After 2 interrupted years due to Covid we were looking forward to starting off Season 2022 by welcoming De La Salle to Princess Park.
Covid threw another curve ball at us with our Coach and his whole family being struck down with the virus days before the game.
Fair to say the Coach likes to think he is tough, but it took him down hard and he was whinging far more than his 9-year-old youngest daughter!
Our boys were in great hands though with Assistant Coaches and Club Legends Stewart Loewe & Darren Seccull on hand to take the reins for the match.
It must be said the Pre-Season preparation that the group had due to the likes of Brede Seccull and Jason Bek meant that confidence was still high of getting the result we were after.
Excitingly for our club the 22 that ran onto the ground included 6 Debutants that had not pulled on a Senior Jumper before.
The highest profile of these was Jack Lonie who we recruited from St Kilda who has fitted in very well. He kicked off his first game with 4 majors and looked dangerous all day.
Other first gamers Kye Turner, Andreas Stefanakis, Nathan Dowsett, Mattias Rose and Max Sievers all played major roles and looked very comfortable at Senior Level.
As De La Salle were strong competition in the shortened 2021 Season it was very important that we started very well. After a first quarter of relentless pressure, we led by 23 points at the first break.
In the middle we were getting the ball forward regularly through the hard work of Trevo, Brede, Gassy, Gleads and Jack Munro.
Our forwards were taking their chances and working hard to put the score on the board through Durras, Lones, Sam HK, Sam Algeri, and Dre.
After a great first half we led by 45 points are were in control of the game.
De La Salle are a proud club and were always going to come out hard in the 3rd quarter and they lifted their work rate but pleasingly we responded to maintain our 45-point margin at the last break.
In the last the effort from both sides never dropped away but it was proving hard to score as all 44 players were starting to look tired.
Pleasingly for the Bloods our newly formed backline stood up extremely well under pressure and were virtually impossible to get past.
Brodie Steele celebrating his 100th game for the club led them very well but we had strong contributions from the likes of Sinclair, Turner, Kirkwood Scott, Will Paul, Rayner Seccull and Will Gown.
At the Final Siren, the score of OH 15-12-102 to DLS 7-12-54 was a clear indication of our dominance on the day and our ability to have an even contribution across the board.
The only dampener on the day was a serious finger injury to former captain Pete Gleadhill who had prepared well for the season, and we hope to get him back soon.
A great result for our group that gives us plenty of confidence for the rest of the year to achieve everything that we are after.
Next week we have the Bye and then another week off for Easter and then look forward to taking on Old Carey away on April 23.
Senior Women's Match Report
After a very strong 4 ½ month pre season as well as some good practice match form, the Hearts headed down to Beaumaris with a fair bit of confidence. It was pleasing that we had 11 girls making their Hearts debut after a successful recruiting campaign. We knew that Beauy would be very strong after coming down from Premier B and consolidating 2 teams into 1.
With both of our co captains, Chelsea Frawley and Carly Dillon unavailable due to injury, Taylah Vines-Chapple was appointed captain for the day. There was a fairly stiff breeze to one end and after losing the toss we kicked into it in the first quarter. It became evident early on that this game was going to be an arm wrestle with hard contested footy required all day long. Our group defended really well in the first quarter and we were happy to only be 2 points down at the first break.
With Beaumaris dropping loose players into our forward line in the 2nd quarter, we failed to capitalise on our repeat entries and scores were level at half time.
At the main break we discussed the importance of defending hard in the third quarter so that we could put ourselves in the position of outscoring them with the breeze in the final term. We did just that and felt that we were in a great spot at 3/4 time to only be a few points down. We opened our forward line right up for our final onslaught and managed to hit the front after Lexie kicked a great goal on the run midway through the final term. Unfortunately, Beaumaris answered quickly with a goal off the ground a few minutes later and despite our control of the game for most of the last quarter we were unable to kick another major. Our players weren’t used to opposition girls flooding our forward line and we have some work to do in that area. In the end we went down by 2 points in a nail biting finish.
I was extremely impressed with the work rate, attack on the contested ball, team play and hard running of the girls. Statistically, we won the tackle count, clearances and inside 50’s by a little so it was simply a case of us not being able to get over the line in a very close game. We feel that Beauy will be the yardstick in the Div 1 women’s competition and feel confident that we can snare the 4 points when we meet for the return match later in the year.
It was really nice of the Beaumaris coach and team to invite us all in for some snacks and a drink after the game where we mingled together and awarded best players for each side.
This round 1 game showed that we have a great group of girls with the Hearts and we are all really looking forward to our first home game against Old Melburnians this coming Saturday. Unfortunately, we have 6 girls unavailable this week due to the wedding of one of our girls ( Sarah Black who is marrying our S&C coach James Peirce ) on Saturday. We are hoping to have Carly Dillon ( our B&F winner of 2021 ), Danielle Frawley ( named in VAFA 2021 Div 1 women’s team of the year ) & our co captain Chelsea Frawley all cleared by the physio’s to play this weekend.
Hearts Senior Coach
Men's Reserves Match Report
Old Haileybury: 6.2.38
De La Salle: 9.10.64
We have been eagerly awaiting the start of the season for a bit of redemption for the reserves group, particularly with DLS who have proven their dominance over us winning by an average of 150 pts when we have played them.
DLS started with a strong breeze and lead 5 goals to 2 at Quarter time, our effort was great but the execution still needed a bit of work, it was evident that DLS had come to play but so had we.
With a couple of adjustments we worked our way back in to the game via the efforts of Jessie Laity and Tom Rogerson, Ben Hood was marking everything across half back. The boys ball movement improved and as the weather changed and the rain came down, the wind advantage was basically non-existent, but to our credit they attacked the game and went vin to half time down by 4 goals but certainly in the hunt and well in the game with Jacob Gown working hard across half forward and Corey Connelly and Olly working hard at clearances with Jordan Hurley. Probably the revelation of the day was Tom Morris who was brilliant across half-back.
The third quarter was amongst the best footy I have seen the boys play, we kicked 3 goals to a few points to trail by 11 points at 3 quarter time, the boys were far tougher and applied superior pressure to DLS and also finished their work in the wet conditions. Unfortunately wedding duties for Jordy and yet another hamstring setback for Rogo left us a bit thinner than we would like in the 4th but that was not an excuse, DLS made it a scrap and we did not find a way to break away and score although we had our chances and we need to improve on that when we get a chance to. Harry Whitty was great with our younger players, leading them positively all day and impacting himself as did Olly Joel and Jordy
DLS were the top side last year and were undefeated so it is a lost opportunity to nail a big fish. But I don’t think anyone could question the boys efforts, we went down by 26 points on the day
One of the bonuses we have this year is there is 8 under 19s from last year in the side, Jesse, Finn W and Finn Mc, Stuey Connolly, Will Barrie, Spirodon, Ed McIntyre and Keaton Law and the return of Ben O’Leary, having stability with Jack Grenda and Hoody back with Cooper Nolan, Owen Gorazides, Lorenzo and Brad P the future is bright!
Onward and upwards from here, there are scalps to claim this year!
Under 19's Match Report
Old Haileybury: 8.16.64
Hampton Rovers: 12.17.89
Our Mighty Under 19s took on Hampton Rovers with 14 players debuting for the club. 4 school students played as they had a free weekend demonstrating that the young talent and our clubs future is exciting.
Poor kicking for goal in blustery conditions cost us the chance to be leading at half time however the boys showed plenty of endeavour.
Led admirably by our leaders, Gus Bonwick, Max Walstad and Jack Hardeman, we were extremely competitive and with 10 minutes to go, the Rovers were in panic stations and placed a number of players behind the ball to curtail our forward attacks.
Unfortunately we could not penetrate the Rovers wall despite our efforts and went down by 25 points.
Josh Gillon held up strong down back with young Will McPhee creating havoc in the midfield. Ben Bishop-Shoff kicked 3 and could have easily added more to his tally.
We were delighted to see 6 of their Under 19’s play in the Seniors and we expect to see a number of players debut over the next few weeks with the 19s and potentially some more senior debutants from this group during the season.
Our club is in a very healthy position with a great group of young men who love their footy and playing with their mates.