It was Round 15 as we hosted University Blacks in a crucial game for our season.
Having beaten them the last 3 times including the GF last year we knew that they would be very keen to atone for those defeats.
The game started with both teams applying high pressure but pleasingly we settled first and kicked the first two goals of the game.
After that we had a disappointing 15-minute period where Blacks pounced on our errors with ball in hand and free kicks we gave away to pile on 7 majors and lead by 30 points at the first change.
The 2nd quarter was going to be about hitting the scoreboard, but Blacks did as well as they maintained their handy lead at the halfway mark.
We changed a few things up in the break and tried to get more numbers around the footy and we seemed to have stemmed the flow but could not score at the other end. Annoyingly we gave up a soft goal at a stoppage and Blacks then took the momentum for the rest of the term and extended their lead to an insurmountable 59 points with a quarter to go.
The chat at the huddle was that we needed to fight the game out and take some risks to get back some percentage. Frustratingly we missed several set shots and suffered a 47-point loss.
A bad day at the office for our boys who were beaten by a more committed group who used the ball far better than what the Bloods did.
Individually 4 of our leaders tried to set the standard in Sam Loewe, Brede and Duz Seccull as well as Brodie Steele.
Overall, a day we need to take some lessons from but we need to move on quickly as we take on ladder leaders Collegians at Harry Trott Oval this week. Cannot come quickly enough!
See you at the Footy!
For full pictorial coverage of the Seniors' match against Uni Blacks, go to the Gallery
Men's Reserves Match Report
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Old Haileybury 06.08-44
Uni Blacks 10.14-74
Round 15 v Uni Blacks
Round 15 against Uni Blacks showcased the Bloods fielding their strongest twos team of the year, featuring welcome inclusions such as Senior Captain James Paul, VFL listed Jack McHale, Runner Up Senior Best and Fairest Max Sievers, and Red Fennessy, who returned for his first game after recovering from a string of injuries and a golf trip to Scotland. Additionally, Will Barrie made a comeback after living in Denmark, and Harry Grenda returned from a significant injury.
In the first quarter, the boys started strong in a fiercely contested game of footy. Despite Uni Blacks putting up a strong challenge, we managed to take the lead into quarter time. Remarkably, only seven weeks prior, Harry Grenda suffered a severe hit resulting in a broken jaw, eye socket, and cheekbone. He underwent surgery with plates and screws, making his return to the ground even more impressive as he played confidently and kicked three goals.
During the second quarter, the match remained heated, with Blacks making a comeback and taking the lead at halftime. Jack McHale, displaying his class and skill, proved why he has been a regular in Williamstown VFL side, playing at times as if he had his own football. Unfortunately, the first two quarters saw Sam Knight sustain a concussion and Sam Hall-Kahan re-injure his troublesome hamstring, leaving the team with a limited bench for rotations.
The third quarter was an intense goal-for-goal battle, providing a tightly contested and highly competitive game that likely left players with sore bodies the following day. Even our full-back, Ryley Cairns, who, like every backman, believes he could be a handy addition to the forward line, managed to sneak up forward and kick his first goal for the season.
As the fourth quarter unfolded, the impact of the limited bench became evident. Despite the boys fighting valiantly, they ran out of steam, resulting in the Magoos going down to Uni Blacks by 5 goals. Will Barrie's tenacious effort until the very end highlighted the value of his presence, sorely missed during his absence earlier in the season. Jarrod Hewitt continued his impressive form, showcasing his fitness with a solid four-quarter performance.
As the saying goes, the show must go on, and next week, we face off against Collegians away.
Best Players: Jack McHale, Jarrod Hewitt, Will Barrie, Red Fennessy, James Paul, Harry Grenda
Goals: Harry Grenda (3), Ryley Cairns, Jarrod Hewitt, Ben Oakes
Women's Match Report
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Old Haileybury 2.01-13
Old Melburnians 15.05-95
As we near the end of the season, the Hearts were light on for numbers in our round 15 clash against Old Melburnians who are one of the top teams in Division One. We arranged for 5 girls from the East Brighton Junior Football club to join us on permits for the week and also lured Alexandra Vandwerwaal out of retirement for this one.
It was evident from the first bounce that our girls were up against a strong and well drilled opponent. Despite Holly winning many of the centre taps, the Melburnians mids were able to send the ball forward on a regular basis and our backs spent the first half under enormous pressure. Junior, Ella and Eloise were all holding up as well as they could in the middle and were also winning their ball. Hoy, Peta, Maddie and Bec were doing their best down back and stopped numerous goals through acts of desperation. A highlight of the half was the long goal that Eloise kicked on the run. Despite Melburnians leading by 38 points at half time, our girls were still in good spirits and were getting around each other.
The second half played our pretty much like the first. Peta was moved into the ruck and gave us lots of drive in there as well as around the ground. Holly went to full forward to provide a tall marking target and Bella moved onto a wing. The hearts tried valiantly and ran the game out as best they could. Kass snapped a great goal in the last term to give some reward for effort to our group. Melburnians went on to win the game by 68 points.
A big thanks to Charlie, Beth, Charlotte, Grace and Pepa from East Brighton who all did really well in their first senior game. It was really appreciated that their junior coach, Chantelle Pritchard supported helping us out. Thanks also to Vanders for pulling on the jumper to boost our player numbers.
We look forward to our clash against Hawthorn in the final game of the season next week where our girls will be keen to get the 4 points to finish the season with 8 wins, 8 losses.
Go Hearts !
Under 19's Match Report
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Old Haileybury 11.11-77
Old McKinnon/ GE AFC 08.10-58
The U/19’s played Old McKinnon/Glen Eira AFC on Friday night in a tough, physical game. OMc/GE were second on the ladder and game out firing in the first term with fast breaks from the stoppages and some strong and aggressive tackling. Our lads were taken aback by this, and it took us a while to get the feel for the game. We moved the ball well and once we started to put our heads over the ball and win the contest, we were able to give our forwards a good look at it. Liam Riedel was dangerous up forward kicking 3 goals in tough conditions and Bailey Yates, with 2 goals, was a real handful for the opposition back line. Hugo Lynch and Josh Gillon were solid down back repelling everything. Best on Gound Will Abraham, was dominant around the stoppages and Nick Giustiniano did a great job shutting down their best player whilst remaining damaging at the same time. A great last quarter sealed the victory for the Bloods and moved us up to third on the ladder and pretty much securing a finals birth.
There’s a real want from this group to play deep into the finals and we know that if we play our best football we can match it with any team in the competition.