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GIANTS Fall Short in NEAFL Thriller

Luke Cullen  May 22, 2017 11:21 AM


Matt Kennedy was one of the GIANTS Reserve's stand out performers in a heartbreaking loss to Brisbane.

Even though the results aren’t going our way today's effort really showed we have a lot of young players that are developing and improving each week.

The GIANTS Reserves have lost by a point in a thrilling NEAFL encounter with Brisbane on Saturday afternoon, despite outstanding performances from Matt Kennedy, Zach Sproule and Academy player Rhys Pollock.

The Lions hung on to win despite a tight final term at Spotless Stadium, which saw the GIANTS kick three goals to two and lead by 12-points at one stage.

A rushed behind in the closing stages of the match proved to be the difference as the Lions took the four points home to Brisbane, winning 11.12 (78) to 11.11 (77).

Kennedy (37 disposals and eight inside 50’s) and Sproule (34 disposals and two goals) led the way for an inexperienced GIANTS side that featured just eight AFL listed players.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, GIANTS NEAFL coach Brad Miller was full of admiration for Kennedy and Sproule, and his team’s willingness to fight their way back into the game.

“Matty was just outstanding throughout, he really took over the game in the second half and was a big reason why we dominated the game for large periods,” Miller said

“His work rate was exceptional and really set the example for others to follow.

“Zach showed that he has an elite work-rate, spending most of his time in the midfield and laid seven tackles on top of getting a lot of the ball.

“Across the board I couldn’t be prouder of the team’s approach to the game and their ability to fight and scrap until the end was the most pleasing aspect.

“Even though the results aren’t going our way today's effort really showed we have a lot of young players that are developing and improving each week.”

Harry Himmelberg showed his versatility, spending time in the midfield as well as providing great support for the GIANTS' backline, which was led by the returning Tim Mohr.

“Harry put his head over the ball all day and he really led the way with his tackling pressure,” Miller said

“Tim was terrific from the start, he was positioning himself really well and took a lot of strong contested marks down back, and really contributed across all four quarters.”

The visitors got the early jump, kicking the first three goals of the game before the GIANTS responded to kick four straight and take a lead into quarter time.

Both sides went goal for goal until the GIANTS opened up a 12-point lead in the third quarter before three late goals saw the Lion claw their way back and lead by a goal heading into the last quarter.

GIANTS’ Academy member Rhys Pollock kicked his fifth goal of the game to give the GIANTS the lead early in the last, but the visitors fought back to tie the scores with two minutes remaining.

A rushed behind to the Lions with just moments to spare handed them the lead, but the game wasn't over with the GIANTS pushing forward.

Matt Flynn took what appeared to be a brilliant contested mark inside 50 with under a minute remaining but was called to play on after the umpire adjudged the ball had been touched.

His rushed kick missed everything and the Lions were able to clear their defensive 50 and hang on for a thrilling win.

GIANTS Reserves 11.11 (77)

Brisbane Reserves 11.12 (78)

Goals: R. Pollock 5, Z. Sproule 2, M. Walker, N. Richards, D. Addison, T. Mohr