Tigers at their unstoppable best

Published on Sunday, June 23, 2024

Author : Jack Ryan

Heidelberg put on another show to remain unbeaten in Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1, defeating rivals North Heidelberg by 58 points at Warringal Park.

The Tigers were clinical at both ends of the ground and led by as much as 79 points at three quarter time, flexing their muscles in the 17.7 (109) to 7.9 (51) triumph.

Ben De Bolfo was a standout in defence and was excellent in quelling any North Heidelberg forays forward. Along with Sean Martin, they helped lead a determined Tigers backline which was pivotal in ensuring the Bulldogs didn’t get close to the reigning premiers throughout the afternoon.

Jack Andrew came back into the senior side and was terrific up forward with five majors. Zane Barzen was just as influential in the front half and nailed another four goals of his own.

Meanwhile reigning Frank Rosbrook Medallist Lachlan Wilson made a successful return to the Heidelberg team from VFL duties and didn’t miss a beat, finishing in his side’s best.

North Heidelberg looked far from a team that were coming into this game off impressive back-to-back wins against top five sides, with their heavy defeat relegating them to a spot outside of the top five by the end of Round 10.

The likes of Brody Bell and Kyle McDonald continued their good form with Brodie White also producing a strong performance for the visitors.

Brock Chircop booted four of his side’s seven majors of the afternoon.

Division 1 Coaches MVP Award leader Dylan Clarke had another exceptional outing for the hosts, but it was his first term that was particularly impressive, where he managed two majors and also set up another two.

The Bulldogs seemed to have their fair share of inside 50 entries, but couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard, whereas Heidelberg were firing on all cylinders.

Trailing by 24 points at quarter time, North Heidelberg drew first blood in the second term, thanks to a magical finish from Jared Crosbie who split the big sticks with a check side from a tight angle, despite being tackled by two defenders.

Unfortunately for Jason Heatley and his men, that would be the team’s only goal through the following two quarters. Brodie White had the chance to make it two goals in a row for the visitors but failed to convert his set shot from the boundary, and from that point onwards, it went all Heidelberg’s way as they kicked the next 10 goals and created an unreachable margin.

North Heidelberg looked threatening throughout the first half, only to continuously be denied by Ben De Bolfo who was sensational in defence. He also chipped in on offence, being awarded a 50-metre penalty and making no mistake with his set shot from 40 out.

A miraculous Tom Keys goal gave the reigning premiers and their fans more to cheer about, with the star recruit defying all odds and connecting beautifully with his snap at goal from range.

The Tigers piled on six majors in the third term, keeping North Heidelberg to just one behind in the process.

Zane Barzen and Jack Andrew were the beneficiaries of the Tigers relentless pressure, with the pair finding the big sticks three times each throughout the period.

Barzen especially set the standard for his side, taking multiple intercept marks deep in the Bulldog’s backline and turning each play into six points, meanwhile Andrew was a dominant aerial presence in the third term, clunking everything that came his way and kicking goals from all angles and distances.

Despite a 79-point deficit going into the final term, the Bulldogs continued to give it everything they had. The visitors managed five goals in the final period and restricted the red-hot Tigers to just two majors on the defensive end, a positive on a tough day for Jason Heatley’s men.

Debutant Lucas McInerney had a strong performance, accumulating plenty of the ball and putting the icing on the cake for the hosts when he kicked a classy goal on the run from 50 out, in a special moment which saw all of his teammates get around him.

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