Heat prove too strong

The Northern Heat AFL program wrapped up a comprehensive win over Surfers Paradise/Southport, claiming victory by 40 points in windy and challenging conditions.

Kicking with the benefit of the breeze in the opening quarter it was important that the team took a lead into the first break. Goals to Noah Swarski (Grafton) and Nick Fisher (Moree) ensured that was the scenario as the defence closed down the infrequent attacks that came their way to see the quarter time score at 2.4 (16) to 0.0 (0).

The tone was set in this opening stanza with constant and swarming pressure being applied to the Surfers Paradise/Southport outfit right across the park. This became the hallmark for the match with the Heat laying strong tackles and big bumps throughout and their opponents unable to find an answer to the onslaught.

Kicking into the wind in the second quarter the Heat conceded the first goal of the period and it looked as though Surfers Paradise/Southport could claw their way back into the contest. However the Heat steadied, then responded with a goal of their own through Daniel Brown (Moree) to ultimately win the quarter and extend the lead to 18 points at the main break.

The Heat created plenty of chances in the third quarter as their opponents struggled to clear their defensive fifty, but the conditions made it hard to land goals. Tim Beattie (Inverell) contributed the only goal for the term whilst Surfers Paradise/Southport were held scoreless once again and the lead was out to 29 points.

The final term proved that the Heat players had done their off season strength and conditioning programs as they ran over the top of their opponents despite having to push into the wind. Goals to Noah Swarski (Grafton) and Justin Eggert (Port Macquarie) rounded out the thoroughly deserved 40 point win.

Paul Taylor, Community Football Manager, said that the performance was outstanding. “This was the most complete performance I’ve seen from any team in this age group across the two regions. The coaches asked the boys to focus on doing the small things like chasing back, laying tackles, and putting on bumps for team mates and they never strayed from those instructions.

“This group has worked really hard and been extremely focussed since we first came together back in November and I’m really pleased for them that they claimed a win. They’ve really set a standard for future Heat squads to live up to. They’ve also made a huge positive impression on the staff at Southport Football Club and there will be opportunities for some of our players to pursue with Southport in the near future.”

From Saturday’s match, Kye Wilson (Port Macquarie) was deemed to be best on ground for the Heat and received the Martin Medal. Jasper Thomas (Gunnedah) received the Anderson Medal for most committed to the program.

Northern Heat 6.15 (51) defeated Surfers Paradise/Southport 1.5 (11)