A HEAVY injury toll and a determined opponent weren’t enough to stop the Nor-West Jets recording an important win over Southern Power at Taren Point on the weekend.
The Jets started the game running into a stiff coastal breeze and encountered strong resistance from the Power early as they threw extra numbers in defence to thwart the Jets’ forward moves.
Young gun Brent Johnston made a solid return to the team after a three-month layoff, picking up numerous possessions around the oval, while Daniel Guthridge led the back six with a best on ground performance.
The Jets took a two-goal lead into the first break, and had use of the strong wind in the second, but disaster struck, as key players Ethon Coombs, captain Aaron Bayne and Ben Jennison all suffered match ending injuries in the second quarter.
With only one player left on the bench, Nor-West stepped up to the challenge and put on four goals, while holding the Power to a single behind, to take a 38-point lead to half-time.
The home side used the breeze well in the third term, adding two goals through some smart ball movement, while the Jets managed three of their own as Kyle Clarke enjoyed freedom across half forward and midfielders Ryan Johnston and Zack Coombs dominated their opponents.
Three more goals to one in the last quarter saw the Jets finish 59-point winners, but they were left to count the cost with injuries looking to affect selection for this week’s vital game against Sydney Uni.
Nor-West 12.11-83 to Power 3.6-24.
Goals – P Kyle 5, K Clarke 2, R Boucher 1, M Gray 1, J Brennan 1, E Coombs 1, D Cruz 1.
Best – D Guthridge, B Johnston, J Brennan, R Johnston, P Kyle, Z Coombs.
In reserve grade, the Jets hosted Moorebank at Bensons Lane, and an outstanding first quarter saw the home side pile on six unanswered goals to shellshock the Magpies.
The Jets welcomed back 2013 leading goal kicker Paul Webster and big man Dale Wellington to the team, with Wellington proving hard to contain, while club captain Owen Butcher racked up possessions at will.
Moorebank tightened their backline after quarter-time and did well in restricting the Jets’ influence.
However, Michael Guthridge helped himself to three goals while the midfield combination of Liam Veigel and Josh Edwards, both under 18 years of age, more than held their own against much bigger bodies. Pete Martinoli and Harry Stever ensured the ball would rarely travel past the centre, and 55 points was the margin at the main break.
In typically windy conditions, it was a grind in the second half as the Jets could only manage two more goals to Moorebank’s one as they ran out 65-point winners.
Nor-West 10.16-76 to Moorebank 1.5-11.
Goals – M Guthridge 3, L Veigel 2, D Soderman 1, L Judd 1, P Richardson 1, H Stever 1, D Wellington 1.
Best – O Butcher, D Wellington, L Veigel, P Martinoli, J Edwards, M Guthridge.
Both grades are at home this weekend for Ladies Day, with reserves starting the action as they host North Shore at midday, followed by the seniors facing Sydney Uni at 2pm.