Bobby Hill bended a goal through in the final moments to hand the GIANTS a two-point victory over Sydney University in what was a quality close contest at Henson Park on Friday night.
In a low scoring match where points were crucial, the winner was determined in the dying seconds of the final quarter with the GIANTS coming out on top 7.14 (56) to 8.6 (54).
GIANTS NEAFL coach Adam Schneider said that he was delighted with the performance of his side which was challenged by the “really good slog game of football.”
“To win a game like that which wasn’t pretty – it was a slog with over 200 tackles for the game – to win them games is sometimes worth eight points,” he told neafl.com.au.
“I think just for the boy’s confidence, knowing they fought so hard to scrap and get a win is really important for us, especially come finals football.
“I thought that Sydney University was super. I was really impressed by the way they attacked the footy and really brought it to us. I thought that no one deserved to lose.”
Both teams were aware of what they were up against, taking an all-or-nothing attitude onto the field.
Pressure acts and tackles were on display early which meant that controlling possession was difficult for both teams.
The GIANTS’ Cameron Edwards mustered the first goal of the game in the 20th minute and it wasn’t long before Matthew Flynn backed that up with a goal of his own.
Sydney University’s Josh Stern booted their first goal on the siren to put the Students on the scoreboard and narrow the margin to eight points.
The close contest continued into the second term with the teams going tit-for-tat, as Hill booted an outstanding goal from outside 50 before the Students’ Tristan Davies responded with a goal of his own.
A 50m penalty saw Harry Morrison kick a goal from right out in front and bring the margin within a reach of two points – a margin that was taken into halftime.
Although the Students managed to climb ahead to a two-point lead in the third term, both teams were even with 40-points each at three quarter time, setting up an exciting final quarter.
Lead challenges continued into the last quarter but it was a second goal from Hill when the ball fell over the pack and he dribbled it through the sticks that secured the win for the GIANTS.
It was a team effort from the GIANTS with outstanding performances from Hill with 15 disposals, seven tackles and two goals and Nick Shipley with 31 disposals, eight tackles and eight clearances.
Dawson Simpson and Matthew Flynn were outstanding with 67 hit-outs and 29 hit-outs respectively, the GIANTS winning that statistic 102 to 35.
For the Students, Harry Morrison was lively with two goals as was midfielder Jake Bartholomaeus, who was superb in the midfield with 35 disposals, 15 tackles seven clearances and six inside 50’s.
Heading into the NEAFL Round 14, Sydney University will take on the Canberra Demons at Phillip Oval at noon on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the GIANTS will host the undefeated ladder leaders Brisbane at GIANTS Stadium at 1pm on Sunday.
“It’ll be a good task. We haven’t beaten them (Brisbane) for a while so hopefully we can come up with a plan that gives us our best chance of winning,” Schneider told neafl.com.au.
Sydney University v GIANTS at Henson Park
GIANTS 2.2 3.5 5.10 7.14 (56)
SYDNEY UNI 1.0 3.3 6.4 8.6 (54)
GOALS – GIANTS: M Flynn 2 I Hill 2 D Lloyd C Edwards K Briggs. Sydney Uni: H Morrison 2 J Stern 2 L Vella T Davies J Veale A Gulden.
BEST – GIANTS: M Flynn I Hill I Cumming D Lloyd. Sydney Uni: J Bartholomaues L Kilpatrick L Vella N Reinhard J Veale E Cole.