Lake Macquarie Dockers impress in Black Diamond Cup debut, despite losing to Maitland

JUST FOOLING: Maitland's Harrison Harbrow, right, gets up close and personal with Lake Macquarie's Damon Tually on Saturday. Picture: David Stewart
JUST FOOLING: Maitland's Harrison Harbrow, right, gets up close and personal with Lake Macquarie's Damon Tually on Saturday. Picture: David Stewart

LAKE Macquarie didn’t win their season-opening match in the Black Diamond Cup on Saturday, but there was plenty to suggest the Dockers are up to the challenge of competing in the region’s top Australian football competition.

The 2017 Black Diamond Plate premiers, Maitland, made a winning Black Diamond Cup debut defeating Lake Macquarie 12-13-85 to 6-16-52.

The Dockers enjoyed the best of the opening quarter, but inaccuracy in front of goal proved costly. They managed 7 behinds to match Maitland’s 1-1-7.

“We controlled the ball well in the first half with only inaccuracy in front of goal costing us taking a lead into the first break. You cannot kick seven straight behinds and expect to be in a commanding position,” Lake Macquarie’s Brad Farrell said.

“If we kick 4 goals 3, instead of 0 goals 7, whilst keeping the opposition to 1 goal 1, it’s a completely different ball game.

“We are a young side and they will definitely take positives out of the game, but also work on where we fell short.”

DOCKERS: Lake Macquarie's Sean Clune (jumper 29) and Riley Janissen go up for the ball against Maitland at Teralba on Saturday. The Dockers take on Newcastle City at home this Saturday. Picture: David Stewart

DOCKERS: Lake Macquarie's Sean Clune (jumper 29) and Riley Janissen go up for the ball against Maitland at Teralba on Saturday. The Dockers take on Newcastle City at home this Saturday. Picture: David Stewart

Ruckman Sean Clune was strong throughout for the Dockers, while Sam Wellard, Daniel Zuzek and Damon Tually also impressed.

Tually kicked five goals and seven behinds for the Dockers and was a go-to man up front.

“The back six worked hard. The rotations flowed more than ever, which was pleasing, but the forward entry was down on what we were after and keeping it locked in the forward area is also an area the boys will be working on,” Farrell said.

“We had 28 forward entries to their 20, which is pleasing, but we need them to be effective entries.”

Farrell said the coaching staff would have three main areas of focus for the team this week: accuracy in front of goal, forward pressure, and clean entries into the forward line.

Lake Macquarie will host Newcastle City at Tulkaba Park this Saturday at 2pm.