Super sub Hunt delivers victory
IPSWICH Knights footballer Ben Hunt has long been one of the handiest players on the field.
Since joining the club aged 16, he's been fast, fearless and creative.
As a senior team player, he's been a regular goal scorer.
He proved that yesterday - as a super sub.
Hunt, 28, netted the match-winning goal in the Knights' gritty 2-1 victory over North Star on a wet surface at Bundamba.
Given Hunt's record of reliability, that would usually be something expected of the former Australian futsal player. However, yesterday's circumstances were completely different.
It was Hunt's first game for the Brisbane Premier League side this season, helping out a team struggling for quality players and in conditions becoming more suited to mud wrestling.
The Knights were without suspended skipper Igor Sao Jose and two of its best defenders Jonas Rasmussen and Alistair Wallis.
A number of players were carrying injuries, stretching the Knights bench to its limit.
But as soon as he came onto the field with 20 minutes to go, Hunt made an impact. His timely goal lifted the team and the talented player.
"It was my first time in the top team and I've sort of being staying out of it a bit, just taking it a bit casually,'' Hunt said.
"There's so much quality this year at the club and that's why it never really fussed me about going for the top team.
"But now I'll try and get a spot back. I'm hungry again.''
Before yesterday's match, Hunt had scored two goals in nine Reserve-grade matches after thoughts of having a season off.
Yesterday, he was glad he delayed the weekend camping trip with wife Lailey and his two daughters until after the football season.
With coach Mark Dykman desperate for a winning spark, Hunt capitalised on the hard work upfront by Peter Hinks, an unlucky Keita Furvie and returning striker Mitch Davis.
"Hinksy put a great ball through and the keeper came out,'' Hunt said of weaving around the last line of defence to calmly score his goal.
Furvie had put the Knights 1-0 up earlier in the second half after a number of near misses.
Hunt's goal kept the Knights hopes of top four spot alive.
"The field was really heavy, you couldn't play the way you normally do,'' he said.
"You've got to adjust to every ball. But everyone worked well.''
State of Play
National Premier League: Northern Fury 2 (Alex Read, Michael Eisenhut) d Western Pride 0.
Brisbane Premier League: Ipswich Knights 2 (Keita Furvie, Ben Hunt) d North Star 1. Reserves: North Star 4 d Ipswich Knights 1 (James MacArthur).
Capital League 1: Pine Rivers d Western Spirit 8-0. Reserves: Pine Rivers d Western Spirit 2-0.
Capital League 2: Ipswich City 6 (Zygan Condie 2, Ben Robson 2, Liam Mercer, Chris Heidler) d Park Ridge 3. Reserves: Park Ridge d Ipswich City 3-0.
SEQ Diamond League: The Gap 5 (Leah Curtis 3, Maili Forbes, Victoria Stephenson) d Ipswich Knights 0.