After a resounding win against CHOGS last time out, our boys were up for a sterner test this week. PMSM have themselves smashed CHOGS by the same wide margin (98) that we did and have a reputation of playing a tough brand of footy. We were also without our ‘tough nut’ Ethan who moved up for a run in Div 2, add to that the fact that we had no bench, a crook Will Tuffley and Sam Palmer playing despite having a very sore back, the day was always going to require extra character and commitment.
On the up side, the weather conditions were perfect with high cloud, next to no wind and plenty of willing support. To counter that, the oval at Peterson Reserve is small and has a synthetic wicket in the middle, so not the best for big U15 man boys.
Q1. The game started at a fast pace with both teams playing clean footy. So clean that points were hard to come by whereas goals were a plenty. Tuffley (already not feeling 100%) was tackled so high that his resplendent red head band twanged to the ground – his flowing locks were ruffled but his aim was true and he fired in a major from the resulting penalty. Presley McLeish got on the score sheet early (it wouldn’t be the last time) and Jack Kennedy dribbled a grubber from 40 out. At Quarter time scores were (3.0) 18 vs (5.1) 31.
Q2. The pace went up a notch as did the ‘chat’ on the park (not much of it suitable for print) and the accuracy slid to a more normal balance of majors and minors. Benjo Wells was hard at it as was Shahaf Epstein, mopping up the ball in the middle and moving us forward. Jorge Houridis brought his no nonsense tackling to the party too. Charlie Clarkson, Presley McLeish and Jack Kennedy all goaled but at half time we were down (6.3) 39 vs (9.4) 58
The boys were a little quiet at half-time. Ryan drilled in the key lessons from the 1st half concentrating on winning the ball. PMSM had just been more hungry than us and hence had the lead. But our heads didn’t drop and the boys steeled themselves for a make or break 3rd quarter
Q3. What a HUGE effort right across the park! We dominated possession and camped for long periods in our forward 50. The rewards were not as forthcoming as we deserved with a swag of behinds rather than goals, but we should be very proud of the resolve and passion that the boys displayed. PMSM were clearly frustrated – a late tackle and head knock on Presley McLeish in particular caused some concern. With our forward push strategy comes the risk of an exposed back 50 and PMSM did manage to snag a few quick goals against the run of play. ¾ time (8.12) 60 vs (11.7) 73
Q4. The boys were beginning to tire and PMSM, with a deeper bench, had a little more run and snagged a few easy goals but we certainly didn’t make it easy for them. By the end of the quarter, Jorge had scored and Presley McLeish had bagged another 2 – taking his personal tally to 4 for the game.
Final Score (11.14) 80 vs (16.8) 104
Well done to the boys and the coaches – a tough game, where the boys were asked to dig deep and dig deep they did.
Benjo Wells, Presley Evans, Jack Kennedy, Presley McLeish
Hard Nut: Benjo Wells.