North looking to finish with a bang

Andrew Groves spoke to Mick O'Sullivan about the importance of the Kangaroos' finish to the season. It promises to be a significant, historic and emotional final round......

Saturday’s final two-dayer could be the last for North Melbourne in the club's current form according to coach Mick O’Sullivan as his team look to the future.

A possible name change and a move back north of the Yarra could be on the cards bringing with it fresh optimism for next season if they get the go ahead to move.

O’Sullivan admits the fixture against Carlton on Saturday will be an emotional one. But after a season of much promise there is plenty to celebrate.

“It could be our last year as North Melbourne,” he said.

“There’s a move imminent. We don’t know all the fine details just yet but things are moving. It’s a big game for us and the club, there’s a lot of history going back 150 years.

“But it will be great to find a place we can call home on the right side of the river.

“For the younger lads it will be great to have a roof over their heads, a place where they can discuss cricket and chew the fat together. We are looking forward to something new and exciting.”nm_bowler_r6

The Roos came within a whisker of picking up an outright against Northcote at the weekend.

Carl Sandri’s side currently sits 14th in the ladder, but they could finish one place higher if they beat Carlton and Footscray slip up against Casey.

O’Sullivan is hoping for some late fireworks by his side.

“Carlton needs to win to secure a finals place, all the pressure is on them,” he continued.

“They’ve been in there all season and are a very good side, they have been for a lot of years now. But I suppose we’ve got nothing to lose. It would be great to finish the season on a winning note.

“After our great win against Richmond we had a few winnable games, and we should have been saluting the judge if we’d played ok.

“But both before and after Christmas we were a bit up and down. We played Prahran in diabolical conditions, we did well to bowl them out cheaply but then we couldn’t bring home the chocolates.

“We’ve been playing bits and pieces cricket but I suppose we’ve got a chance to finish the season with eight wins which is something positive and we can build on that.”

One of the finds of the season has been North’s all-rounder Trent Lawford.

The big-hitter has been catching the eye with some spectacular knocks since joining the club before Christmas.

In the first week against Northcote he bludgeoned a quick fire 64 not out in the first innings, bringing up his 50 off just 15 balls.

“Trent is some player, I’ve never seen a guy hit the ball so well in my time in cricket,” added O’Sullivan.nm_ct_behind_r6

“He scored North Melbourne’s fastest ever 50 earlier this season in a one-dayer. On Saturday he hit his first 50 off just 15 balls. That’s a new record for North Melbourne and it will be interesting to see whether that’s a record for Premier cricket.

“He’s 6ft 5, 140 kgs, he is just a massive brute and has been great for us. He is also a very handy bowler and comes down from a great height. It’s really enjoyable watching him play.”

Another big story from the weekend was Geelong’s outright against St Kilda.

The victory has given the Cats something to fight for in its remaining fixture against Northcote. They will hunting another 10 points against the rock bottom side and hoping other results go their way.

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