BROTHERS Setanta and Aisake O’hAilpin turned in powerful performances to orchestrate Albury’s 43-point victory over a brave North Albury at Bunton Park yesterday.
After soaking up the Hoppers’ pressure in a high tempo first quarter, the star recruits were instrumental in breaking the match open as the visitors slammed on 9.4 to 1.3 in the second term.
Aisake dominated the hit-outs and drifted forward to kick two goals while Setanta finished with five majors and celebrated each with gusto.
Tiger co-coach Daniel Maher said Albury went into the Anzac Day match expecting a fierce contest and was delighted the O’hAilpins emerged as the game breakers in only their third match with the club.
“We expected a really tough contest early and North’s young kids showed us the intensity at the footy which we lacked in the first 25 minutes,” Maher said.
“To regroup at quarter-time was good to get our structures back in place.
“Aisake really stepped it up and so did Setanta.
“That’s what you want to see.
“They turned it on and there the O’Haras and Hydes and those sort of players got going in the midfield as we started playing our style of footy.
“We just had to get our hands on the footy.”
While the O’hAilpins were like many of Alb-ury’s players in flashing in and out of the play, its physical strength ensured North Albury earned every touch which resulted in the home team playing in spurts.
The Hoppers brought up the opening goal of the match through Josh Minogue at the 15-minute-mark and when the promising half-forward followed up a minute later the Tigers knew they were in for a fight.
They took a three-point lead into the first change thanks to the efforts of Minogue, Kris Holman and Rory Feltwell but the effort clearly took its toll in the second when the floodgates opened.
Albury slammed on four goals in a six-minute burst on the way to nine as the O’hAilpins, Chris Hyde and Brayden O’Hara went for the kill to open up a commanding 46-point lead at half-time.
But the hiding many of the 1500-plus crowd expected never eventuated as North Albury kept running and backing themselves.
“The boys were pretty good,” coach Jason Akermanis said.
“It’s only the start of our journey and I think we learnt today that lapses against good sides really hurt you.”