A tough day for the Sandy Rovers as a club today.
Div 2 suffered a very big loss to Ormond in their first game up a division.
Div 1…bad luck boys…we couldn’t ask for much more of you.
At the beginning of the season when we had a confirmed number of 51 players across both squads, we would have thought they were comfortable numbers. Sadly, we did not expect the number of injuries and unavailabilities each week. I, for one, also did not factor in the effect of Saturday school footy on our wonderful boys.
Today, Div 2 had 17 boys (with some under 15 inclusions) and Div 1 had 18…clearly not enough.
Northvale had won 4 out of 4 in Div 2 and were hell-bent on making their mark in Div 1. Our boys were reminded of their stellar performance against the top team last week and what it took to produce such a stellar performance. A tough, tight first quarter saw both teams goalless but we had the strong wind in the second quarter and were able to kick away to a two goal lead at half time, thanks to a couple of freakish goals to Max Hanna.
After the main break, with the aid of the strong breeze, Northvale was able to kick away to a comfortable 4 goal lead at three quarter time. It was evident we had slowed down, we were tired, we were struggling to man-up and give repeated contests.
Tom Maginness, after manfully controlling the ruck for three quarters, came off the ground with a bruised and very swollen right eye…we were down to 17 men.
A supreme effort was called for at the three quarter time break, and this wonderful group of lads responded…one man down, yet we outscored Northvale and absolutely peppered the goals for a return of only 2 goals, to eventually go down by 7 points.
Bad luck boys…a wonderful effort, especially in the last quarter when some boys had been labouring after having played the day before and we were down to 17.
We asked for tackles and we had 71 (our most for the season) with 11 to Jackson Courtney and 10 to Zac Watson…sensational.
Sadly, we had 5 or 6 set shots from directly in front of goal today that missed…unforgivable and costly.
Harrison Boys: one of our gutsiest players who repeatedly gives his all and most importantly does all of the things we ask…great game Boysey
Michael Garbelotto: outstanding game in the backline for 3 quarters and then dominated the ruck in the last quarter…nearly dragged us over the line
Max Hanna: 3 sensational goals and looked dangerous every time the ball came near him
James Hardeman: worked hard all day to finish with 20 disposals and 6 tackles but most importantly stepped up after half time and had a sensational last quarter
Jacob Travers: a stellar game at CHB…played tall yet again and finished with 9 marks
Special mentions: Nick Van der Linden – 33 disposals and all class; Cam Morris – another great solid game at half back; James Larkworthy – terrific target at CHF and excellent ball use
There were more and we so nearly pulled off a remarkable come back from down and out.
We still badly need to work on our skills as we butchered the ball on many occasions although it was once again pleasing to see us attempt to switch play and find space. Let’s keep working hard because the results will come.