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01 Aug 2011

Heidelberg has confirmed its spot in the 2011 Northern Football League Finals with a hard-fought 42-point victory over Montmorency in heavy conditions.

The 14.12-96 to 8.6-54 win is the Tiger's seventh in a row and sees Heidelberg move to second position for the first time this year.

Conditions were again made difficult with the Warringal Park Oval looking worse for wear thanks to a large amount of rain earlier in the week however two days of sun leading up to Saturday’s game ended up saving the ground from being almost unplayable.

The Magpies got off to the best possible start when Limbach goaled in the opening seconds after making the most of a quick centre clearance that caught the Heidelberg defence by surprise.

Heidelberg regained the lead minutes later through Chapman before taking a 9-point lead into the quarter time break with further goals to Miller and Saul Caddy, who was arguably Heidelberg's best playing a variety of roles.

The Tiger's extended their lead at every change despite losing Andrew White, Russell Lee and Josh Houlihan all in the second term, reducing their interchange to one in the second half.

Justin Murphy was at his brilliant best rebounding countless Montmorency attacks from half-back and showed why experience counts at this level of football.

Despite the seven-goal margin the Tiger’s lead rarely exceeded two or three goals until midway through the final term when a quick burst of goals put the result beyond doubt.

Young-gun Nick Miller booted 4 and along with Caddy was Heidelberg's only multiple goal kickers meanwhile Irishman Michael Finn continued his outstanding season in the ruck and was named Heidelberg's best for the second week in a row.

Defenders Adam Jackson, Josh Iezzi, Jason Kennedy and Fabian Dorbolo were also named as the Berger's better players with Jackson in particular continuing his remarkable form playing at full-back despite only taking up Australian rules 14 months ago after a long and distinguished basketball career.

Ex-Port Adelaide & Carlton star Nick Stevens made a surprise appearance for the visitors and put in a stellar performance in his first game since retiring from AFL football due to a serious neck injury.

To see video highlights of the match please click here.

Despite sitting in second position Heidelberg still faces a tough task in securing the lucrative double chance with Greensborough (away) and West Preston Lakeside (home) to play over the next two weeks. It is expected that Heidelberg must win 3 of the next 4 to ensure they finish in the top three.


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