Sunday the 15th July saw the return of Footy for the U17 Sandy-Rovers after a 2-week absence for the school holidays.
With the boys rested up and eager to launch into the final few home and away games of the season, our opposition came in the form of Murrumbeena. In our previous meeting (back in round 4), it was a fairly close contest but an emergency with Beau forced play to halt while awaiting the Ambulance – ultimately the game was finished early. Due to this occurrence, Murrumbeena we knew, would be out to grab their revenge and push hard for a victory on their home turf.
The match began in swirling conditions with the southern end of the ground being favourable with the wind. A choice to start against the wind was made and the first quarter got underway. Much like other weeks, a familiar problem seemed to set in for the Rovers as well as our opposition, with inaccuracy in front of goal prominent. The first term score line being 1 goal straight to 2 goals 5 behinds in favour of Murrumbeena.
The second term saw the Rovers gain the advantage of the heavy wind and had most of the play inside our attacking half however scoring goals still didn’t come so easily as we struggled to hit the score board effectively, kicking just 1 goal 4 behinds to a scoreless Murrumbeena and ending the half with a 2 point deficit. The opportunity to capitalise on the favouring winds lost.
After some fluids and oranges the boys headed out for the second half, again confronting difficult conditions against the wind. Unfortunately for the Sandy-Rovers, our defensive pressure we had showcased in the first half went out the window as Murrumbeena piled on 3 goals, 8 behinds to our low 1 goal 2 behind quarter. Extending their lead to a healthy 20-point deficit at the final break. In a low scoring affair in swirly conditions, this was actually a decent lead.
The final quarter unluckily for the Sandy-Rovers, which went very much the same as the 2nd term. Wanting to come home strongly with the wind, we had a lot of the footy but poor decision-making and skill effectiveness hindered any opportunity for us to get back into the match. Murrumbeena ran out 13 point victors in a game where we felt like we should have been far more competitive. Our tackling pressure was good all day but our inability to clear the ball quickly and cleanly from congestion hurt us dearly.
Despite the disappointing result for us, there were some great individual performances including a best on ground display from Lachie Fraser who had the midfield alight along with another teammate in Aussie Parker who ran hard and racked up countless possessions around the ground. Lastly, Tom McKinley whose rebound plays in the midfield and off the half back flank was unmatched all day. Outstanding football fellas!!
So, we now look forward to next Sunday in another away fixture against South Melbourne who will certainly be a good test for our lads as we look to build momentum for a possible finals berth.
I hope to see everyone at training on Thursday because as I said after the game we have fair but to work on.