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Tigers outslog Bullants

The Coburg Tigers have taken another step towards securing a top 4 position by defeating the Northern Bullants at a rain soaked Coburg City Oval.

Heavy showers marred the clash with the game becoming a slog as players faced some of the worst weather conditions of the 2004 season.

After half time the Tigers were first to the ball and just too strong for the depleted Bullants line up. Matthew Hyde and Mark Janz both made their debuts for the Bullants, with Hyde playing a serviceable game while Janz had little game time.

Of concern for the Tigers is the report of Mark Coughlan who was reported for striking direct opponent Josh Vansittart. Vansittart had the better of Coughlan but it was Coughlan who set the tone of the 2nd half with a soccered goal from 20 metres out early in the 3rd term.

On a brighter note Andrew Raines was very impressive. On a day when players could have been forgiven for slipping over, his ability to keep his "feet" was a highlight.

For the Bullants Callan Beasy worked tirelessly and several others tried hard but injuries have tested the Bullants depth. Testimoney to the club's long injury list was the sight of assistant coach Peter Dean wearing the number 60 out of the goal square in the early game.

Only 3 points seperated the sides at the last change but a superb running goal from ruckman Ben Marsh deflated any hopes of a Bullant recovery.

Hawks do it again

For what seems the upteenth time in the past few seasons, Box Hill has come from a seemingly hopeless position to win.

Trailing by 25 pts during the last term the Hawks stormed home over a weary Northern Bullants outfit who had given it their all during the first 3 quarters.

Ben Kane expoliting opponent Frank Raso's lack of match fitness, was a driving force behind the Hawks late surge, kicking 2 goals and driving several long kicks inside 50 to bigmen Clinton Alleway and Robert Campbell.

The Bullants were game and probably didn't deserve to lose the way they did after leading until the 28 minute mark of the last quarter.

Coming into the game a win and 8% behind the Hawks the Bullants burst out of the blocks to kick the first 5 goals of the game.

The Hawks responded by putting several men behind the ball in an attempt to suffogate the Bullants scoring power. In effect they turned defence into attack as they gathered momentum to trail by only 6 pts at the main break.

A tense 3rd term saw only 2 goals scored, both late in time on to the Northern Bullants. The lat quarter was played at a furious pace with the Bullants being the team to wilt under the finals like pressure.

The Bullants committment can't be questioned over the past 5 weeks but their depth remains a concern. Losing in form bigman Ricky Mott and Daniel Harford during the last term was too much for a Bullants side already somewhat depleted.

The Hawks look like playing in yet another final series, while the Bullants can look forward to 2005 with some optimism.

Bullants celebrate Zorzi's 102nd game.

The Northern Bullants have moved to equal 8th after a solid 18 point win over Williamstown at Cramer St.

Celebrating Brett Zorzi's 100th game, which was against Tasmainia 2 weeks ago, the Bullants lead throughout with only a last quarter fade out preventing them from moving into the 8.

Up forward bigmen Ricky Mott and Michael Hooper teamed well to outpoint their undersized opponents.

Mott has been a revelation up forward for the Bullants since the mid season break, with his height troubling the smaller VFL defences. As his confidence continues to grow so does his marking, which was at its best for the season.

Brett Zorzi proved to be a handfull for Seagulls veteran Troy West. Zorzi is a hard player to match up as his overhead marking is often an underestimated part of his game.

Williamstown tried hard throughout but couldn't match the Bullants hardness and more potent forwards. David King had a big first half kicking 3 goals but went missing after half time. Heath Shaw also showed glimpses that he has a big future with a solid contributon across half forward.

For the 3rd week in a row the Bullants came out running after half time and put the game beyond doubt with a 5 goal to nil burst. This was possibly the Bullants best quarter of the season considering the state of the game.

Williamstown gave it their best in the last term as the Bullants stopped and mentally seemed to relax. The Seagulls inaccurate kicking snuffed out the remote chance that they had. Maybe coach Barry Mitchell can review his position on the use of the bench as the Bullants midfield was clearly tired and stopped running with the result being there for all to see.

The Bullants have the bye next week before taking on Box Hill in what shapes as a mini final for both sides.

Fortune favours the Bullants.

Northern Bullants 13.5.83

Werribee 9.21.75

For the first time in 2004, luck has fallen the way of the Northern Bullants as an inaccurate Werribee presented them with their 4th win of the season.

The tigers inaccuracy caused by some haphazard ball movement into their forward 50 and some average kicking from set shots. Patrick Wiggins, a serial poor kick for goal, was the main offender kicking 3 behinds and an out of bounds on the full. The normally reliable David Mitchell also missed 2 gettable goals from inside 50.

The Bullants were never headed throughout in what may be a season defining win for the club. Daniel Harford continued his recent good form and was clearly the Bullants best player. His experience was invaluable during a tense last quarter as the tigers continually attacked.

Since the break the Bullants have been a different team and a finals berth isn't impossible. Most pleasing has been the attitude and work rate of the Carlton listed players who seem to be playing a more team orientated game.

Coach Barry Mitchell has shown more faith in some of the VFL listed players and has certainly upped the ante when speaking during the beaks. His decision to play Paul Bunn after an inglorious game against Tasmainia last week was a brave one. Bunn repayed the faith shown by being one of the Bullants best and showed that he can adjust to the quicker tempo of senior football.

Ricky Mott and Stephen kenna were again the Bullants major goal scorers kicking 4 apiece. Brett Zorzi was also good up forward.

For Werribee Adam Cooney had an outstanding first half booting 3 goals while vetran Matthew Croft was very good of half back for the tigers.

Hobart Heartbreak.

Northern Bullants 11.6.72

Tasmainia 12.5.77

N.B- [G] S.Kenna 4, R.Mott 3, L.Livingston 1, D.Clarke 1, J.Vansittart 1, A.Carrazzo 1.

Tas- [G] C.Blight 2, B.Beams 2, K.Ritcher 1, J.Ling 1, B.Robertson 1, J.Plapp 1, N.Heanley 1, B.Savage 1, T.Bartlett 1, B.Geappean 1.

Tasmainia has broken its losing streak with a thrilling win over a game Northern Bullants side at North Hobart.

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