They say a week is a long time in Football and they are correct after the weekend.
After a loss against Beaumaris last week where our group were disappointed to let a win slip, they responded with one of the best wins in the history of the club on Saturday.
Facing Uni Blacks who were undefeated at Melbourne University Oval we went in with an attitude that we would need 22 contributors to come home with the 4 points and that is exactly what we had.
Right from the first bounce our pressure on the opposition was constant and when we got the ball in our hands our speed of ball movement was putting our opposition under the pump. As with most games the midfield battle was crucial and our starting 4 of Trevo, Lones, Gassy and Billy McKay gave us first use and our wingers in Max Sievers and Nathan Dowsett were providing great drive as well.
In a low scoring first quarter we had our noses in front with a 7-point lead.
On a heavy surface it was hard to chain together clean ball movement but when we were able to complete this we got it into our forwards who were providing a great contest. Duz Seccull & Noah Gown were bringing it to ground for our smalls to lock the ball in and give us opportunities to score.
Again, after a tight quarter we went into the long break with a 16-point lead.
Uni Blacks were always going to come out hard at the start of the 3rd quarter, but our backline held up well and got the footy back going our way.
Max Sinclair & Kye Turner were fantastic at marking or bringing it to ground for Jimmy, Brodie, Liam, Rayner and Will Paul to provide the drive to get the game back on our terms.
Pleasingly after defending their entries, we scored 3 late goals to open a 33-point lead with 1 term to go.
The message for the group was that the job was not done, and we were in a similar position last week and had to keep up the intensity for another 30 minutes.
That was the result as we ran out 46-point winners and made a statement to the competition that we are a contender at the end of the year.
Loewy, Dre, Gleads, Castan, Jayce Morgan, Munners and Nick Gooda were all great contributors on the day in our most even performance from every player for the year.
Jack Lonie was clearly our best on the day in a new midfield role hurting our opposition with his use of the footy.
We now have 3 weeks off until we play De La Salle away on July 23.
After a short break from the club, we will be back training to be prepared for the last 6 weeks of games before setting ourselves up for some finals footy.
Thank you all again for your support.
Senior Women's Match Report
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Old Haileybury 3.9-27
Old Melburnians 1.3-9
The Hearts group had trained strongly in preparation for their match against Old Melburnians at Elsternwick Park. The reward on offer was high as a win in this match would secure a top 4 finals spot and the girls were up for the challenge. We were unable to field a full team of 24 players due to injuries, illness and some girls are currently away on holidays.
There was a fairly stiff breeze going to the Brighton end of the ground and after losing the toss and kicking into it, we knew that hard work was required in the first quarter. Our mids worked strongly to restrict opposition forward entries and our backs did a stellar job to stop shots on goal. After the Melburnians kicked an early one, our girls were able to go forward and Rachael took a huge grab to the delight of all. The resulting goal had the scores all square at the first change.
It was now our turn to use the breeze. Once again, Chelsea, Tay, Danielle and Junior were working overtime in the middle and continued to send the ball our way to give our forwards opportunities. Despite the opposition playing extras in defence, we were able to have many shots on goal. After a great handball receive from Bear, Pulli kicked a big goal at a critical stage of the term. Despite our inaccurate kicking of 1 goal, 6 points for the quarter, we went into the main break with a fairly commanding 10 point lead.
The message at half time was all about defending as a team in the third quarter. We knew that if we could restrict the opposition from kicking goals with the breeze that we would be well on our way to securing the all important 4 points. Our group did that superbly as the girls were able to counter many of the Melburnians moves into their forward line. Bear helped out as an extra and Peta did an outstanding job to intercept many balls and gave us terrific run off half back. We didn’t mind that we didn’t score and were very pleased with the combined team effort to restrict the opposition to 2 points. Unfortunately, Rachael left the field with a suspected broken wrist ( which was later confirmed at hospital following a scan ) and we all admired her bravery as it was evident that she was in a lot of pain.
We knew that the breeze wouldn’t kick the goals for us and we still had to run this one out until the end. The last quarter saw the Melburnians team send most of their players into defence which made it hard for the Hearts to score. The game became largely an arm wrestle as the opposition were keen to throw all they had at our girls. Our backs were under pressure with repeat entries they had to deal with and did well to restrict their forwards once again to no goals for the term. It was great to see Holly get on the end of a loose one to seal the game with a major.
The girls ran out 18 point winners in a gutsy display. It was a big ground and everyone was pretty exhausted after the game. The song was sung with gusto since it had been a little while between renditions and everyone left feeling great about the fact that the Hearts are playing finals in 2022 with a top 4 spot secured.
Go Hearts !
Men's Reserves Match Report
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University Blacks 14.10-94
Old Haileybury 7.4-46
Tough Defeat to swallow this one vs Blacks up at Uni
The score was not an indication of how well we played and that we were clearly the best side for the majority of the game.
We started very well in early in the game in heavy conditions and were able to match the intensity and the pressure of Blacks early and hang in there until we kicked two late goals to basically draw even with them at Quarter time, Both Rogo and Jack Grenda were dominant in the back half and Olly Sharpe and Jesse Laite were strong around the ball and gave us opportunity to score.
The second quarter seemed to match the first, it was fairly tight tussle with Lorenzo coming into the game and Oaksey and Jacob creating opportunity for their team mates with unselfish play. The critical thing was two key injuries which left us with 18 players for the second half, Zac doing his ankle and Ed Mc sporting a shoulder injury and bleeding fairly profusely from the nose and mouth. Despite this the boys were by far the best side and their ball movement and the way we worked together was the best I have seen against strong opposition, we could have been further in front than the 9 points at half time but we were not able to capitalise in every case. Hoody had asserted himself in the ruck and Will Barrie and Jesse along with the two Sams were tacking hard.
The third quarter started with us kicking the first goal to lead by 15 points, even though we had the bare 18 we were playing with a fair bit of energy and belief but in what was a head scratching moment one of our players was sent off, whether it was fair or not, it left us with 17 on the ground because we only had 18 and could not replace the player. We struggled to cover being one down and the blacks went on a rampage – credit to them for exploiting it. When our 18th man got on we managed to kick the last 2 goals of the quarter to bring the margin back to 18 points at 3 quarter time. Corey Connelly was brilliant for us in the 3rd quarter and showed a fair bit of courage to keep running despite a hamstring that was a bit marginal!
The fourth quarter, despite the best efforts of our players we were gassed and without the ability to rest players on the bench we ran out of petrol, we never gave up and kicked a late goal but with at least 5 of our 18 limping around we could not bridge the gap like we wanted to. It was not a win but I think for 3 quarters it was the best I have seen the boys play and with a little bit of luck and a few more fit bodies the result may have been different. Olly Sharpe, Jack Grenda and Rogo were great all day , Jesse Laite was great as usual, the two Sams played very well as did Jordy Hurley and it was nice to see Owen G getting back to it and Lorenzo amongst it all game. Hoody played really well in the ruck and in a new role Stuey Connolly at CHB was terrific also. Joel Constable never gave up and is always positive, his effort and commitment cannot be undersold. Oakesy and Gowny great again. Corey also great and Ben O’leary always good at ground level. Welcome back Croc as well! Uni kicked 12 goals to three after half time and deserved their victory but our boys will bounce back.
We will be very competitive over the next 6 weeks and with a few scores to settle will be looking to redeem ourselves after the bye.
The 19s played Hampton Rovers on Sunday in the VAFA festival of Football.
Strengthened by some school kids, the players went in optimistic that we could take it up to one of the stronger sides of the competition.
Poor kicking in difficult conditions cost us early however we went in at the first break confident that we were playing well and able to fight back from a 22 point deficit.
A good start to the second quarter saw early goals from The Bish and Cooper B-V put the pressure on Rovers however they had the answers for everything we threw at them coming in 29 points down.
The half time break saw us regroup and we came out firing in the third quarter with early goals and we got within 18 points half way through the quarter. Young Mitch Kirkwood-Scott in his debut for the club was sensational across half back and Nick Giustiniano was flying on the wing.
The coach through the side around at ¾ time and we were up and about with an early goal and looking like a comeback was possible. Castan Racunica doubling up from the Seniors from the day before was isolated at full forward and Kay Allcock was dashing out of defence. Rovers threw some players behind the ball and looked nervous.
Rovers rallied and managed to stay out our charge and went on to win by 41 points. A great effort by our boys with some future talent on show with our school kids all acquitting themselves well.