Labrador showed great resolve to rebound from their final quarter capitulation to Morningside last week and completely overwhelm Broadbeach at Merrimac Oval today.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Labrador showed great resolve to rebound from their final quarter capitulation to Morningside last week and completely overwhelm Broadbeach at Merrimac Oval today.

The Tigers blasted 3.8 in the opening 15 minutes of the game and should have sealed the issue there, although they simply refused to let the Cats into the contest.

They held the home side goalless in the second and third terms, making them wait 65 minutes between their first and second goals.

Labrador led 10.16 to 1.11 at the final change before easing down to win 11.17 (83) to 5.15 (45).

The black-and-golds’ tackling pressure lasted for three quarters and the Cats suffocated under it. 

It was their first win at Merrimac in five years and only their fifth success against the Cats in 21 attempts, although the Tigers now have won both derbies against their local rivals this season.

“Our pressure was very good and we won in the midfield,” said satisfied Labrador coach Jarrod Field. “We generated enough opportunities to kick enough goals to win.”

Field added that his side had an extra incentive to win at what has been a hoodoo ground – captain Aaron Shattock’s 50th game for the club.

“We had to make sure we won for him – he has been a really good influence on our club in the time that he has been here,” Field said.

In his first game back from a hamstring injury in five weeks, Shattock controlled the skies in defence, constantly spoiling the Cats forwards.

While he was rock solid, 10 of his teammates deserved to poll votes in best player awards.

Tim Notting booted 2.2 and had two other assists in a barnstorming opening quarter opposed to young Nathan Quick.

Quick went back onto Notting after halftime and did some good things, but the former Lion booted two goals in three minutes late in the third term to put the game out of reach of the home side.

Notting had 5.5 to the final change and worked tirelessly up and down the ground, not just near the goalsquare.

Jason Howard positioned himself perfectly around the packs all day, Todd Grayson was prolific on the outer wing, Shane Paterson won numerous hard-ball gets, and specialist tagger Curtis Allen claimed his fourth big victim in a month by blanketing Dayne Zorko.

Nick Stockdale was at Korey Fulton’s shoulder all day and held him goalless while providing enormous dash from defence, even scoring a behind himself.

Michael Doyle and Mark Vigus were outstanding with their defensive work and willingness to run through the midfield to half-forward, Dustin Mills constantly chopped off attacking forays, and rover Todd Featherstone’s tackling and smothering was exemplary.

Throw in Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt palming the ball superbly to his small men and contributing 2.3 while resting up forward, and Labrador’s dominance was far greater than reflected on the scoreboard.

Notting, however, was the gamebreaker.

“He has been terrific for us with his output, his direction and experience,” Field said. “He makes the blokes around him walk taller.

“He certainly can get out of the blocks (having kicked 2.2 and 3.2 in his past two opening quarters) although he needs to improve his conversion.”

Broadbeach coach Adrian Smith made numerous positional moves to try and lift his side, but they weren’t allowed to find any system until late in the game.

While they missed some gettable opportunities themselves, they were never in the hunt.

“Everyone knows they are a lot stronger than us physically,” Smith said. “What they brought today was an intent to set the game up.

“They smashed us around the stoppages and that was through their pressure.”

Smith agreed that his young side appeared flat at the start, for the first time this season.

“If anything our intensity improved as the game went on, but when you have got the score on the board at halftime, most good teams – and Labrador are a good side – hang on to that lead,” he said.

“Our run-and-carry, and decision-making wasn’t there.”

Midfielder Jesse Derrick and key position utility Darin Stewart, who took more than a dozen strong marks at either end of the ground, were the only effective Cats.

Matt Fife collected numerous possessions but most were deep in defence.

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