The Bloods played host to De La Salle on Saturday – the only team to have beaten our boys – way back in Round 1.
The northerly wind made the North Road end, to the right of your screen if in the Western grandstand, the scoring end and with a forecast of inclement weather, the toss would be important. Of course, day game skipper Brodie Steele, in his 99th game for the club, won the toss.
And while the narrator was setting up his typewriter, two goals had been scored by Jackson Ross and Noah Gown. Bang, bang a great start! Indeed Rossy was to finish with three for the quarter and Noah two and were clearly the key forwards on the ground. Of course, someone has to get the ball to them and the evergreen Nick Gooda was very prominent in that task, proving a ball magnet on his wing. He is having a very good season and was to go on and have another solid game. Treo and the onballers were winning around the ground and the backline was as miserly as ever – led by Bitters at full back. He may smile a lot off the ground but you know when he has game face on!
The second stanza was going to be important with De La now having the “use” of the wind. The intensity of the game went up a notch and there were few easy balls. It was tight in the clinches and the officials were prepared to let it go, which was good to watch. To the credit of all players, they were all having a “red hot go”. We tended to look a bit more dangerous going forward. Gowny (N) took a contender for “Mark of the Year” rising above the pack with a clean pair of hands. We were able to hold De La to three goals for the quarter, while we managed to kick two ourselves to take a handy 20 point lead into the main break.
The Tuck Shop crew were under the pump as they took up the slack of the Covid caused Half Time Afternoon Tea. Those that had covered miles and rough terrain to sample the famous half time offering were not disappointed as the hot dimmies and hot dogs proved extremely popular. Meanwhile the cockroach appealed to his troops to continue in the same manner, but with just a little haste when in possession. It was a finals type game and time was rare when in possession.
In a repeat of the first quarter we got off to a good start with another Rossy goal further giving us the upper hand. The younger brigade of LKS, Bainy, Max Sinclair, Gowny W, and Rocky Casbah were loving the environment and while they will be bruised Saturday night, they can take pride in their mementos as it showed they were in the thick of the action. A slightly older, but still youthful, Sam HK, had an electric 5 minute period, setting up two goals and getting on the scoresheet himself to almost put the game to bed.
We kept them goalless or the quarter and now had doubled the lead to 40 points. This should be enough the (cold) faithful thought.
And it proved to be. The last quarter played to script. The visitors were lost in trying to find a way through the Bloods Wall and while the game was still hard fought, there was a sense of inevitability. Durras was outstanding at full back and brother Rayner typified the intent of the boys taking one of those running with the flight marks that have spectators gasping. It proved to be a really even performance. It was second vs third going into the game and we clearly demonstrated our spot in the top two was worthy.
Well done boys. They now have two weeks off and return on July 24th when they take on AJAX at Princes Park. It has been a disjointed season but now after the fortnight furlough, we can look forward to a solid six weeks of footy. The U/19s and Hearts only have one week of rest so supporters are encouraged to check their local guides for the game times.
Senior Women's Match Report
Whitefriars OC: 3.6.24
Old Haileybury: 3.5.23
This week the Hearts executed one of the best “team games” for the year. Although we lost by a point, it was the first time that Oz felt we had gelled together as a team, and played our individuals roles for the full 4 quarters.
After a stellar week on the training track, the girls were ready to show their new game plan and skills. The first quarter effort showed a hearts outfit hungry for a win. With 11 inside 50’s to Whitefriars 3, we were unlucky on the scoreboard with Whitefriars scoring the first and only goal of the quarter in the last 5 minutes.
The second quarter was strong, however we let Whitefriars edge away. Then the 3rd quarter game, with a strong goal from one of the best on ground for the day, Carly Dillon. This got the hearts up and about.
In the last quarter, the hearts tried tirelessly to execute and managed to score another 2 goals in the final term, thanks to freshen up of the midfield where we saw Chelsea Frawley, Danielle Frawley and Carly Dillon create the perfect clearance to Weissy that ended in a Jordan Shanks goal. The Hearts worked tirelessly in the last quarter that resulted in a goal from gun forward, Serene, but we could not ultimately get the job done.
With more than double the inside 50’s of Whitefriars at the end of the game, it shows the strength of our team in particular the defence and midfield, but we were just unlucky on the day to capitalise on this momentum.
We look forward to meeting friendly foes, Old Brighton, next weekend.
Men's Reserves Match Report
Old Haileybury: 0.4.4
De La Salle: 26.18.174
We came up against a very experienced and accomplished side in DLS who in their last season (2019) won 10 games in Premier A reserves grade so it was a tough assignment which gave out boys a set of experiences we can take forward and reflect on to improve ourselves. I can tell you the boys are hurting and will bounce back to see what we can get out of the last part of the season.
We had the wind in the first quarter and we looked overrun despite struggling to hang in there, it wasn’t a lack of effort but a lack of body size and ability that signified the gap between the sides, we just could not win any contests.
The second quarter saw us against wind and the physicality of DLS took over, often exiting the front of the contest and pushing the ball forward and our boys looked a bit shocked and struggled to get a foothold in the quarter, we looked second to move a reactive which was a departure from the first quarter when our energy was up. Jack Grenda worked hard with Jordy Hurley and Charlesy in the backline and the physical pressure started to show and we went in 103 pts down at half time
After some adjustments and some reminders to each other the boys came out and matched DLS in every department and without two costly turnovers we would have had a great quarter but they made us pay for any mistakes we made, the boys endeavour could not be questioned and we were well led by Scotty Ellis and Jordy Hurley across half back and Olly Sharp giving everything along with Gora in the middle of the ground, we restricted the to 2.1 in the quarter.
The 4th quarter started badly with DLS kicking 5 quick goals, the boys however to their credit from the halfway mark of the quarter dug in and did not allow DLS to run over them holding them to three extra goals after that.
They key will be getting to training and working hard on our identified areas for development together and continuing to grow into a consistently competitive side that is hard to play against. We did not achieve that probably for the first time all season and we will have to reflect and come out again after the break hopefully better for it. Often, a result like this can often turn our attention away from the things we have done well for the majority of the season and the boys keep turning up despite getting beaten every week and for that they deserve a bit more respect that they get at times.
Respect is earned and we will get back to the job of doing that after the bye.