North Ballarat news

Roosters crash to worst loss in 4yrs

From Ballarat Courier

WERRIBEE embarrassed North Ballarat with its biggest defeat in four years in the Victorian Football League in Ballarat yesterday.
The Tigers thrashed the Selkirk Roosters by 100 points.

North Ballarat has to go back to round four in 2003 to find a bigger loss - when Tasmania walked all over the Roosters by 123 points.

Werribee looked anything but a team which up to arriving at AUSTAR Arena had not tasted victory as it turned on champagne football to run away 26.14 (170) to 10.10 (70).

Werribee was winless before arriving at AUSTAR Arena, and looked unlikely to change its record until turning on champagne football, finishing 26.14 (170) to 10.10 (70) winners.

Werribee has always had the wood on North Ballarat, winning 15 of 18 encounters since 1996.

And yesterday's score fell two points short of the Tigers' highest against North Ballarat.

Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald was almost lost for words as he searched for reasons behind his team's demise.

From Ballarat Courier

GEELONG gave North Ballarat an old fashioned football lesson in the VFL in Geelong yesterday.
There is no other way to describe the 60-point bath which the Cats gave the Selkirk Roosters.

North Ballarat stayed in touch until late in the third quarter, thanks to three goals in the term to Eddie Sansbury.

However, it was nothing more than false hope.

North Ballarat did not kick another goal, while Geelong cut loose with the next eight to romp in 18.17 (125) to 9.11 (65).

The Roosters were simply outclassed.

Geelong superior pace and ability open up the game undid North Ballarat, which was fortunate to stay in contention as long as it did.

In the same way they ended the match, the Cats dominated the opening quarter.

The difference was inaccuracy in front of goal.

Geelong, which went in without Brad Ottens, had the chance to put North Ballarat away, but 3.7 kept North Ballarat in it.

Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald predicted Geelong would be tough to overcome, but he was extremely disappointed with the way North Ballarat fell away.

Roosters facing height test

From Ballarat Courier

COMBATING the height and power of Brad Ottens looms as North Ballarat's biggest headache in the Victorian Football League at Geelong's Skilled Stadium tomorrow.
If Ottens stood alone as tall timber for the Cats, his influence would not pose such a major threat.

However, the Selkirk Roosters will also need to deal with Charlie Gardiner and Henry Playfair in an attack full of big marking power.

So it comes as no surprise to see North Ballarat coach Gerard FitzGerald contemplating using youngster Justin Hardy at centre half back.

Not only does the teenager have the height, he also has the mobility and importantly growing confidence after shining against Tasmania on Sunday.

Shaune Moloney will be there to lend support as will Jesse Smith, who is improving with every game after basically missing all last year with an ankle injury.

The athletic Smith probably needs just one standout performance to force him back into the Kangaroos line-up in the AFL.

North Ballarat has its own big manpower in attack with Orren Stephenson and Tristan Cartledge floating between the ruck and forward line.

No great illusions

From Ballarat Courier

NORTH Ballarat coach Gerard FitzGerald has no illusions about Sunday's assignment against Geelong in the Victorian Football League at Skilled Stadium in Geelong.
FitzGerald says the Cats are the form team in the VFL.

North Ballarat and Geelong each have two wins in three games.

However, FitzGerald quickly points to the make-up of Geelong. With virtually an injury-free list at Skilled Stadium, the Cats will field a combination almost exclusively featuring AFL players.

The Selkirk Roosters will run square into the likes of ruckman Steve King, key forward Brad Ottens and Steve Johnson, who, bar a pre-season misdemeanor, would be playing in the AFL.

Ottens is still a chance to be promoted, having been named on an extended interchange with Brent Prismall, Joel Selwood, Travis Varcoe, Shannon Byrnes and Kane Tenace for Geelong's AFL line-up to play the Kangaroos on Sunday.

Cartledge stands tall for Roosters

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.