Young key forward Mathew Allen booted six of Halls Head’s seven goals but a balanced performance saw the Tigers run away with a 10.17 (77) to 7.9 (51) victory in a round two clash at Sir Ross McLarty Oval on Saturday night.
Allen’s efforts were enormous in the full forward spot for the Lightning, but despite a spirited display Halls Head failed to match it with the reigning premiers across the four quarters.
However, it was a different story to when the two sides met 12 months ago in the 2017 season’s second round.
The Lightning was thoroughly spanked on that occasion with a 146-point beatdown, but the 2018 installment was a show of how far the rebuilding side had come in the span of a year.
They were much more competitive this time around, daring to use the corridor as much as possible and finding success with it early.
Quick movement from half back and targeting Allen up forward proved fruitful in the opening quarter, as the sixth-gamer nailed three goals as Halls Head dashed to an early lead with the wind.
Up the other end it was experienced hand Brennan Gillam doing the damage for Pinjarra, as he nailed his second goal late in the term to bring the Tigers within six points at the first change.
A sharp quarter time spray from coach Troy Vidovich and swinging Trevor Johnson forward seemed to pay off for the Tigers in the second quarter, with Braddon Kazakoff booting back-to-back goals in his first game of the year and second-gamer Michael Hansen getting among the scoreboard.
Allen booted his (and Halls Head’s) fourth late in the term to cut the margin to nine points at the half.
His inspiring performance kept motoring in the third, where he showed his class with a snap around the body from 30 metres out finding its way through the goal to bring the Lightning within five in the opening minutes.
But the return of premiership midfielder Robert Beswick proved a welcome one for the Tigers, as he teamed up with Robert Bird to help Pinjarra get on top around the contest.
Their efforts helped Rory O’Brien boot his first of the evening, and he scored again early in the fourth to give Pinjarra a comfortable lead.
Allen jailed his sixth and final goal of the night in the dying minutes, but it wasn’t enough to stop Pinjarra running the game out with a 26-point win.