The scoreboard could have read: Andy Carey 62 – North Wagga 50.
The Rock-Yerong Creek full forward made a massive impression in his first Farrer League finals game, burying the Saints with a 10-goal haul at Maher Oval on Saturday.
The Magpies only got on top late in the qualifying final, with Carey kicking six last quarter goals in the 14.7 (91) to 7.8 (50) victory.
The win books a date with East Wagga-Kooringal in next Saturday’s major semi-final and sets up the prospect of a mouth-watering shootout between Carey and the competition’s leading goalkicker,Marc Geppert.
Carey kicked the first three goals of the game inside nine minutes, and his fourth just before quarter time, but was then well-held by Dave Karlberg in the next two terms, restricted to just a point.
However, the North Wagga fullback was forced off with a calf injury in the third quarter and the Saints’ defence failed to adjust.
As the Pies began to get on top in the middle, the former Albury Tigers star proved too big a target up forward.
Carey kicked all but one of their final term goals; the neat half-dozen, including a banana kick from the pocket, giving him a personal tally of 10.2 for the game.
"It was good to contribute to the team and I’m just glad to come away with the win in the end really," Carey said.
He conceded North Wagga had them worried in the middle stages.
“They're a good, quick side actually so when they had that space on the outside, they sort of had our measure.”
Ironically, it was a free kick courtesy of Carey early in the second quarter that sparked Saints into action.
Goals to Corey Watt and Hayden McLachlan allowed them to take the lead before Josh Thompson put them seven points up.
The lead changed hands three times in the third quarter but with Mitch Ward finding a couple of goals, TRYC went to the final break eight points up, before the Carey show unfolded in the last.
“He's a great focal point for us and we're learning to use him the way we need to use him,” said Magpies coach Dave Pieper.
“He's experienced. He’s a big game player and you know what you're getting.”
4.2 4.6 7.7 14.7
NORTH WAGGA (50)
2.3 5.3 6.5 7.8
Goals: (TRYC) A Carey 10, M Ward 3, D Hore; (North Wagga) C Willis 2, J Thompson, M Thomas, H Grentell, C Watt, H McLachlan
Best: (TRYC) A Carey, S Higgins, A Ridley, T Yates, C Hillary, D Hore; (North Wagga) K Hamblin, C Hamblin, B Skeers, H Grentell, T Curtis, B Lucas.
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