GREENSBOROUGH continued its strong start to the season with a thumping win over Northcote Park in Round 2.
The Boro showed an excellent display from start to finish and simply outplayed the Cougars in the 19.15 (129) to 6.8 (44) result at War Memorial Park.
David Ellard was a dangerous prospect for the entire match and kicked a game-high four goals, while Ricky Mullins was dominant in the midfield for the Boro.
Daniel McLinden played an outstanding game from centre half back and stayed composed in even the most intense moments, keeping the Cougars from scoring on many of their forward 50 entries.
Bronik Davies competed well all day in the middle for the Cougars, and Wayne Schultz’s speed and run on the outside was looking hard to stop early.
Northcote Park’s inefficiency going forward hurt its chances of winning the game, while Greensborough made the most of its chances when surging forward and thoroughly deserved the 85-point win.
Greensborough was very good early and had plenty of the ball in its forward half, with Mullins opening the scoring with the first goal of the game from a free kick.
Harmit Singh and Lachlan Boscarini were keeping the Cougars in the game early with their brave defensive efforts, though Greensborough’s forward pressure was immense, causing plenty of turnovers and denying the Cougars any chance of rebounding.
Ellard and Jason Rogers added to the Boro’s strong opening quarter with goals from separate contests, rewarded for their early tackling pressure.
Northcote Park struggled to get the ball forward in the opening quarter, though a Jesse Harris goal, set up by Boscarini, against the run of play kept them within reach at the break, to only trail by 15 points.
The Cougars’ intensity increased greatly in the second term and their pressure was keeping them in the game.
Despite not having much of the play in the quarter, Greensborough still managed to kick the first two goals through a second major from Ellard, and skipper Lachlan McQuilken.
A costly turnover in defence from Greensborough’s Matthew Hyde saw Brody Ricardi kick a well-earned goal in his Cougars debut, giving his side their first for the quarter.
After a dominant period of play from the visitors they were unable to capitalise on their opportunities. McLinden continued to take intercept marks whenever Northcote Park was looking dangerous, and his efforts helped maintain the Boro’s lead.
A long set shot goal from Nik McNiece gave the Cougars plenty of hope, however a quick reply from Josh Grubb gave the Boro a 19-point lead at the main break.
The premiership quarter began and Northcote Park’s intensity in the backline, which was prominent in the first half, was suddenly missing. Easy goals to Rogers, Grubb and Rhys Boyden extended Greensborough’s margin to seven goals early in the quarter.
Ellard continued his dominance, adding another two goals to his name, as the Boro were starting to get on top in all aspects of the game and took a 63-point lead at the last change of ends.
Mullins and Matthew Fowler continued to win the ball from the middle in the last term and were surging Greensborough forward with every opportunity they got.
The Boro’s big men were hard to stop in the final quarter as junk time began. Michael Hooper won clearances and Andrew Stellas kicked two goals to see the home side take a comfortable four points.
Northcote Park plays host to the undefeated West Preston-Lakeside at Bill Lawry Oval in Round 3, as it looks to rebound.
Greensborough will be out to make it three wins in a row as it hosts Bundoora at War Memorial Park.
Final score: Greensborough 19.15 (129) def Northcote Park 6.8 (44)
By: Jarryd Barca