The highlight of the day was the Under 19s getting over the top of the second placed team away from home. The Seniors had 2 more scoring shots but still lost by 23 points at Mentone. As often happens the team that kicks accurately when they have the wind is the team that wins. The reserves were unable to keep with the St Bedes boys. The Haileybury 1st XVIII had a win in their last game for the year.
Old Haileybury turned up to the Brindisi Street Oval to play St Bedes/Mentone Tigers last Saturday having been decimated by injury during the preceding week. Out of the side were Ned Sturrock, Ed Limon, Shane Valenti, Corey Connelly and Connor Riley. Replacing them were Peter Shakallis, Nick Gooda, Alfie Woltering, Josh Elston and Nathan Hunter. Nathan made his senior debut for the Bloods.
The conditions at Brindisi Street had to be experienced to be believed. The light was good despite a great deal of cloud but the howling northerly gale was brutal and unrelenting. The wind felt as if it was coming straight off a polar ice cap. There wasn’t blade of green grass on the oval and all the line markings were blue. The track was firm though which was welcome in the circumstances.
The Bloods kicked with the wind in the first term and snagged the first goal thanks to a fine mark and set shot by Alfie. The team racked up plenty of early possessions. After registering three early goals the Bloods started peppering the sticks. Several kick-ins from St Bedes backmen sailed straight out of play when kicked too close to the western boundary. Jimmy Paul broke the drought with a sublime six-pointer that he curled in with the wind and promptly set up Josh Elston for his first goal in senior footy with a pinpoint pass. It became clear fairly quickly that the side able to score goals against the wind would be the one most likely to win. St Bedes/Mentone Tigers scored one goal for the quarter and the Bloods booted 5.7.
Scoring in the second quarter opened with a behind to the Bloods. It was to be the only addition to their tally before the main break. Meanwhile the boys from Mentone piled on three quick goals and began to work their way back into the contest. Haileybury were desperate in defence. Aaron Toy worked extremely hard through the middle. There were plenty of smothers but the pressure being exerted by the team dropped off a little and scoring opportunities for the side were rare. At half-time the Bloods trailed by 13 points.
The Bloods added four quick behinds after play re-commenced in the third term when goals were required if they were to have any chance of defending a decent lead in the last quarter. It was difficult for either side to develop any flow. The ball spent a great deal of time rebounding back and forth between the defences. If anything the wind strengthened during this time. Daniel Harrison marked just about every kick that came his way (and there were plenty of them). Lachie Treverton also racked up plenty of possessions. Old Haileybury added 2.7 to lead by five points by the time the siren sounded. The Tigers had managed to add a solitary behind to their half-time score.
St Bedes used the wind and their home ground advantage in the last quarter to boot 4.6. They began spreading and running the ball confidently. Turnovers were costly for the Bloods who could add only two behinds in the difficult conditions. The Tigers ran out winners by 23 points.
There is a bye next week so take the time to soak up the Olympics (instead of the rain). The Bloods face Old Scotch at home on 13 August.
|St Bedes/Mentone Tigers||1.0-6||8.3-51||8.4-52||10.12-82|
Goal Kickers: A. Woltering 2, J. Nicolopoulos 2, J. Elston 2, J. Paul 1
Best Players: A. Toy, D. Harrison, J. Paul, L. Treverton, J. Elston, L. Nash
The Twos were overpowered by a rampant St Bedes/Mentone Tigers outfit. The Bloods battled on bravely and, instead of surrendering meekly, booted four goals straight in the final quarter.
Goal Kickers: C. Faulkner 2, T. Coles, A. Godfrey, J. Pickford, T. Tyrell, J. Derks
Best Players: N. Harrison, J. Pickford, T. Coles, C. Faulkner, J. Alkemade, S. Ellis
In the face of distractions like a gale-force wind and low-flying jumbo jets, the Young Bloods won their twelfth game of the season – wearing green jumpers! Coach Mick Constable was particularly impressed with the last quarter effort of his charges. His report follows.
We took on PEGS at their playing fields in Keilor Park which is conveniently located under the flight path for Tullamarine’s International terminal and among an assortment of factories. I suspect it will be a future site for wind turbines which, based on Saturdays conditions, should be sufficient to power most of the city’s future electricity needs. The regular low-level fly-by of A380 planes was a nice touch organised by PEGS to try to inspire their team which was third on the ladder to take on the Bloods who are ladder leaders.
The Bloods’ last two games have seen poor starts so we were keen to begin positively. Captain Jack won the toss and decided to kick with the wind but unfortunately we didn’t start well and PEGS were generally first to the ball, more aggressive, and ran harder. However, after about 10 minutes and the landing of QF1 from LA, the boys started to switch on. Their intensity lifted and we worked our way back into the match. PEGS started to do more defending than attacking. At quarter time we led by only 14 points (3.2 to 1 goal) which was probably half of what it should have been given the strength of the wind. I was really happy with the second quarter efforts into the wind where we kicked one goal, and held them to 3 goals for the quarter which meant we were 1 point up at half-time. More importantly, our efforts across the ground were much better and we had worked hard to overcome the less than optimal start to the game.
I thought the direction and style of play in the third quarter with the wind was actually very good given the conditions but kicking the ball through the big sticks was proving difficult. We played a simpler game style (less handballs) and kicked to better positions which meant we looked like scoring more often. Despite dominating the quarter, we only kicked 3 goals 8 points to no score to lead by 27 points which was very gettable for PEGS in the last quarter. Our composure in the forward line is getting better but we need to keep working on holding the ball from a free kick or mark until a good option presents.
Our last quarter into the wind effort was a ripper with all 18 on field players members sticking to the plan and working the ball continuously to the dead side of the ground and just playing tough, uncompromising, down the line, contested football. For PEGS to score they had to switch from near the boundary line which under pressure and in the wind created opportunities for us to score on the rebound. The first score came at the 10 minute mark and they were able to score only 1.2 for the quarter which meant we won by 21 points.
Ben Oakes played well in the forward line for two quarters and was inspirational down back for two quarters against the wind in what was a best on ground performance. His attack on the ball set a great example to all on the field. Joel Constable’s effort helped us stay in the match early and he continued to rack up plenty of hard ball stats across the day. Donny continued his hard nut approach to the ball and played a really strong game. His only fault so far is failing to get any uncontested ball at all this season! Jamie gave plenty all day and did well to play out the match despite a damaged shoulder. Jack Munro showed plenty of class despite the wind and a proppy knee, Rayner continued his fine form, Ari competed hard and was smart with his into the wind positioning and play, Declan persevered despite being quite sick and Brodie again showed great desperation and aggression at the ball and played a beauty.
Our umpire discipline was excellent except for one act of retaliation. We need to keep being really good here as it will make a difference in the pressure games coming up.
This was a really important win for us in that it takes us to 2 games plus percentage on top with 3 rounds to go but we have plenty to work on with our game. On the positive side, the last two weeks have been very windy and I think our into the wind play has been really good which are handy skills to have.
Goal Kickers: J. Munro 2, J. Hurley 2, B. Oakes 2, J. Cain
Best Players: B. Oakes, L. Montgomery, B. Steele, J. Constable, A. Ventouras, R. Seccull
Haileybury 1st XVIII
In the last game for the year the Haileybury boys had a good win against old rivals Wesley at Wesley. The team finished 6th (equal 5th with Scotch but lost on countback) with 6 wins for the season. Brighton won again (3rd year in a row) with 9 wins despite losing on the weekend.
Goal Kickers: Ross 4, Battle 2, Brayshaw 2, Clavarind 1, Constable 1, Pedder 1
Best Players: Brayshaw, Searle, Paul, Dalmay, Gains, Scrimshaw