Burnie break through to down Devonport

Burnie Dockers secured their first win for 2017, overcoming Devonport by 31 points to claim bragging rights in the coastal derby at West Park.

It was a battle between two young sides from the coast and it was Burnie who emerged with four points from a see-sawing contest. As is often the case, the wind played a big part at West Park with it influencing scoring with big runs of goals towards one end.

The Dockers shot out of the blocks making the most of a stiff breeze, kicking the last five goals of the opening quarter to open up a 27-point lead at the first change. Leaders Nick McKenna, Harry and Nick Walters and coach Clint Proctor were superb early, while Matt Elliott, the Baldock medalist in the NWFL, looked comfortable at the level as the hosts kicked away to a commanding lead.

Devonport hit back in the second, taking advantage of the breeze at the back in the second term to pile on 6.1 to 0.6 to take a narrow four point lead into the long break. Brayden Butler kicked two for the term, with Brad Chard and co-captain Dylan Riley also putting in strong showings in the second stanza.

In a heavily wind affected contest the pendulum swung back in Burnie’s favour in the premiership quarter. With the breeze at their back the Dockers used it well to open up a 23-point lead at the final change. Blair Rubock kicked three of Burnie’s six goals for the quarter, but not to be outmatched, Devonport co-captain Dylan Riley added two of his own from midfield to give his side a fighting chance approaching the final quarter.

Despite the wind not blowing in their direction Burnie held on to notch their first win of the year outscoring the Magpies four goals to two in the last. Devonport were let down all day by some sloppy ball use but particularly late with Burnie’s pressure often resulting in Devonport turnovers. They were also wasteful in front of goal, kicking 2.5, failing to make the most of their forward entries. Blair Rubock was outstanding with four second half goals to withstand several Devonport challenges, while leaders such as Nick Walters stood up when it was counted in the 17.17 (119) to 13.10 (88) win. James Dowling was also fantastic for Burnie collecting 25 touches and snaring three goals to play a strong hand in the victory.

Dylan Riley and Brayden Scott were among the Magpies who never stopped trying over four quarters in a losing effort.

Despite going down to their rivals, Devonport Coach Mitch Thorp was proud of his young side’s efforts but acknowledged they needed to clean up their disposal if they are to get on the winners list in future weeks.

“I thought the effort was actually quite good. We kicked the ball out on the full 15 times today so when you kick the ball that poorly it makes it hard to win games,” he said.

“Full credit to Burnie they put us under pressure and we turned the ball over by foot far too often to win any game of TSL footy.

“We got back in the game, all square at half time and we thought we were in closing distance at three quarter time but our inability to kick the footy really hurt us,” Thorp explained.

Devonport have seen a list overhaul approaching the 2017 season and Thorp says losses will not sway them from their path.

“Its clearly a learning process for us at the moment. We are a fair way off winning a premiership we are just getting games into the young guys that are going to be a part of that side down the track but we’ve got to kick the ball better under pressure.

“15 players have played less than 15 games. No matter who you are playing or what anyone says they are the facts for our group at the moment but we’ll hang in there and we’ll stick fat to the cause.”

An emotional Clint Proctor was ecstatic with the result, particularly the last quarter resistance to hold on against the wind.

“Terrific for football and a great one for our supporters and the community. I’m obviously really proud of our young boys and our statesman for standing up. It was terrific.

“It was an exciting game actually, we played some good football and we scored heavily which is great. Going forward scoreboard pressure is massive for us and if we had of converted a bit better early we could have had more of a lead at half time but it was a great fight back.

“At three quarter time Devonport was in the box seat with the conditions of the ground and the weather so to face that adversity and push through and have belief in our system and themselves was outstanding,” Proctor said.

Proctor was particularly excited by the efforts of Rubock, who showed his wares as a forward of great promise.

“He is a nice link for us, he is a great finisher and reads the game very well and he is a vital cog to the way we score.”

Next week the Dockers will look to make it two on the trot with a road trip to face the Demons and the Magpies host Clarence in another tough encounter for the coastal youngsters.

Round 3 – 14/04/2017

Burnie Dockers                          7.3,  7.9,  13.16,  17.17  (119)

Devonport                               3.0,  8.3,  11.5,  13.10  (88)

GOALS, Burnie Dockers :
B. Rubock 4, H. Walters 3, J. Dowling 3, K. Bracken 2, M. Elliott 1, D. Crane 1, N. McKenna 1, C. Proctor 1, F. Poke 1

Devonport :
D. Riley 2, B. Scott 2, B. Symmons 2, B. Connelly 1, D. Schnoor 1, B. Hawkes 1, G. Millucci 1, L. Williams 1, B. Butler 1, L. Bissett 1

BEST, Burnie Dockers :
J. Dowling, B. Boag, N. Walters, B. Rubock, S. Kalbfell, H. Walters

Devonport :
D. Riley, B. Scott, L. Williams, B. Symmons, B. Butler, D. Schnoor