NEWCASTLE City produced a near perfect opening half to stun arch-rivals Cardiff by 24 points at No.1 Sportsground on Saturday and end the Hawks unbeaten run in the Black Diamond AFL.
Pat Gillingham led the way with three majors but it was the Blues’ defence which stood tall in the 12.12 (84) to 9.6 (60) triumph.
The home side led 5.4 (34) to 0.1 (1) at quarter-time and kept the Hawks to a sole behind until midway through the second quarter.
The margin was 30 points at the main break and 53 at the final turn.
The visitors kicked five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
Ben Conquest, Cade Triffitt and Mitchell Black were outstanding for the Blues.
Cardiff, who had won 11 straight, were leapfrogged by defending champions Terrigal Avoca (on percentages) after the Panthers crushed Killarney Vale by 121 points at Moore Oval.
Matthew Shortall kicked four goals and Ryan Webster, Sam Ellis and Daniel Heuston three each in the Panthers’ 23.14 (152) to 5.1 (31) victory.
Jack Hardman kicked a handful of goals as Warners Bay flexed their muscles on the way to an emphatic 17.14 (116) to 4.5 (29) win against Nelson Bay at Feighan Park.
Bradley Barnett kicked a late goal to seal Singleton a 10.9 (69) to 9.11 (65) result at Don Small Oval.
In the final round-12 encounter, Adam Miller and Tim Eather bagged four majors each to inspire Gosford to a 10.12 (72) to 6.15 (52) victory over Maitland at Adcock Park.
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