After two solid training sessions either side of last weekend’s bye, the boys were ready and raring to go on our home track in perfect conditions. St Kilda were always going to be a tough opponent however and from the onset they put the pressure on our backline as they executed multiple entries forward. Our backs were more than up to the task with Parker marking and rebounding with his run and carry on multiple occasions. Mannix and Thomas also came to the party down back, negating their opponents and sending the ball back our way. Isaacs steadying mark summed up the way in which our backs had gone about it. Spurred on by this effort our mids lifted and started winning the contested ball count. Our captain for the day, Anthony set the standard for our mids with his attack on the ball while Harry and Finns tackling was ferocious. Despite playing up from the under 8s to help us with our numbers, Leo and Charlie looked right at home mixing it with the older boys as they won plenty of their own ball. As the pressure mounted, it was time for our forwards to cash in. Another one of our under 8s, James, also looked at home playing with the bigger boys and slotted our first major for the day. Eddie, who’d opened our account with a point earlier was not to be outdone and followed this up later in the quarter when he kicked truly to register our second goal. The siren signalled the first quarter we had won for 2018 and gave a sign of things to come.
The second quarter picked up where the first ended with the new set of 6 boys in the back zone repelling multiple attacks from the opposition. Jack P and Caelan were rock solid, picking off the oppositions forward kicks with steadying marks. Again our mids and forwards were spurred on as the boys linked up on a number of occasions to move the ball through the midfield and work it forward.
The premiership quarter saw the boys not only keep the good work going but also raise the pressure and intensity at the contest to an even higher level. Baxter’s clearance work as he followed our team rule of handballing off the ground was inspiring. Jack T put on a tackling master class. Parker capped off his dominance in the other parts of the ground when he guided the ball through for his first goal for the year. Playing his first game for the season, Sams work rate up forward was first rate with plenty of movement creating options for the team. Tom W was a focal point for us up forward and was justly rewarded when he finished off some good work from Mannix with a goal of his own. Another quarter down and another quarter won for our boys as they entered the last break with a handy lead.
To their credit St Kilda weren’t to be denied and came out firing. Having out played our opposition for 3 quarters the boys started to tire and St Kilda looked to gain the ascendency. With the character of our boys tested our Vice captain for the day Kieran showed fantastic leadership with some great contested ball wins and clearances. As the pressure mounted, Lucas also helped steady our midfield as he crashed through packs and made a spectacular chase and tackle. Down back Jack T was miserly as he constantly read the play and denied St Kilda certain goals on our last line of defence, while a desperate smother from Thomas represented how much the boys wanted this one. In the dying seconds of the game St Kilda mounted one last attack but again our back line rallied and did just enough to hold up their opponents before the final siren sounded.
Our award winners for the day were Parker whose 4 quarter effort reading the playing and racking up possession was a highlight. Lucas who created contests all over the ground and while his fourth quarter “don’t argue” didn’t escape the umpires it did show what a powerhouse he was in the middle. Jack T whose nerves of steel in the last quarter on that last line of defence ensured we went home with the chocolates.
Congratulations to all the boys on a fantastic game. All boys played their roles well and your attack on the ball and ability to hang tough when the pressure was on was tremendous!! The coaches were particularly happy with the improvement we have seen over the last couple of weeks. Your ability to follow instructions, stick to our structures, run to space combined with some great marking, kicking to advantage and using our quick handballs to clear the congestion all lead to a great result. Great work boys, see you Tuesday!!!