Round 3 and our Men travelled to Melbourne University Oval to take on Uni Blacks. This was a re match from the Grand Final in B Grade last year. Both teams were 0-2 after the first couple of rounds so to say that it was an important game was an understatement. Our boys were disappointed with their effort last week against Old Brighton and were keen to atone. We needed to get back to playing the type of footy that held up against St Kevins in Round 1 if we were to come home with the 4 points.
Although the grass was heavy the ground was in reasonable shape, and it was a fantastic dry day for Football. This was far different from the last time we met at Elsternwick, and we were looking forward to showcasing our ball movement on a big ground in improved conditions.
The first quarter started in the way we had planned; Our pressure was strong, and we were giving our forwards plenty of opportunities with how quickly we got it forward. At the first change we led 4 goals to 1 and were 17 points in front. The first part of the second quarter was more of the same but unfortunately, we let a few goals in late but we still held a lead of 15 points. The chat at half time was that we couldn’t afford to have any concentration lapses and we had to get back to playing our brand of footy.
Early in the third term Blacks had put the pressure on us and raised their level and we needed to respond. Pleasingly we did and by three-quarter time we had kicked away to lead by 38 points. We spoke at the last break how the first 10 minutes of the last quarter would be crucial to keep up the pressure and our boys were relentless and ended up victorious by 58 points.
Individually Corey Rich was our best player on the day starting in the midfield and then pushing forward to kick 4 goals. 3 of our leaders in Duz Seccull, Brodie Steele and Sam Loewe were also very good on the day.
Max Sinclair played a selfless role for the team. In the midfield Josh Gasparini, Max Sievers and Luke Bailey were instrumental in giving our forwards plenty of scoring opportunities. Trevo was enormous on the day and gave us first use. Dre and Rosey showed some good signs throughout the day and the game would have given them both some confidence.
Overall, a fantastic win confirming our Premiership win against Blacks was no fluke and we are very optimistic about what we can achieve this year in A Grade. This week we move onto another big test in Collegians at Princess Park and know that if we play our brand of footy, we can beat anyone.
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
Brought to you by Total Logistics Solutions
University Blacks 10.03-63
Old Haileybury 9.9-63
Round 3: vs University Blacks
The boys went to University Oval to take on last year's Premier B Premiers, University Blacks. As expected, their ground was a soft 7 and had plenty of space. The first quarter saw the boys battle well and win the majority of the ball at the contest. However, we were unable to capitalize on the scoreboard, kicking 3 points to University Black's 5 straight goals. Unfortunately, Harry Grenda was wiped out early in the game.
The second quarter mirrored the first, with the boys being competitive at the contest but struggling to adjust to the size of the ground. This inevitably hurt our inside 50 play, making our goal-scoring opportunities scrappy. The scores at half-time were 7 goals 1 to 1 goal 7 in favor of University Blacks. Early in the second quarter, Castan Racunica went down with an ankle injury but bravely finished the game as a deep forward. At half-time, the message was to look inside and begin to switch the ball. We needed to take the game on if we had a chance of getting the win. The boys did exactly that, dominating the quarter, and an obvious change in momentum ensued in the third quarter.
The last quarter saw the boys come home like a house on fire! For the first time this year, we were able to move the ball as we wanted and played really good team football. The scoreboard followed, piling on 5 goals in the last to their 1. With 15 seconds to go, the ball was 65 meters out from our goal, and a stoppage at the top of the goal square saw us run out of time with the game ending in a draw.
Obviously, not the result we were after, but there were a lot of positives to take from the game. I think the boys have acknowledged that we're a good side capable of playing really good football. With two losses and a draw, we're on the right trajectory, which will hopefully culminate in a win this week against Collegians.
Goal Kickers: Castan Racunica (3), Jacob Gown (2), Jack Hardeman, Ben O'Leary, and George Aivatoglou.
Best Players: Jesse Laity, Liam Wood, Castan Racunica, Keaton Law, Dan Hille, Jack Hardeman.
Women's Match Report
Brought to you by AA Electroplating
Old Haileybury 04.06-30
Old Camberwell Grammarians 02.03-15
The Hearts ventured to Gordon Barnard Reserve looking for redemption against Old Camberwell who knocked us out of the finals last season. We were light on for overall player numbers with only 20 available and the girls knew that to get the 4 points in this one was going to take a big team effort. With Junior still unavailable through injury, Tay was captain for the day and made it clear to the group that getting off to a fast start was crucial.
Camberwell kicked with a slight breeze in the first quarter and it was evident from the first bounce that the Hearts were hungry today. Mim, Ella, Tay and Eloise were attacking the contest with full force and determination and were ably assisted by Joyce, Ruby and Amy who were providing lots of outside run. It was a real arm wrestle with both teams trying to gain some ascendancy with Camberwell eventually taking the lead with a goal mid way through the term. Amy was awarded a free kick and after a 25m penalty kicked the Hearts first major with less than a minute left in the quarter. This was reward for effort for our girls and the scores were locked up at the first change.
The Hearts pretty much dominated the play in the second quarter. Holly was giving our mids first use of the ball with her crafty tap work and our backs were rebounding really well each time Camberwell looked like going forward. We certainly had our chances to kick majors but managed 4 points for the quarter. Importantly, we were able to hold the opposition scoreless to go in at the main break with a slender 4 point lead.
Unfortunately, Rache and Amy were ruled out due to injury around half time and we were down to no rotations. The Hearts girls knew they had to dig even deeper and the third quarter was going to be crucial to the outcome of this game. Our backline were absolutely awesome and were keen to stop Camberwell kicking goals. Gracie was like a general down there and was doing a super job taking intercept marks and clearing the ball when required. Hoy, Peta and Maddie were also showing their usual steely resolve down back. Macca was playing in front of her opponent and was winning her own ball whilst Bec was really finding her groove down there as well and worked hard to nullify her opponent. Camberwell only managed 1 point for the quarter and the Hearts went into the last change with a 3 point lead.
The girls knew that they needed to leave everything out there today and needed to keep running hard to bring home the win. In a low scoring affair, it was important to kick some goals and then look to defend the ground. Bella was giving us a big contest up forward and Eloise kicked a big goal early in the term to give the Hearts some big momentum. Not long after, Jordan dished off a great handball to Ruby who kicked a big goal on the run and the girls were now running on clouds. Amy showed enormous courage to go back onto the ground with her toe injury and soon after we were down to only 17. Rachael advised the coach she would go back on despite the physios advising she had a broken finger. Despite being told to sit in a forward pocket just to drag an opponent to her and not go near the ball, she floated up to the middle and was laying bumps and tackles which was inspiring to witness. Despite some great defending by the Hearts back 6, Camberwell eventually kicked a goal to keep the game alive. Our girls continued to give their all and force some repeat stoppages and slowed the game down. Pulli ran onto a loose ball and kicked a super goal from near the boundary line just before the siren to have the Hearts run out 15 point winners.
This was a super result for the girls against lots of adversity and it was a truly awesome team performance. All 20 girls were absolutely fantastic and simply refused to lose this one. It was arguably our best win of the past 2 seasons against quality opposition. We now look forward to the huge challenge against Beaumaris next Saturday who have not lost a game since 2021. There is no doubt that the Hearts will be up for the challenge.
Go Hearts !!
Under 19's Match Report
Brought to you by Advertising Associates
Old Haileybury 05.03-33
Another tough day at the office for our lads on Saturday.
It is clear that we are in the wrong division and as such we have applied to the VAFA to be re-graded into Division 2. It’s not that our guys aren’t trying, in fact their effort across the board is sensational but we are coming up against clubs that have two u/19 sides an as such their depth is much greater than ours. The boys continue to get to training and are working hard on all aspects of our football. Football is a tough game, but our guys continue to stick together, support each other and enjoy the camaraderie that is created by playing at the OHAFC.