the next goal up after some great ball movement allowed him to find Jasper Collins on the lead, who kicked truly.

The pressure was high from both sides, but the Bears continued to find avenues to goal, as majors from Seth Hill and Sebastian Lay made it four unanswered goals for Travis Stephens’ side.

The Cougars had to respond or risk the game blowing out even further; fortunately, their skipper won a free kick inside 50, converting the set shot to get his side on the board.

They had another opportunity to reduce the margin close to quarter time but had to settle for a 14-point deficit.

Mitchell Ferronato kicked his first senior goal to start the second term for Lower Plenty before Northcote Park were able to gain some momentum as the quarter went on, stringing together consecutive goals, with Perry’s long bomb from outside 50 being the highlight.

But the Bears, would respond quickly to Northcote Park’s scoreboard pressure, as Lay produced a brilliant handball out of a tight contest just outside the goal square which saw Wise get his first of the match.

Tyler Wallace was dominant the whole day, but his best efforts came in this second quarter, where he displayed his skills on multiple occasions.

He lobbed a kick inside 50 which found Flynn, who slotted the major, before the ruckman returned the favour, assisting Wallace in getting a goal from the very next centre bounce.

Lower Plenty led by 24 points at half time, but it reduced to 18 quickly when Perry took full advantage of a Bears dropped mark inside 50.

The Northcote Park captain gave his side some belief, and even produced a spectacular mark over two Lower Plenty defenders at one stage of the quarter, but the Bears would put the game back on their terms.

Flynn kicked another, before his side’s frantic pressure put the Cougars on the backfoot. Wise particularly led the charge in this layer of the Bears’ performance and was rewarded with a third quarter goal.

Jed Wallace then forced a turnover on the wing and soon found Hill who had no troubles converting for his second.

The Bears were flexing their muscles from this point, as Mac Littlefield burst away from the centre bounce and brilliantly found Wise with his non-preferred foot, who went back and kicked his third in a matter of minutes.

A goal from Billy Reardon made it six unanswered for the visitors who had the game all but sewn up with a 56-point half time advantage.

Anthony Palmer’s men showed some resolve in the final term, kicking five majors and winning the quarter by three points, but it was otherwise a tough day for the hosts who are still yet to claim a victory in their three games of the 2024 season.

Victorious Lower Plenty coach Travis Stephens was pleased with his team’s ability to follow the game plan of getting high percentage looks at goal.

“Just getting some good inside 50’s that would then allow us to get some shots at goal… our start was our priority, which has been good the last couple of weeks,” he said.

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