Round 16 and it was 3rd vs 4th on the ladder as the Bloods took on Fitzroy in a twilight game at Brunswick St Oval.
Coming off our best performance of the year against St Bedes last week our boys were keen to make a statement of where we stood in the competition.
From the first bounce we were committed to the contest and were putting a lot of pressure on Fitzroy when they had the ball. We converted well when we went forward and at the first change, we led by 27 points.
Playing under lights it was fair to say that our supporters were outnumbered but they would have been proud of our relentless attack on the footy that continued in the 2nd quarter. We increased our lead to be in front by 46 points at the long break. In the rooms at Half time, we spoke about continuing to play the right way and not letting up on our opposition. During the 3rd quarter we kicked another 5 goals to 1 and extended our lead to 70 points at the last change.
The chat going into the last quarter was if we did meet Fitzroy in the first week of the finals, we didn’t want to give them any confidence going into that clash by letting them win the last quarter.
Our group followed through on this finishing the game off well to run out 79-point winners.
This was our 3rd very good performance in a row, and we are starting to peak at the right time with 2 more Home and Away games before we hit Finals.
The scoreboard has looked great in the last 3 weeks but is more how we are going about it. We are working hard together on both sides of the ball, and we are getting great contributions from everyone who puts on the jumper.
Individually from the weekend I thought our leaders were very good. With the absence of our captain in Jimmy Paul, Brodie Steele had the c next to his name and led our group with his attack on the footy and his ability to never give up on a contest. Duz Seccull kicked another 6 goals, but it was his workrate to apply pressure to the opposition that inspired his teammates. Playing his 2nd game off a long injury lay off Brede Seccull got us going in the middle of the ground.
His on-field leadership to help direct his younger teammates has been something we have missed and his attack on the ball and the opposition is as good as anyone going around. Down back we had some young guys in Nath Dowsett and Justin Davies stand up in key positions and Will Paul, Max Sinclair, LKS and Rayner all were fantastic at repelling Fitzroy anytime they got the ball forward.
Rosey and Sam HK were good all day in their roles on the wing. Max Sievers played his last game for us before heading over to the US of A. He has had a fantastic season for a first-year player and would be high up in our B & F currently.
We wish him all the best and look forward to getting him back to the Bloods next year.
Dre and Morgs worked hard to lock the ball into our forward 50. Sam Loewe and Noah Gown were dangerous all day.
Trevo, Jock McHale and Billy McKay worked tirelessly in the middle of the ground.
2 more of our important leaders at the club in Peter Gleadhill and Jack Munro played one of their better games for the year and are going well at the right time of the year.
Special mention to Lones who gets tagged every week. Never whinges or asks to be put in a different area of the ground but just works harder to shake his opponent and help us to get the win. It is a great example to our whole group but our younger players in particular.
With 2 more games to go we are in very good form and cannot wait to start our finals campaign.
Thank you for your support.
See you at the footy and Go Bloods!
Men's Reserves Match Report
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Old Haileybury 7.6-48
We have been eagerly awaiting the start of the season for a bit of redemption for the reserves group, particularly with Fitzroy who have proven their dominance over us last year winning by an average of 150 pts when we have played them. This year we have been far better.
Fitzroy started with a strong breeze and lead 4 goals to 2 at Quarter time, our effort was great but the execution still needed a bit of work, it was evident that Fitzroy had come to play but so had we.
With a couple of adjustments we worked our way back in to the game via the efforts of Sharpy early in the quarter and we and but due to some careless turnovers which cost us we went in training by 7 goals but certainly in the hunt and well in the game with Jacob Gown working hard across half forward and Jordan Andrews and Gora, Olly working hard at clearances with Jordan Hurley. Probably the revelation of the day was Sam Morris and Harders who were brilliant across half-back.
The third quarter was amongst the best footy I have seen the boys play, we kicked 3 goals to two against the wind, the boys were far tougher and applied superior pressure to Fitzroy and also finished their work in the wet conditions. Injuries left us a bit thinner than we would like in the 4th but that was not an excuse, Fitzroy made in a scrap made it a scrap and we did not find a way to break away and score although we had our chances and we need to improve on that when we get a chance to. Jack was great with as were some our younger U/19 players, Our older boys like Oaksey, Joel, Olly and Jordy H leading them positively all day. Gora played well in the ruck releasing Olly to do a different job, mid forward and he snuck forward and kicked a couple!
Fitzroy are probably the best side this year at this stage beating Blacks at Blacks and were one of the top sides last year, we got ourselves into a mess but worked our way out of it so that’s a positive. But I don’t think anyone could question the boys efforts, we went down by 39 points on the day
One of the bonuses we have this year is there was 5 under 19s from this year in the side, so the future is bright!
You can check out the detailed match report by clicking on the link below
Onward and upwards from here, there are scalps to claim this year! This week coming is a special day for Scott Ellis who will be playing his 200th game, with a couple of stablemates, Tom Chisholm and Rhys Johnson, so we look forward to getting back on the winners list for that!