The Bloods went down to top side St Bernards after a dismal second quarter. The Hearts got off to a slow start but were too good for Rovers while an undermanned Ressies team were soundly beaten.
Nick Gooda led the team out for his 100th game for the club. The “Snakepit” looked more like a sandpit as the effects of winter become apparent. The OHAFC luncheon crew had tasted and reviewed another opposition lunch and everyone was ready for action.
Plymo started on ball and was immediately in the action racking up 5 possessions in as many minutes. With Shak absent, Plymo was the designated heavy lifter at the clearances. As is customary these days, it soon became apparent that the hosts were a side that liked to spread so it was important that they didn’t get too many easy possessions. The intensity was there from the boys but they were finding it hard to make tackles stick. St Bernards appeared to have the upper hand with our avenues to goal being thwarted. They were moving the ball better and our shots on goal were invariably rushed. Billy Mackay, still in Year 11, soon showed he had the attributes to play at this level, getting a few early possessions. We hadn’t scored a major in the first stanza so would need to lift our game.
The second quarter was a bit of a train wreck and the less said the better. St Bernards players were allowed too many easy possessions and hence completely dictated terms. The only highlight was Billy Mackay (you have to use both names) registering his first major for the club, coolly slotting one from 40 metres out. The boys got around him in a rare highlight for the quarter.
Entry to the change rooms was strictly invitation only and there weren’t too many handed out. What was handed out was a spray not heard since paint has been applied to walls. Supporters, enjoying the St Bernards’ afternoon tea, (ours is still ranked No 1) had their drinks lapping the brim from the reverberations. But it worked as a different side emerged from the rooms.
It all started with a different approach to the tackling. There was more menace and they began to stick. This put pressure on the ball carrier and the snowdogs didn’t look so ferocious. This led to more opportunities for the likes of Sam Algeri, Gledders and Jimmy Paul. There was more movement in the forward line as Pop and Corey Connelly began to get into the game. Jordan Donnelly and Mitch Rafferty tightened up on their respective wings and also gathered important possessions. Trevo was joined by Durras Seccull in the taking strong marks category. It was a much-improved effort and so while a victory was unlikely, some pride had been restored. The honors for the quarter had been shared. The young backline had stood up well, led by Tom Rogerson, Callum Searle and Thommo at full back. They were benefitting from the pressure being exerted up the ground as the ball wasn’t being delivered laces up.
The last quarter was a continuation of the third. We more than matched the hosts and with a little more luck in front of goal (6 posters for the game), it could have been tighter. Durras continued to take strong marks across the half forward line and Nicho had the burners on across the backline and wing.
In a positive for the team, we clearly won the last quarter with St Bernards not kicking a goal, again highlighting the fighting spirit of the backline in particular. Billy MacKay found plenty of the ball in a promising debut so there were some positives to take away. We just need to maintain the intensity for four quarters and take our chances in front of goal. Most importantly, the boys need to believe that with the right application, we are more than capable of knocking off all the other teams.
Next week we return to PP, where we take on AJAX in a must-win game.
Goal Kickers: D. Seccull 3, C. Connelly, W. Mackay, J. Nicolopoulos
Best Players: T. Rogerson, P. Gleadhill, A. Toy, W. Mackay, D. Seccull, J. Munro
The Ressies were soundly beaten by St Bernards, struggling to combat a shortage of players through injury and unavailability. The only bright spot was from Liam Kirkwood Scott, another lad from the school, who acquitted himself well. Another son of Haileybury royalty.
Goal Kickers: J. Elston, J. Hurley
Best Players: J. Elston, L. Montgomery, D. Forster, C. Seccull, T. Williamson, L. Kirkwood Scott
The Hearts put in a terrific performance on Saturday kicking its highest score for the season against Hampton Rovers. Despite starting slow (6 points down at quarter time) the Hearts kicked 11 goals in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to record a very impressive win. A few subtle tweaks in the game plan – Coach Danny Frawley was extremely pleased with the smooth ball movement during the game and all players contributed.
Sarah Casey returned from VFL duties kicking 4 goals in a Best on Ground performance – whether that was on-ball of up forward – her game was outstanding. Sarah was ably assisted by 2 of our most consistent players for the season Frances Land and Jordan Shanks who each kicked 4 also. Chelsea Frawley competed amazingly well to assist those around her in the forward line (nearly steam-rolled the umpire early in the game !!)
Taylor Vines-Chapple played a terrific game with her overhead marking being a stand-out and her ability to run and carry gave our forwards first use of the footy and resulted in our scoring increasing this week. The mid-fielders Dannielle Frawley, Romy Teubler, Pulli Gardiyawasam, and Pia Hatt were given great supply from our tireless ruckman Samantha Stewart who set the standard for the game.
The defence played a terrific game led by Charlotte Russo, Courtney Coulter, Maya Bennett, Georgie Janssen, Lauren Oliver, Hannah Pastore and with great support from Ellen Russell (who took a terrific mark on the last line of defence – herface expression was priceless when she realised the ball had stuck)……well done Ellen!!
Thanks to Phillipa Harrison who filled in for the week and she showed her true class and worked her way beautifully into the game.
The Hearts still must fight for a finals spot with 4 games remaining for the season. Need to win 3 of our last 4 games to be a certainty for the finals.
Overall our best performance for the season and we need to maintain that standard when we come up against Old Brighton this Saturday in a possible early final for the team.
Old Haileybury 1.2-8 7.3-45 12.3-75 15.8-98
Hampton Rovers 2.2-14 3.3-21 4.5-29 5.5-35
Goal Kickers: F. Land 4, J. Shanks 4, S. Casey 4, R. Teubler, A. Fletcher, T. Vines-Chapple
Best Players: S. Casey, J. Shanks, F. Land, A. Fletcher, T. Vines-Chapple, D. Frawley
The next luncheon takes place on the 14th of July when the Bloods play Monash and the Hearts Scotch. This is a freebie for members and only $30 for everyone else. We will make an announcement about an exciting guest speaker shortly. But no need for an announcement regarding the delicious grub that will be on offer.
In other social news, don’t forget to book your spot at the Goods & Services Night on the 21st of July. It is being held at Brighton Baths with a live band, food along with the opportunity to pick up a bargain amongst the silent auction items. Tickets are only $50 and can be purchased here – https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=378147&
And for those looking further ahead you will be excited to know that Lawrence Mooney will be returning to the stage for the Grand Final Breakfast. He blew us away a few years ago so we are really looking forward to his return. Further details will be relayed as we get closer to the date.