After winning 3 out of our last 4 games we were confident as we headed out to Melbourne University to take on Uni Blues who were sitting 2nd on the ladder. Over the last couple of years, we have had some great wins out there vs Uni Blacks so the ground held no fears.
As we arrived the ground was heavy in patches but had been worse before, but we knew it was going to be a low scoring slog if we wanted to grab the 4 points.
The first quarter started with Blues having the scoring end and repeatably moving the ball forward but thanks to the work of our back 7 we held them goalless. We scored a major of our own through Will Gown and went to the first change with a lead of 3 points.
The second quarter was more of the same where both teams were fantastic with their pressure, and it was proving difficult to move the ball. Our opposition kicked the only goal for the quarter and had their noses in front 1.6-12 to 1.4-10.
The talk in the rooms was that we had shut down their ball movement and just needed to stick at it and take our opportunities to score when we got it forward.
The third term did not go to script as a few things went against us and Blues kicked 2 early ones to open a handy lead. As has been the case over the last month or so our boys dug in deep and fought back. Still heading into the last break, we trailed by 9 points, but it was still anyone’s game.
We spoke about not holding anything back and it was going to come down to who wanted the win the most. After kicking the first 2 goals of the term we had our noses in front, but our opposition responded by kicking one of their own. Both teams were throwing their bodies on the line and with 90 seconds to go Liam Wood received a free kick after playing in front and lined up for a set shot around 45 metres out. Calmly he went back and slotted it through post high, and we had hit the front again. The last minute or so was full of our lads tackling and diving on the footy and when the siren sounded, we were winners by a 3-point margin. A brave win from our group in some tough conditions and against a very good team that will feature heavily in this year’s Finals Series. Our boys were exhausted as we played much of the game with 21 as Corey Rich had gone off early with a Pec injury.
Individually our key backs in Sam Gilbert & Duz Seccull were enormous repelling constant attacks from our opposition. It needs to be acknowledged that these 2 believe they are probably betted suited to playing different positions but are doing what is best for the team.
Brodie Steele was at his brilliant best with run and carry off half back and his hardness and leadership shone through all day. Rayner Seccull overcome soreness to get up for the game and constantly halved his contests in the back half. Woody combined kicking the sealer with a composed role as a small back which he had not performed with us before.
When beaten earlier in the year by Blues their midfield was cleaner and stronger but not in this contest.
Set up by our talls in Trevo & Jack Bell, Brede Seccull, Josh Gasparini and James Magner set the scene all day with their ability to pressure the opposition and win their own ball. Up forward Harrison Jones was a threat all day against a quality opponent and has come a long way for such a young footballer. Dre Stefanakis was sore and got himself up for the game and battled hard all day. Sam Loewe cracked in all day as usual.
Charlie Sinclair & Corey Connelly worked tirelessly to lock the ball in our forward line. Jack Munro ran hard to provide the link between defence and attack. Overall, a super win that our whole club should be proud of! 4 out of the last 5 and bring on Uni Blacks at home next Saturday.
See you at the footy!
Go Bloods & See you at the footy.
For full pictorial coverage of the Seniors' match against Uni Blues, go to the Gallery
Men's Reserves Match Report
Women's Match Report
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Old Haileybury 03.07-25
Due to many of The Hearts players away or injured, we only had 14 available for our night game against Beaumaris. Darryl, their coach agreed that we could play 13 vs 13 and we had 1 interchange with Beauy having 3. The quarter length was reduced to 15 minutes to allow everyone to run out the game on the large ground. Our girls were keen to have a crack at beating a team who had not lost a game since 2021.
A plan was devised to give our girls every opportunity to win the game with the Hearts rotating out on the ground to share the midfield load.
Our girls gave a sensational account of themselves and were on from the very first bounce. The Hearts were moving the ball really well, switching play regularly and were always looking for the best option. Our girls were running hard and it was evident that the Beaumaris group were on the back foot.
Despite some opportunities to kick goals in the first quarter, our girls went into the first break with a slender 3 point break with neither side able to kick a major. The Hearts continued to win the ball at the contest in the second term and extended the margin to 10 points at half time. The belief had grown amongst the group and our girls had a huge chance to pull off the unimaginable.
Beauy started to kick into gear in the third and our backs were under a lot of pressure. We had a super experienced group down there and Peta, Hoy, Gracie and Bec Brown all held up really well. Beaumaris kicked a goal in play right on the ¾ time siren to cut the margin to 3 points.
The first half of the last quarter was an absolute arm wrestle with the Hearts not giving the opposition a chance to kick a goal. Eventually, Beauy were able to snap a goal from the boundary in play to hit the front for the first time all night. The Hearts wouldn’t lie down and continued to go forward but were not able to kick a major to regain the lead.
Despite everyone’s best effort, our girls went down by 2 points. It was a shame to lose this one after such a valiant effort but all 14 girls who pulled on the Hearts jumper could hold their heads high as they pushed Beaumaris to their closest result all season. A huge amount of positives will come out of this one as we look forward to our last 2 games of the season.
Under 19's Match Report
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Old Haileybury 11.16-82
The U/19’s hosted Parkside at Princess Park on Saturday, unlike the previous five weeks we really struggled to get going and found ourselves down by 5 goals at quarter time. When Parkside kicked the first goal in the second quarter it looked like our 6 game winning streak had come to an end. We managed to claw a couple of goals back after this and ended up 18 points down at half time. The players really responded after the break and played their best quarter of football for the year kicking five goals to two against the breeze to go into the final break only 1 point down and kicking with the wind in the last. The final quarter was another great effort, and we came away with a hard fought 18-point win. It takes a bit of character to come from 6 goals down, it’s easy to throw the towel in and right off the day but our guys have this never-say-die attitude and have the desire to play deep into the finals this year. They should all be very proud of their efforts on Saturday.
This week’s game is Friday 4th August at 6.40pm at Packer Park in Carnegie and we would love as much support as we can get.