Gippsland Power surge continues

Gippsland Power’s late season surge continued at the weekend when it crushed the Northern Knights 12.13 (85) to 5.8 (38) at Preston Oval on Saturday.

The Power went into the match with only one change to the team as Will Stephenson was rested and highly talented youngster, Tyrone Hayes, returned from school football commitments.

After recording two impressive wins over top teams Geelong and Calder, the Power had an off week against Eastern.

The side’s desire to bounce back was obvious in the opening minutes of the match and its hardness in contested issues was back in full force.

Gippsland used strong play from defence to allow Deven Costigan and Julian Patterson to combine to set up Nathan Voss for the first goal.

Aidan Quigley applied more forward pressure to win a free kick deep in the pocket and he coolly slotted the side’s second.

From the resultant centre bounce, the Knights scored a goal to remind the Power they were in a contest.

Some deft ruckwork by Patterson gave Voss the chance to snap a stunning goal and then forward pressure by Will Leslie set up Nick Hogan to kick another.

The Power had a 20-point lead by the end of the first quarter with three times as many forward 50 entries as the Knights.

Northern struck first in the second, but the Power responded well when Voss turned provider for Trent Armour to take full advantage and reply. Armour then made second and third efforts in contests to win possession and combined with Josh Patullo and Ben Ainsworth, who snapped an impressive goal.

Later in the term, Ainsworth took a contested mark and full advantage of a 50 metre penalty to give his side a 32 point lead at the long break.

Led by Leslie and Cody Henness, the Power attacked long and direct and once again after half-time and Voss took full advantage.

Costigan won a tight contest and used his pace to break clear and provide for captain Ainsworth who snapped his third for the match.

The Knights scored a major of their own which prompted the Power to up the intensity in the contest.

Patullo belied his 198 centimetre stature by winning the ball at ground level and snapped a fine goal to give the side a 46-point lead by the last change.

Armour started the fourth in fine form with his one-percenters and allowed Kade Renooy to score with a rare move into the forward line.

Overuse of the handball allowed the Knights to split the sticks twice in a row as the Power began to slow down.

Hard-nosed youngster, Callum Porter, was heavily involved in two parts of a late play which led to a Leslie goal, capping off a 47 point win for the Power.

Two wins outside eighth placed Eastern Ranges, the ninth placed Power will play its final game of the season against Bendigo at IKON Park on Saturday.