Story

From Ballarat Courier

TRISTAN Cartledge demonstrated why he was North Ballarat's number one recruiting priority this season by shaping a 29-point win over Tasmania in the Victorian Football League in Ballarat yesterday.

Cartledge stood tall as a ruckman and key forward as the Selkirk Roosters overpowered the fellow Kangaroos-aligned Devils.

Cartledge capped off his day's work with four goals and it could easily have been more but for some wayward shots from close range late.

His presence alone near goal was enough to unsettle Tasmania in the 18.12 (120) to 12.13 (91) victory, with the Devils unable to match his height and physical strength.

When he was not kicking goals, he was creating opportunities for the likes of first-year player Robert Gregg (three goals) and Stevie Dinnell (four) by drawing the attention of the Tasmania defence.

Dinnell was at his opportunist best, while the strongly built Gregg provided an example of how dangerous he is inside the 50-metre forward arc.

Cartledge began the day in the ruck, with the former Essendon big man helping provide the early impetus with Eddie Sansbury, Djaran Whyman, the explosive Jacob Spolding and Michael Searl before Tasmania hauled the Roosters back in.

He then took the senior role in a three-way ruck and key forward rotation with Orren Stephenson and Justin Hardy.

Although he was off target, Stephenson was a constant threat in attack.

Harding is quickly finding his feet after stepping up from the North Ballarat Rebels and growing in confidence.

The Roosters threatened to blow the match apart in the second quarter, with Cartledge kicking three goals to open up an 18-point break.

However, the Brad Moran-led Tasmanians were not about to fly back over Bass Strait without a fight.

Four goals in five minutes midway through the third quarter tied up the game again before North Ballarat had the last say with a seven-goal last quarter.

North Ballarat coach Gerard FitzGerald was pleased with his players' persistence and the way they overcame the third term lapse to finish the stronger.

He said the Roosters had been at their best when playing quick, long, direct football.

Shaune Moloney was as reliable as ever at full back and had strong support for a sure-footed Tom Roach.

North Ballarat has two wins in three rounds and is fourth position behind Sandringham, Geelong and Williamstown.

The Roosters tackle Geelong on at Skilled Stadium on Sunday.