Tigers bounce back in style

ALBURY was always going to be in a filthy mood on Saturday.

After being embarrassed by a shock loss to Wodonga Raiders the previous weekend, there were no prizes for guessing how it was going to unfold at the John Flower Oval.

And while coach Ben Hollands expected an early onslaught, it was soon taken out of his hands as the reigning premier blew the match apart inside 25 minutes on the way to winning by 77 points.

Albury booted 9.4 to 3.2 in a frenetic opening quarter to show last weekend’s loss was more about mental application than anything else.

Co-coach Daniel Maher said he was pleased with the way Albury responded to the defeat.

“You always like to bounce back strongly from a disappointing performance and I thought we did that,” Maher said.

“It was a strong effort, particularly in the first half.

“The boys came out on the blocks well and really set the tone for the day.”

Andy Carey was up and about early with four of the nine majors in the first term, Chris Hyde was at his devastating best playing off a back flank, Joel Mackie took on the Bulldogs at every opportunity and Charlie Gaylard and Sam Milne were all class through the midfield.

Luke Daly also played the small forward’s role to perfection, Shaun Daly showed he is getting on top of the injuries he has been carrying and Josh Dicketts and Matt Fowler won the ruck.

The carnage could have been even greater had Carey and Luke Daly not the hit the post twice for the quarter.

While Albury only kicked 13 goals to seven from that point, the damage had been done with the visitors having the luxury of taking Carey off the ground at three-quarter-time to rest his troublesome knee.

Michael Thompson joined him soon after as a precautionary measure following hamstring problems in recent weeks.

It almost turned pear-shaped for Albury late when Hyde was cleaned up by a late hit and lay on the ground for several minutes before being assisted from the ground.

While he didn’t return to the ground, the club is confident he will play against ladder leader Wangaratta Rovers at the Albury Sportsground on Saturday.

Wodonga struggled to gain any momentum at the clearances with best and fairest favourite Brett Doswell being chopped out of the contest by Joel O’Connell and Mark Bush.

Hollands had his moments in attack with three goals, Tyson Gorupic rarely wasted the ball and young forward McKye Turner oozed class every time he went near the ball.

Albury, who finished with 12 goalkickers, should regain co-captain Luke Packer from a knee injury against the Hawks for his 150th match.

Joel Mackie

Joel Mackie