It doesn’t get much more mid-winter than the 23 July, and at 9am at Boss James it was cold with a gusty wind favouring the club house end. However the ground conditions were perfect and remain the envy of other clubs in the competition. The pregame message was about reinforcing self-belief and the need regain the determination at each and every contest. Skipper Maxie C had the steely look in his eyes as he led the boys onto the field.
We were kicking against what was expected to be a 1-2 goal breeze and from the first bounce it was evident that the fierceness to the contest had returned, as did the productive ball movement led by Kai who had early treatment for leather poisoning. Ted was making sure the ball did not get past the defensive arc, whose opponent on the day would concede was well beaten in the contested footy department. The footy remained hotly contested as it was locked in our forward line, where Brodie took an early mark and had shot for goal that just fell short. Soon after it was Josh N who pounced on the loose ball playing his crumbing role to perfection to slot through the first major for the team. St Bedes then went forward for the first time of the match only to be thwarted by Maxie C who gained front position on his opponent. Ben S after some early touches up on the wing streamed forward, and found the ball in his hands within vicininty of the goals and pierced the middle. After dominating most of the quarter St Bedes did manage to get a cheap goal over the back against the run of play that disappointed the coaches
The Rovers seemed to step it up another notch in the 2nd quarter, initially through Kylebreaking the lines and driving the ball long clearing the congestion. Maso was giving inches if not a foot to his opposite ruckmen but was hitting the contest hard, and followed up with 2nd and third efforts, one of which led to a long range goal. There was to be no easy release from our forward zone in this quarter thanks to forward pressure of Jensen, and it was great to see Chevi strong in the contest. Archie’s ferocity at the ball was defining for his team, with his burst running through the middle setting up several scoring opportunities for his team. Lucaswas leading well and marked and goaled with authority, but it was hard work to win the loose ball in the pocket that led to some Elliot brilliance a snapped goal from the pocket that really pleased the coaches.
The Rovers came out from the half time break a little flat it seemed, and St Bedes sensed this and dominated for much of the quarter and posted a goal after an easy mark, that was followed by an accumulation of behinds. Oli H tried to reignite his team from half back with his 3 bounce run on the far side that caught the eye of the Rovers fans, in what was a rare clearance from our defensive half for the quarter. If it wasn’t for the effort of Louis who made every aerial contest, tackling work of Josh B and the groundwork pressure of Jake T then the scoreboard margin would have been further eroded. We went forward late in the quarter searching for a steadier coming to 3/4 time, but as the siren sounded it was evident we had allowed the opposition back into the contest and the game was far from over.
Luke’s marking prowess came to fore in the last quarter with an early high mark at half forward, soon followed by another one grab mark closer to goal where he gave his team some scoreboard breathing space. Jack C had a late run on the ball and won some contested footy, as did James who won an important 1 on 1 contest leading to the ball being sent deep into the forward line. Jacky G has a habit of bobbing up for consecutive goals and he did again reading the ball beautifully from the deep forward entries to seal the deal for the Rovers. The song was sung with plenty of gusto, in much the same manner as we played the game, and we’re hoping the game provides a launching pad for the remainder of the season.
Ash & Sean