Reported by Chris Thompson
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The Northern Bullants overcame some shocking finishing and a spirited comeback to defeat Tasmania by 10 points in a firey encounter at Princes Park this afternoon.
North Ballarat capped off a fine home and away season by winning their 11th game at a rain soaked Cramer Street Oval.
The skill level of the roosters was the difference between the 2 sides, with North Ballarat players often gaining more yardage with their kicks in a game were goals were at a premium.
Yet again the bullants tried very hard, but were unable to hold out North Ballarat. Aided by the strong breeze blowing towards the Cramer Street end of the ground, they kicked 3 goals in a match winning 3rd quarter burst.
Whenever the wind blows towards the Cramer Street end you know that it's going to be a bitterly cold day. At one stage in the final quarter all but 1 North Ballarat player was wearing long sleeves.
On a day when best players were hard to find on both sides, Brett Zorzi and Jon McCormick were fine contributers for the Bullants. Zorzi kicked the only goal of the day against the breeze after a poor kick in.
Down back Brett Maloney was almost unbeatable for the roosters. For a big man Moloney played the conditions superbly and never gave the smaller bullant forwards much of a look in.
The roosters spilt the game open with a brilliant snap goal from Garth Taylor and a solo effort from Nathan Saunders who was aided by opponent Murray Boyd slipping over.
Bullants coach Barry Mitchell blasted Boyd at 3 quarter time for his choice of moulded souls, with Mitchell saying that sometimes players have to put up with playing with sore feet.
Taking a 19 point lead into the final change Nth Ballarat were almost ensured of a win but the home side fought the game right out.
After scoring just 1 goal in their last 5 quarters, the bullants managed 2 in the last thanks to some clever work from Saad Saad. Saad kicking 1 himself and setting up another for David Clarke.
It was a long day for all but imparticular Saad as he played the first half of the reserves game. He came into the Bullants side as a replacement for Ricky Mott.
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.