The seniors put in an improved performance but still were not able to overcome top 4 side Old Scotch. The reserves were no match at all but the Under 19s had a very good win against a competitive Peninsula Old Boys. The School team has finished for the year.
Old Haileybury’s winless streak at home extended to six consecutive games following a loss to Old Scotch by 14 points last Saturday. Nevertheless the Bloods made the Cardinals work hard for the result and there was never more than a few goals separating the two sides for most of the match.
Those present experienced a few breaks of sunshine early on but it soon there was a full cover of thick cloud. A fairly stiff breeze prevailed from the north-west. The Bloods kicked against the wind in the first term. The early passages of play were scrappy as both sides adjusted to the conditions. Josh Dawson made his presence felt with plenty of early touches. Old Scotch registered the first goal of the game. Nathan Waite then marked strongly in the pocket on the clubroom side of the ground and followed up with a goal. Shortly afterwards Jarrod Plymin executed a neat pass to John Nicolopoulos who was loose in the opposite pocket. Pop ran in and scored an easy goal.
Great commitment was shown by the Bloods when contesting the ball but there was a lack of system going forward. Unfortunately Lachie Treverton was cleaned up in a marking contest at centre half back and was forced off the ground with what initially appeared to be a debilitating injury. He was soon back on though and the Bloods had all the momentum in the last ten minutes of the quarter which resulted in goals to Alfie Woltering and Pop. Old Haileybury held a slender four point lead at the first break.
Old Scotch booted the first goal of the second quarter. Adam Weekes then scored a major from a set shot after receiving a pass from Lachy Nash. The Cardinals then went coast to coast for a goal. The game was nip and tuck but the Bloods struggled to take full advantage of the breeze and establish a stranglehold on proceedings. Nick Gooda kicked a fine long goal to a vacant goal square in what was a rare highlight. Mitch Rafferty was a stand-out in defence.
It was notable that Old Scotch switched play across their half-back line at every opportunity before working the ball forward. They did enough through the term to snatch a narrow two point lead at half time.
Both sides came out hard in the third quarter and the early exchanges amounted to an arm wrestle. Scoring was difficult but the Cardinals again booted the first six-pointer and began to generate some momentum. The boys from Camberwell had several shots at goal. Old Haileybury’s skills and poise dropped off a little and some uncharacteristic undisciplined play led to 25 metre penalties being awarded against the Bloods. This led to Old Scotch kicking two relatively easy goals.
John Nicolopoulos and Josh Dawson booted Haileybury’s only two goals for the term. Old Scotch kicked 4.5 and extended their lead to 19 points by the time the siren sounded.
The Bloods were unable to pull off a win despite restricting Old Scotch to 1.3 in the last quarter. Pop and Adam Weekes both scored majors. Supply to Haileybury’s forward line was not as precise as it may have been. The Cardinals reached a point where they started to play possession football to wind down the clock. In the end they did enough to grind out a win.
Old Haileybury hosts AJAX at Princes Park on Saturday. This will be the last home game for the Bloods in 2016. Should be interesting.
Goal Kickers: J. Nicolopoulos 4, A. Weekes 2, A. Woltering, N. Gooda, J. Dawson, N. Waite
Best Players: M. Rafferty, A. Budge, J. Paul, J. Dawson, N. Gooda, J. Nicolopoulos
Old Haileybury’s Reserves were completely overwhelmed by Old Scotch who sit a game clear on top of the ladder. Keelan Hartnett stood tall in the circumstances and managed to slot 3 goals.
Goal Kickers: K. Hartnett 3, T. Tyrell
Best Players: J. Alkemade, M. Quiambao, C. Faulkner, A. Thorley, K. Hartnett, S. Ellis
Under 19s (Round 17 review)
The Young Bloods are two games clear at the top of their Division after their solid away win against Peninsula OB. The team continues to work hard at playing consistent footy at a high level while adapting to opposition tactics and tricky conditions. Coach Mick Constable was very pleased with Saturday’s result as his report indicates.
On Saturday the Under 19s took on Peninsula OB at Peninsula School. We rated them as potential grand finalists. They play some very strong football around the packs which, if they get going, can be very hard to stop.
When we met earlier in the year they wiped out our 23 point half-time lead in a quarter and we had to dig very deep after being down by 7 points early in the last quarter to win by 7 points in what was a very hard, physical match. We fielded one of our strongest teams of the year this week as most boys are back from holidays now but it was great to see that Josh Elston was selected again in the firsts after a good match up there the week before. It was good to have Oli back in after missing a few weeks with a hammy issue.
Captain Jack had a rare loss of the toss and we were kicking into the steady breeze in the first quarter. Despite being keen to start well, we were second to the ball for the first 10 minutes, gave away free kicks rather than earning them and lacked the hardness that was required early. As a result we were three goals down within 10 minutes with the opposition kicking a couple of goals from out near the boundary. Midway through the first quarter we lifted our intensity and as a result we had them under more pressure which created opportunities for us. A hard-fought goal into the wind by Brodie Steele helped steady the ship and narrow the gap to an 11 point deficit at quarter time. The boys had worked hard to get themselves back into the match after looking decidedly ordinary earlier in the quarter. Will Paul, despite being a Year 12 student, led the way by showing the boys how to get the hard ball.
The second was a really good quarter where we kicked 5.5 with the wind while conceding two goals. More importantly we sustained our pressure around the contested ball and when we won possession we kicked to the right spots on the ground given the crosswind. Ari was on fire all over the ground but his small forward crumbing work off Durras Seccull’s really strong aerial contesting was fantastic. Ben Oakes stepped up a gear and kicked a couple of really important goals and Max Fisher kicked a wonderful goal on the run that lifted the whole team. Charlie Constable’s move into the midfield helped stifle the power the opposition had around the contest. He laid some strong tackles and flipped the ball out of dispute on several occasions. Old Haileybury was 10 points up and half time but it felt as though Peninsula had used up a lot of petrol to stay that close to us.
The Bloods played a very strong and disciplined into the wind premiership quarter. Keeping the ball predominantly in the defensive part of the ground allowed us to gather numbers and we began to break them down around the contest then release some good running and linking play. The opposition was running out of gas and they racked up a few injuries along the way. The entire back line played a strong game of team football with Hamish Bignall demonstrating some great desperate defensive work in particular including landing the tackle of the day in a one-on-one situation. A 3 goal to 1 into the wind effort was outstanding and we had increased the lead to 22 points at three quarter time with a tail wind to take advantage of in the final term.
A good 5 to goal to no score last quarter sealed the deal nicely with the Bloods getting over fourth placed Peninsula by 53 points. Overall it was a very good team win with all players playing their role to absorb, then break down a pretty physical and chirpy opposition. Across all parts of the ground I thought we were very good. Plenty of opposition supporter banter increased the decibel readings on the song nicely as well.
Next week we take on second place AJAX in the last home and away game before finals. They are a much heavier and stronger team than us so our combination of pressure around the contested ball and lateral fast ball movement to wear them out (particularly their man mountain ruckman) will be critical for us if we are to outplay them over the day.
Hope to see you there for our 9:20am game at Princes Park.
Goal Kickers: B. Oakes 4, A. Ventouras 3, B. Steele 2, M. Fisher, C. Constable, W. Stock, D. Seccull, M. Charlesworth
Best Players: A. Ventouras, B. Oakes, J. Munro, W. Paul, J. Hurley, O. Sharpe