IT COULDN’T have been a better 150th senior game for Queanbeyan ruckman Neil Irwin – not only was he part of a dominant midfield, but he kicked the final goal in the 91-point hiding of Tuggeranong at Greenway on Saturday.
With just seconds remaining, Tigers onballer Paul Franchi streamed through the centre square with an eye for goal before the call of ”kick it to Neilo” came from the stands.
He lowered his eyes and obliged, hitting Irwin lace-out before the big ruckman slotted the goal to make it 22.12 (144) to 8.5 (53) in the NEAFL eastern conference clash.
”I still reckon [Tuggeranong defender Chris Robinson] just peeled off to let me take the mark,” Irwin joked.
”Actually it was quite funny, [Franchi has] been giving me heaps all week for being so old and it’s quite funny that he delivered me the ball, nice bloke.”
Queanbeyan dominated in the middle and an eight-goal third-term blew the home side away.
The Tigers moved the ball forward with too much ease to the likes of captain Ryan Quade (five goals) and were aided by Tuggeranong’s inability to hit a target either by hand or foot.
Brent Macleod (knee) was back in the Hawks line-up, but he was clearly still struggling to move freely up forward.
The Tigers’ playing coach Kade Klemke took the responsibility to face Tuggeranong’s most dangerous forward.
Despite Queanbeyan’s struggles in recent weeks, due largely to a swag of injuries, Klemke has been in sterling form.
His ferocious tackling was on show to all of Australia in the recent Foxtel Cup loss to VFL club Werribee.
It was no different at Greenway on Saturday, laying a great tackle on Macleod in the dying stages of the third quarter.
The ball spilt free and was swept the length of the ground before Kaine Stevens marked 25-metres out and calmly slotted the goal.
It capped off a cracking third quarter, which included a freakish checkside by Franchi out of a pack to goal and a string of handballs off half-back that ended up with former Essendon onballer Jarrod Atkinson in the centre.
He had a couple of bounces before nailing a long bomb from 65 metres out.
”[We turned the ball over] at crucial times really, it just really kills your momentum,” Hawks coach Peter McGrath said.
”When you’ve got a bit of momentum and got the wind behind you you’ve really got to use the ball efficiently and we weren’t able to do that.”
Meanwhile, Dean Roulstone booted nine goals in Eastlake’s 21-point victory over northern conference side Redland at Manuka Oval.
Belconnen continued its purple patch with a 33-point win over Sydney University, while Sydney Hills Eagles beat Ainslie by 56 points.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.