Tigers can’t stop winning

Published on Sunday, May 12, 2024

Author : Sheridan van Gelderen

Heidelberg remain as the only unbeaten side in the 2024 Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 competition with another thumping victory, this time over Bundoora by 48 points at Yulong Reserve.

It was clear throughout fair chunks of the afternoon which side was unbeaten and which side was yet to taste victory, with the Tigers controlling many aspects of the match in the 14.13 (97) to 8.1 (49) victory.

The reigning premiers have now won their last nine straight matches against the Bulls and have also claimed triumphs in 41 of their last 44 games.

Heidelberg were led by brilliant efforts from Luke Bunker, Dylan Clarke and Brody Tardio, who each played influential roles in the win.

Mitchell Jorgenson was one of the leading goalkickers for the game with three majors, while Zane Barzen continued his dominance inside 50 with three goals also.

Meanwhile, skipper Keenan Posar as well as James Amalfi were brilliant in the backline, keeping the pressure on the hosts’ forwards and moving the ball quickly and efficiently towards their front half.

Nelson Lane was best on ground for the Bulls, dominating in the midfield and kicking a goal in the third quarter. Teammate Sam Green continued his good form and was another stand-out for the home side, taking some brilliant intercept marks to assist his team in taking possession.

It was Bundoora who fired the first goal of the afternoon after a quick clearance, with Bryce Barnes reaping the rewards.

The Tigers responded rapidly with back-to-back majors before the home side started to increase their intensity on the contest, producing great defensive pressure.

Well-fought efforts from Peter McEvoy and Liam Mallia put Heath Scotland’s men in good stead, but they couldn’t convert their opportunities into scores.

It was then the Tigers turn to produce some excellent transition football, with their movement from the defensive end to the forward 50 being clean and quick.

Amalfi was terrific in taking some strong defensive marks, while also working well with his midfield teammates to put the Bulls on the backfoot.

The reigning premiers were rewarded with three more goals to balloon their advantage to 27 points at quarter time.

Heidelberg kept the pressure on in the second quarter, and their ability to win multiple clearances saw them kick three more unanswered goals.

It was Jess Gedi initially who kicked truly after intercepting a Bundoora kick-out, before Sam Wright and Barzen added more damage to the scoreboard.

The margin had reached 48 points by the halfway point of the second quarter with the hosts still registering the one scoring shot.

However, they didn’t let the onslaught by Heidelberg get them down, and they responded to produce their best patch of the afternoon, when McEvoy and Daniel Younan combined for three successive majors to reduce the deficit to five goals.

Harry Butterworth’s efforts were also superb for Bundoora, taking some brilliant marks and putting good pressure on his opponents, meanwhile Nathan Thomas worked hard in the middle to keep the Bulls in the game.

But just as the hosts looked to take some momentum into three quarter time, Jorgensen converted a set shot for Heidelberg on the half time siren to give his side a 38-point lead at the main break.

The third quarter was a lot more evenly matched, with the ball seeing an equal amount of time in both sides’ forward 50’s.

Nelson Lane showcased his best skills in the term, playing his role well through the middle, while also kicking a major.

Benjamin Nikolovski was just as impressive for Vin Dattoli’s side, and his efforts up forward saw him kick two of his team’s five majors for the quarter.

While Bundoora did their best to keep the term competitive, Heidelberg skipped along to a 58-point margin at three quarter time and the game looked all but finished.

The Bulls did win the final term and kept the Tigers to just three behinds thanks to a strong performance from Bundoora defender Michael Fitz-Gerald.

It was the first time the reigning premiers had been kept goalless in a quarter since Round 10, 2023, but it didn’t take away from what was another dominant effort from this year’s premiership favourites.

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