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Kennedy Stars in NEAFL Win

Edward Chisholm, GIANTS NEAFL Reporter  June 10, 2018 12:45 PM

Kennedy's NEAFL Return Adam Kennedy has starred in his return game in the NEAFL after 12 months on the sideline.
We wanted to play four quarters of footy today, and we knew we could crack them at one stage.

A strong return for Adam Kennedy has helped the GIANTS Reserves to a dominant 52-point win over the Gold Coast Suns Reserves in the NEAFL on Saturday at Spotless Stadium.

Brent Daniels topped the scorers with three majors, with Zach Sproule and Dylan Buckley also adding two to the tally, but it was Kennedy’s return performance that stole the show in the 13.17 (95) to 5.13 (43) victory.

Kennedy had a dream return after 12 months out with a knee injury, kicking the GIANTS Reserves’ opening goal of the game with a booming kick from outside 50, then going on to rack up 35 disposals, 10 marks and eight rebounds as well as kick another goal.

GIANTS NEAFL coach Adam Schneider was ecstatic with the impact Kennedy had on the side on Saturday and throughout the week.

“It was really team-lifting for the boys and for Kennedy personally,” he said.

“To watch him and Buntine, and the professionalism they showed during the week to get themselves right was awesome.”

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The opening quarter was grinding with the Suns dominating the share of possession, but the GIANTS made the most of their opportunities in front of goal, taking a slender two point lead into the first break.

The second quarter proved to be the GIANTS’ most dominant, as they kicked six unanswered goals, three of which came from Daniels.

The GIANTS’ forward-pressure couldn’t be contained by the Suns, as they took a dominant 39 point lead into the main break.

“We wanted to play four quarters of footy today, and we knew we could crack them at one stage,” Schneider said.

“We certainly did that and took our opportunities in the second and third quarter, which was really pleasing.”

Dylan Buckley and Robert Cathcart were both busy with the ball in hand throughout the first half, with 15 and 12 disposals respectively.

Momentum remained with the GIANTS to start the second half, as they limited Gold Coast’s opportunities with the ball, keeping them scoreless until the 18th minute mark of the third quarter.

Kennedy kicked his second - another cracking goal – while Jeremy Finlayson and Isaac Cumming also added to the tally, both backing up their strong contributions with the ball in hand.

The GIANTS set themselves up with a 60 point lead going in to the final quarter, which was never going tobe chased down by the Suns Reserves, who kicked two late goals as consolation.

Both sides had enjoyed strong wins in recent weeks, but the GIANTS were too good throughout the contest, with Saturday afternoon’s win signifying three consecutive victories in what has been an impressive return to form for Schneider’s side.

“Gold Coast play a really hard brand of footy, so tackling and contested possession were our two key factors for the game,” he said.

“I think we won the contested possessions by 18 and we had 90 tackles, so couldn’t be happier with the performance today.”

GIANTS 3.3, 9.7, 12.14, 13.17 (95)

Suns 3.1, 3.4, 3.8., 5.13 (43)

Goals - B Daniels 3; D Buckley, A Kennedy, Z Sproule 2; J Finlayson, I Cumming, M Buntine, D Simpson.

The GIANTS Reserves will enjoy a bye next weekend, before heading to the Gabba to play the Brisbane Lions Reserves on Saturday June 23 at 12:55pm.

GIANTS NEAFL coach Adam Schneider on the GIANTS’ AFL Listed Players:

Aiden Bonar - 20 disposals, 7 tackles, 5 clearances
“He’s just a beast in the middle isn’t he? He was great for us, just crashing and bashing and picked up a lot of clearances there too. He’s been working on a lot of things around stoppage, and it was just another solid performance for him today.”

Adam Kennedy – 2 goals, 35 disposals, 10 marks

“It was just great to see him have some fun and playing some footy again. His 35 touches and the couple of goals he kicked were outstanding. A great day for him.”

Isaac Cumming - 1 goal, 23 disposals, 7 marks
“Off the halfback again he was great. Ball in hand he was fantastic but what stood out for me was his defensive side of things, which he’s been working on. He wasn’t beaten in a one-on-one all day. He had a clear focus to come here and do that and he did it really well.”

Lachlan Keefe - 17 disposals, 3 marks
“Lachie is just Mr. Reliable. You look up and the ball’s gone into the backline and I just put my head down knowing Lachie’s got the job done. He kept Crosley really quiet down there. Another really solid game for him.”

Jake Stein - 18 disposals, 5 marks
“Steiny was good. He’s been working hard to get a four-quarter effort. I think today was his best of those.”

Brent Daniels - 3 goals, 18 disposals, 7 tackles
“He was fantastic for us. He’s a very talented player, and he’s a very smart footballer. Not too bad for a small fella either. I think the seven tackles were the most pleasing thing for him today. The goals in the third quarter came off the back of his pressure and his work rate.”

Dawson Simpson - 1 goal, 16 disposals, 33 hitouts
“Daws again played a little more forward again today. I wanted to see him clunk a few and take a couple of grabs, which he did. He took a nice grab down there and kicked a goal. He’s been in great form and it was good to see him kick a goal.”

Matthew Flynn - 22 hit outs, 13 disposals
“Flynny got a bit more time in the ruck today. His contested side of the footy, which he’s been working on, has been really huge. He’s been grabbing some big marks that have been huge for us overall. Another good game by Flynny.”

Jeremy Finlayson - 1 goal, 31 disposals, 7 marks
“Jeremy was fantastic. His attitude was super. He had a bloke tag him in the second half and I think he still had 30 touches when a guy was running with him on the right flank. Ball in hand he’s elite, but the defensive side of his game was awesome.”

Nick Shipley - 24 disposals, 15 tackles
“Again he’s just a workhorse. He just keeps adding something to his game each week. We put him with Lyons this week and gave him a bit of a challenge.”

Zach Sproule - 2 goals, 18 disposals, 5 marks
‘Big Presence’, he calls himself. We kept him forward this week. We wanted to see him going forward and crash some packs. I don’t think his stats were as big as they’ve been in recent weeks, but I wanted him to work on giving us a contest.”

Matt Buntine - 1 goal, 28 disposals, 11 marks
“Buntine is first picked every week. He’s great to have in the team. He was captain today and led by example as he always does. Defensively he smashed his opponent and just didn’t give them an inch. His work off the ball is super and really helps out the team every week.”