North Heidelberg showed it is a finals contender in the Northern Football/Netball League‘s Division 1 with a runaway 55-point victory over Heidelberg in Round 7.
The Bulldogs kicked seven goals while holding the Tigers to just one point in the final quarter to romp to a 18.8 (116) to 9.7 (61) victory at Shelley Reserve.
North Heidelberg coach Jimmy House was pleased with his group’s effort after extending their lead at every change.
“When we put four quarters together we’re really capable of anything and I think that belief has arrived,” he said.
“We’re getting more consistency out of the group across the board. I think the boys have adapted and we’ve found our feet.”
The Tardio brothers ran amok in midfield, with younger brother Brody (pictured above) named best afield, while Jesse was also influential and slotted a goal.
The Harvey brothers also put in a trademark display up forward for the Bulldogs, with Shane kicking five, while Brent slotted four.
Jhye Baddeley-Kelly and Jackson Jones also chimed in with two majors apiece up forward for the home side. Baddeley-Kelly spent the first half up forward and was then able to swing into defence for the second half, showing his versatility and drawing praise from House.
“I’ve worked with Jhye in the time that I’ve been at the club and I guess I didn’t pigeon hole him to be the type of player he is,” House said.
“He’s an exceptional talent, he’s a young kid and he’s got the football world at his feet.”
For Heidelberg, Chaz Sargeant and Harrison Payne were the only multiple goal scorers, kicking three and two goals respectively.
Ryan Stone also chimed in with a single and was his side’s best player for the second time in as many weeks, while veteran Michael Finn fought hard in the ruck all afternoon.
The Tigers got off to the perfect start after Lachlan Wilson hit Sam Grimley lace out for the first goal of the day, but from that point onwards it was all North Heidelberg.
The Bulldogs could have easily burst away in the first quarter, however inaccuracy saw them kick just 2.5 to go into quarter time just five points ahead.
Sargeant put the Tigers ahead within the first minute of the second term before a five-minute burst saw the Bulldogs slot three straight goals, two courtesy of Brent Harvey, while Jones snapped his first from the boundary.
Sargeant converted again to stem the flow as the sides traded goals, with the Bulldogs extending their lead to 10 points at half time.
Shane Harvey slotted his first shortly after play resumed for the second half, before Heidelberg hit back with Tom Sullivan and Fletcher Carroll kicking two goals in a minute.
The Bulldogs then slotted three of the next four majors to once again extend their lead to 13-points at the final change.
After a tight start to the final term, the Bulldogs, led by Shane Harvey, broke the game open. The home side kicked three goals in as many minutes, with two coming off the boot of Harvey.
Harvey slotted two more for the quarter as the Bulldogs piled on the pain to record their second-consecutive win and third for the season.
House believes his side sent a message to the rest of the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 competition that the Bulldogs are here to stay after being promoted this season.
“We’re starting to show that we’re not the easy beats that people thought we were going to be.”
North Heidelberg travels to Macleod in the standalone Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 match over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, where the Bulldogs will look to hand the Roos their second loss of the season after beating the ladder-leader in Round 1.
Heidelberg will regroup with the week off and look to get back on the winners’ list when it hosts West Preston-Lakeside.
Final score: North Heidelberg 18.8 (116) def Heidelberg 9.7 (61)
Kinglake Ranges News. PHOTO: Nathan William Media/NWM.