Rd 4 saw our Senior Group head out over the Westgate to face Williamstown CYMS on an oval that is very open and can be very difficult to play on if the wind gets up. After watching our Reserves team get a well deserved win the boys were up and about and hoping to continue our good form from the first 2 games. Right from the start to their credit Williamstown were stifling the way we wanted to play and putting pressure on all areas of the ground. They were playing with spirit and got their crowd behind them to only trail by 8 points at Half Time.
Fair to say the OH coach was not overly happy at the break and asked for a lift from the group. The great thing about our boys is that they knew where they needed to improve and re set to go out and match our opponents in the crucial area of contested footy. Showing how far we have come as a team we rolled our sleeves up and got to work.
Crucially through D Seccull and Lones we took our chances up forward and went into the last break with a 27 point lead.
Williamstown were coming home with the wind so we were not safe, yet the first 10 minutes were going to prove crucial.
Pleasingly we took our work rate to another level and came out with a very hard fought 45 point victory.
We are looking forward to playing St Bedes Mentone at home this week who are sitting in 3rd and will be a big challenge.
With the improved form of our Reserve Group and our Women’s Team who are undefeated also playing at home we look forward to seeing everyone there to support.
Senior Women's Match Report
Old Haileybury: 7.9.51
The Hearts ventured over the Westgate bridge for our round 4 clash against Williamstown. Whilst the ladder positions indicated that it could be a fairly easy game for our girls, we knew that would not be the case since we had a number of players either injured or away. In addition, our co captains, Chelsea Frawley and Carly Dillon were both ruled out of the team during the week due to injury.
Everyone was happy to see the sun shining brightly and whilst the ground was fairly slippery the conditions were pretty good considering all of the overnight rain.
As anticipated, the Williamstown girls had come to play and the first half was a real arm wrestle with contested ball being the flavour of the day. Our girls were giving it a good crack but were finding it difficult to work through the opposition defence. We found ourselves 2 points down in a low scoring affair at the main break. With 2 players ruled out with injury late in the second quarter, we knew that the challenge was right in front of us and our group needed to keep working hard and find a way to hit the scoreboard.
It was evident early in the 3rd that the girls had found their spark and were kicking into top gear. With some smarter ball use we were able to have deeper inside 50 entries to marking targets and went into the ¾ time huddle 11 points up. Down to no bench for the last quarter after a couple more injuries it was all about continued effort and the group working and running hard for the team. The fourth quarter saw the girls in full flight as their run and carry came swung into full gear. Four goals were kicked in quick succession as the girls iced the game and ran out commanding 32 point winners.
This game was clearly our best win for the season thus far as the girls had to really dig deep to leave Williamstown with the four points. The resilience shown by the whole team was great to see. We look forward to playing only our second home game of the year next week and our first game in 2022 where we will also have the men’s teams playing at home.
Men's Reserves Match Report
Williamstown CYMS: 10.11.71
Old Haileybury: 11.11.77
The boys travelled to Williamstown CYMS after a deceptively strong performance the week prior, one that belied the actual scoreboard at Carey. They went with the knowledge that they could turn things around.
The game started well with us controlling the ground for the first 5 minutes but we did not capitalise and the much bigger bodies of Williamstown were able to bash us up around the ground but particularly at stoppage. They kicked 6 goals to one in 15 minutes and at one stage led by 32 points, a couple of late goals gave us momentum going into quarter time.
We made some adjustments to the side and came out in the second quarter, Jesse Laite, Corey Connelly and Jacob Gown drove us back into game while Bainy started to get his share also, this allowed us to at least win the quarter and hang in there, the frustrating thing was that our work, for the most part, looked good but we had made far too many errors to get the rewards we needed. We trailed by 17 pts at half time.
The third quarter begun with more changes in the teams make up with Joel and Ollly going back and different midfield rotations in place and the boys ball movement t improved as did their pressure and ability to score, we worked pretty hard all quarter and at the end we kicked two late goals to cut the margin to 5 points with Corey’s goal after the siren.
The boys had to work hard to overcome the opposition in the final quarter, in the end their ability to remain disciplined got them over the line at the 21 minute mark of the last quarter for a great 6 point win. It is fair to say it had been a while between drinks for the boys and they enjoyed a well earned victory, the first of more to come as they continue to grow and develop this season.
Under 19's Match Report
Old Xaverians: 17.8.110
Old Haileybury: 10.12.72
The Under 19s took on arch rivals Old Xavs this week at their home ground. We had 12 changes from last weeks side and we played our 41st player for the season. A solid week at training and the implementation of a different game plan was worked on with all the boys buying in with our new style.
We started off well against a much bigger side than our boys with a couple of giants resembling the King Twins up forward. Our midfielders led by Ben Bishop—Schoff, Maxy Walstab and Gus Bonwick were fantastic smashing them at the stoppages and our ruckman Mick Cowell and Nic Ganim were giving us first use of the footy. We went in 1 point down and full of confidence at quarter time in our best quarter for the year. Our effort was sensational with every player contributing.
Xavs regrouped at quarter time surprised by our boys effort and attack on the ball. The second quarter saw Xavs use the ball well and their giant full forward took numerous marks and had our backline in disarray. We went in at half time 29 points down. Our effort was there but our skill execution was poor and our turnovers were costing us.
To our boys credit they came out firing in the third quarter taking the game on and attacking at every opportunity. Ky Allcock and Tom Antonis starting to mark the footy up forward troubling the Xavs defenders and Josh Gillon and Josh Schutz dominated down back for us repelling the Xavs forward entries.
Our last quarter was excellent. We outscored Xavs and our forward entries were really troubling their defenders. We played the style of footy that would trouble many sides hitting up our forwards with pinpoint passes and quick ball movement.
It was a proud day for our side. We played a much bigger and more skilled opponent and apart from a lapse of concentration for 15 minutes in the second quarter we outplayed our opponent. 25 to 22 scoring shots was a fair indication of our effort. The boys go into next week full of confidence.
They are a great group of boys who respond to every thing that is thrown at them. I love coaching them and watching them try hard and compete often against sides with much bigger bodies. We agreed after the game that we are a real footy side who respect and work hard for each other and we are positive about the rest of the season.
Thanks to Tom Walstab (Timekeeper) and John Kingsley (goal umpire) for volunteering.
We play Uni Blacks next Saturday at home before the reserves at 9.20 and would love to see some support from the Bloods faithful.