Blue skies and a lot of the dog walking throng (and those looking for lost dogs) greeted the players in what was a bit of a surreal surrounding. It was the Bloods, on top of the ladder and St Bedes Mentone sitting 5th and playing in a “must win” if they were going to be in playing finals. So we knew that the visitors would provide a real contest. It would be a good test as there were eight different players from the team that defeated St Bedes Mentone earlier in the season. It would be a good test of the clubs’ depth which has been gradually improving.
And they got off to a good start kicking the first goal of the game. But once the boys settled, for long passages of the half, we played some good footy with accurate, persuasive ball movement. The backline was on top and the selected talls were giving the opposition some grief. Brodie Steele showed no signs of the recent layoff with assured ball skills, while Trevo and Belly were taking good strong marks around the ground. Bainy, in for his first senior game, Sam Algeri and Harry Hunt, their first for the season were acquitting themselves well.
With a five goal lead half way through the second quarter, things were relatively good in the world. But the boys took the foot off the peddle and allowed the visitors a few easy goals late in the quarter. The doorman was politely asked to keep the change room doors closed as the half time address looked like being colorful. Those doggie pooh scoopers can be a sensitive lot and its best they didn’t hear too much.
Well, whatever was said didn’t work because the Bloods looked lacklustre in the third stanza and were unable to get first use of the ball. St Bedes were up and about and went into the last break with a five point lead. It had been a five goal to one quarter loss and the serene surroundings were consistent with the “what has happened here” mood amongst the lost dish lickers fraternity.
What would happen in the last quarter? More of the same or a return to the class that was on show in the first half? It turned out to be a mixture of both. It was a really entertaining quarter of footy – and indeed the game had been of high quality from the start. It was a real arm wrestle and the fact only three goals were scored in the period, highlighted the intense nature of the game. Young Castan Racunica found himself marking 30 metres out but a contest infringement meant the decision was reversed. But with a sense of irony he was to mark again about a minute later in almost the same spot. With no reversal, he duly slotted the major to restore the lead. But it was to be relatively shortlived with St Bedes answering. They were holding on to the lead, but the bloods were certainly coming. There were a number of attempts to get that elusive major. Finally it happened with Durras Seccull finding the ball in his hands and with an accurate snap from 30m out. There were a tad over 3 minutes on the clock. We got the clearance from the middle and with the game spending most of the time in our forward line which was a relief.
The 50/50’s were going our way and we managed to hold on in a gallant victory. The boys showed some realt mettle in a deserved win.
We had lost skipper Jimmy Paul early in third quarter which underlined the merit of the win in a real solid, bruising encounter. There were a lot of tired dogs on Saturday night and a lot of tired footballers. We are now seven/one and showed that we can record wins after under different conditions and circmustanves. The future looks positive. Next week we journey to Fizroy who have slipped recently but they always play well at the Brunswick St.
Senior Women's Match Report
Old Haileybury: 2.2.14
Old Brighton: 10.13.73
Do we need to win to have fun? Definitely not! Yes, we lost on the scoreboard, but a scoreboard is just numbers.
They say that there is no I in team and this has been evident over the last week at the club. How good is it to turn up to training each Tuesday and Thursday to be supported by those people that you call teammates? A teammate that you can have a chat to about their day, a teammate that you can have a debate to about the latest football news, and a teammate that no matter what has your back. The team environment on game day then goes to a whole new level. Players that have never played a game in their life, look to their teammates for guidance. Bella and Leisa welcome to the jungle so to speak. Players who are returning from injury are looked after by their teammates when the going gets tough. But most of all each player having each other’s back every minute of the game.
A big part of the team environment is our leaders. And I can tell you that I for one am proud to be apart of a team that also has leaders that love to be a part of the team. I think it is important to again identify that small gesture as picking up someone off the ground on game day, means the world to everyone apart of that team. How many clubs can turn around and say that they have a teammate that has the ultimate puns. Not many! Loz, you are the ultimate diamond in our treasure chest. Never ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
One thing I will say is that every voice matters, yours, mine and ours combined. Game day or training, the more voice we have the better a team we are. And I honestly wouldn’t want to play us on game day when we are a team full of voice.