Footy returns from school holidays in a first versus second clash that our boys have been steadily building towards over the past month. Captains for the day were Stefan and Robbie.
There were some concerning signs early today – unfortunately we lost James C in the warm-up with a hamstring strain. We then lost the toss and had to kick into the wind in the first term. The quarter got underway and we walked into an all-out assault by East Malvern, who were proving why they are sitting top of the ladder. The ball barely got past the centre circle for the whole first quarter as our boys struggled to get out of holiday mode.
Matt C and Ollie M battled hard to repel East Malvern, whilst Will continued his good form of late and stood tall. Peter was in everything, getting his hands on the ball and laying some big tackles in what was to be an outstanding individual game. Jack Mc did his best to move the ball up the field but to little avail. Nate was another who was putting his body on the line and laid some good tackles.
Fours goals down at quarter time created a hill we were going to have to climb if we were to grab the points. The second quarter was a much more competitive affair. We were much more accountable, and we probably won the quarter in terms of controlling the play, but without hitting the scoreboard.
Will and Peter continued their good form, whilst Sidney was also having a real crack, playing off the half back flank in a rebounding role. Stef moved into the ruck, Mitch stepped into the backline to help tighten us up and James B was starting to look dangerous up forward. We managed to wrestle momentum back towards us and prevented East Malvern from scoring a goal.
We headed back into the wind in the third quarter knowing the job would be in front of us but encouraged by the memory of having kicked a bag of goals against the same opposition into a stronger wind only 5 rounds ago.
Unfortunately, the quarter didn’t pan out that way. East Malvern are a well structured and disciplined side. We found out we only need to be off our game a little and we would be punished on the scoreboard. East Malvern put another four goals on for the quarter as we lost our way.
Peter continued to run and chase and harass. His tackling ability belies his size and is becoming a bigger part of his game every week. Sidney worked hard, Will was intercept marking and doing his best to keep the opposition at bay and was supported by Matt C who was also giving his all down back. James P was trying hard, I was forced to play him in some unplanned positions as we tried to plug some holes.
We headed into the last with the game pretty well gone. The focus was to forget the scoreboard, see if we could take the momentum and finish off by winning the quarter.
The boys to their credit took this challenge on and delivered. It was a pleasing finish to the game. Although we didn’t reach the standard of play we have over the past month, it was pleasing to see the boys play the game out and not drop their heads. Niko showed some good body work in the last quarter, Matty G fought the game out, as did both Ollie and Mitch.
Jack Mc continued to work hard and get his hands on the ball. Matt C also played the game out well. We threw Will into the ruck in the last quarter and he continued to shine. He used his size and athleticism to great effect and ran the game out to the very end. Peter ran out one of his best games for the year and Sidney continued to give 110% all the way to the end.
We kicked two goals to none in the final quarter. The first was kicked by James B after marking the ball from a pass by Bailey M. The second was kicked by Ollie M after a great bit of roving from a ball up 15 metres out from our goal.
Momentum is a very important thing in football. Hopefully we can start the next game in the same vain as the way we finished off today’s game. School’s back, routine kicks in – including footy training.
Note to everyone that we are not training at Castlefield at the moment due to the state of the ground. Watch TeamStuff but I believe training will be at William Street Reserve – Corner of William and Halifax Streets, Brighton.
Let’s keep enjoying our footy and the company of our mates.
Hampton Rovers – Best Mates!
BTW – Boys make sure you touch your football 100 times each day!!