AINSLIE TORCH TIGERS IN THIRD TERM
Canberra club Ainslie have bounced back from their big home loss to Southport last week by killing off Labrador on the Gold Coast today.
Saturday 2 July 2011
Labrador’s horror slide down the NEAFL northern conference ladder continued at Cooke-Murphy Oval today when they were outplayed for three quarters by eastern conference power Ainslie.
The crippling injury situation that has dogged the Tigers all year is now taking a toll, with the black-and-golds struggling for any spark.
They started slowly, looking tired and cumbersome in the first quarter when they managed just four behinds to Ainslie’s four goals.
It was a margin that would be reflected in the finish, with Ainslie prevailing 17.13 (115) to 13.11 (89).
Labrador fought hard to get back into the game in the second quarter, only to be blown away by a nine-goal-to-one third term by the fired-up visitors.
Labrador could not contain strong-marking forward Ben Hughes, the former North Melbourne player booting eight goals.
Former Adelaide player Robert Shirley bounced back from a heavy tag last week to play a prominent role in the midfield, while lightly-built teenager Jeremy Hirst gave the Tigers the slip constantly.
Giant Labrador ruckman Trent Knobel played exclusively forward and looked to be labouring under an injury, while Nick Stockdale spent much of his day at full-forward after being stretchered from the ground last week and while proppy still contributed three goals.
Ryan Davey was the only midfielder to offer any early resistance for the Tigers and helped keep them in the game in the first quarter.
Matt Clarke produced two brilliant runs from half-back to half-forward early but wasted the kick at the end of it, before helping initiate the fightback.
Clarke and Davey never stopped trying even during the third quarter onslaught by Ainslie.
Shane Paterson worked into the game after a slow start and Todd Featherstone and Todd Grayson fed off Gerard Moore’s good work later as the Tigers finished with a six-goal-to-one final term, but the damage had been done.