The Hearts group were excited to host our first home game of 2022 in our round 2 clash vs Old Melburnian’s on the main oval at Princes Park on Saturday.
Due to Sarah Black, one of our VFLW listed players, getting married to James Peirce, our strength and conditioning coach on Saturday we had 6 forced changes to our round 1 team. It was great to give the opportunity for a game to 6 girls which included 3 making their Hearts debut.
Our game plan has been built around run and carry and we have been training to maximise this on the big ground. This was the exact message to the group in our team meeting and we wanted to take the game on wherever possible. On Saturday our girls brought the heat and pressure to the contest that we asked for. It was evident early on that if we kept up our work rate for 4 quarters that Old Melburnian’s would find it difficult to absorb the pressure. We were winning the contested ball early and were able to move the ball quickly to give our forwards lots of opportunities with repeat i50 entries.
We were 22 points up at half time and our group showed their fitness levels by running out the game strongly in the 2nd half. We ended up posting a 53 point win and importantly our final score of 9.9.63 was the highest of any of the Div 1 teams in the Women’s competition this year. I was most impressed by the team play and spirit shown by our girls. With many changes to the side this year they are all still adjusting to playing together as a group as well as to our game plan.
There are some areas for us to work on from this game such as our accuracy in front of goal but we go into the Easter break in good shape.
It was unfortunate to lose Jessica Doyle to a suspected ACL and Alexia Karatzikos suffered a broken nose which required surgery on Saturday night. All thoughts from our group are with those 2 girls.
It was really nice to host the old Melburnian’s team in our social rooms for some food and a drink post-match as we look to keep building up the spirit of our club & our women’s program. A big thanks to Mick & Nicky Constable who organised it all for us as well as Melissa and Lucy Treverton who were a tremendous help on the day.
Under 19's Match Report
Old Haileybury: 10.11.71
St Bedes: 9.12.66
The 19s played St Bedes this week in extremely hot conditions. Bolstered by 6 players who played in the Seniors from the previous week, we went into the game with confidence. Club legend Dave Connell was very proud to see his youngest son James debut for the club.
Dre Stefanakis (Dr Dre) is in year 11 at St Bedes and was super keen to take it up to his older school mates and set the tone early winning many hardballs in the middle. Jordan Andrews in his debut for the Bloods was also dominant in the midfield ensuring Castan Racunica up forward received plenty of the ball and the Bloods came in at 1/4 time 3 goals up and full of confidence.
St Bedes took it up to the Bloods in the second term with their physicality and quick transition on turnover and we struggled to keep up with them at times. Josh Schutz was sensational in defence playing on their prime player thwarting every opportunity that came his way wearing him like a glove.
We went in at half time a point down and with plenty of soul searching being done in the sheds.
The boys agreed that accountability and physicality was required to get us back in the game and the game became an arm wrestle in the third term. Nathan Dowsett was marking everything on the wing and Jack Hardeman was marshalling the troops down back.
We went into the third quarter break 2 points down with the large crowd agreeing that it was a high quality game for under 19s footy. Coach Bonwick implored his charges to stay focussed and promised them a win if they adhered tothe game plan.
The last quarter saw both teams with numerous players cramping but the Bloods effort was superb. Daniel Zhang kicked his second from a nice mark and Tommy McPhee chimed in with what we thought was the sealer putting us 17 points up with 3 minutes to go.
ST Bedes to their credit did not give in and got to within 5 points with 30 seconds to go but the Bloods dug in for one final effort with Maxxy Walstab winning the ball out of the middle and putting the game beyond doubt.
A super effort and a super win from our young charges.