The new facilities at Brindisi are impressive and so is your senior men’s football team. Another solid performance from the boys at the quirky oval where we haven’t had a lot of previous success.
There was little wind to speak of and the first quarter was an even battle with 10 goals scored between the two teams. Loewey and Durras were lively on the forward line, although it felt the home team were getting first use of the ball. We probably won the game in the second quarter which saw us take a handy 18 point lead into the long break. The heavens were about to open and the second half was a real scrap. Not a lot to report as the glasses were fogged up and most of the play was on the car park side of the ground. There were only two goals scored (one each) for the stanza, reflecting the struggle the game had become. But we had maintained our lead and given the conditions retained favouritism. After an even first 10 minutes, the boys decided enough was enough, started getting better quality possessions which resulted in better delivery into the forward line and guess what – goals! Dino and the Kasbah (Castan Racunica) jagged a couple and it was game over. St Bedes had a dip towards the end but it was too little too late.
Seven goal kickers on the day with Loewey leading the way with four. Sam was clearly the best forward on the ground and took some excellent contested marks. Riley Thompson was his athletic best while Nick Gooda maintained his sold form of recent weeks. The backline are a good tough unit with Bitters and Ollie Sharp leading the group. There are rarely any easy balls for the opposition forwards which makes the coach a happy man. The onballers are a good experienced group now (J & W Paul, Gledders, Sec, Heas etc) and with the addition of a youthful Lachlan Riley on Saturday, it really looks like a solid unit.
Next week we travel to Albert Park to take on AJAX who are also 2 and 1. Every game is a test and this will be no different. See you there!
Senior Women's Match Report
“You’re playing Therry Penola? They start strong and they love a contested game”, said a player from Williamstown. “Don’t forget your mouthguards”, said a player from the Bloods. “They haven’t won a game or even kicked a goal yet”, said the VAFA website.
The Hearts had cemented their round 2 win using creative, free flowing football. Fast starts were not something they had managed to bring into their game in 2021. With the co-captain missing and some key midfielders out injured, the Therry Penola clash in round three shaped up as a danger game for Hearts.
Saturday came and it was perfect weather for football. Therry Penola forgot to wear their clash strip, leaving the Hearts players only minutes to change into the Blood’s away kit before the opening bounce. Then, Therry Penola won the toss and chose to kick… against the wind?!
The determined Hearts knew they had to start fast and they successfully dominated the first quarter, with 6 scoring shots to one and a huge advantage on the inside 50 count. Then, from the second quarter, Therry Penola brought their aggressive contested attitude to the match, winning the term and ending up only three points off the pace by the main break.
The Hearts knew that they had to start playing the game on their terms if they were going to take the four points. Luckily the Hearts were able to kick a quick couple of goals before the rain began, and they held Therry Penola to only 3 behinds in the second half. A final goal in the wet during the last quarter sealed the game for the Hearts.
It wasn’t their best football but the Hearts got the win. The next Therry Penola clash is in round 7 and there is plenty of upside in structure, personnel and playing style. The Hearts now have consecutive wins, ahead of upcoming back-to-back clashes with the two ladder leaders; Old Brighton and Old Scotch.
Men's Reserves Match Report
We came up against a very physically strong side so it was a tough first up assignment which gave out boys a set of experiences we can take forward and reflect on to improve ourselves.
The reserves got off to a poor start and it took us until midway in the first quarter to get a foothold in the game. Midway through the first we got going and tackled and pressured their way to the first goal with the midfield led by Ben Hood in the ruck matching a bigger and stronger opposition, Bainy and Rayner were strong across half back and that helped us to hang in there with them at the first break. The killer for us was that we were 5 goals to 1 down after running into an open goal 3 times for no result.
The second quarter saw us again fighting hard but variability in our attack on the football meant we were able to hang in there to half time with them but not breach the gap. Too often, despite the efforts of HK and Matty Charlesworth we allowed them to exit the front of the contest and as a result we looked second to move and reactive. Our backline stood up well Jack Grenda worked hard with Joel, Rayner and Lorenzo in the backline and the physical pressure started to show with injuries We went into half time about 30 pts down but hanging there and competing with the bigger St Bedes bodies. Oakesy worked hard with Gowny to hold it in the forward half.
After some adjustments and some reminders to each other the boys came out and matched St Bedes for parts of the quarter but again, there was variability in our attack on the contest and in some cases effort. That being said, we again hung in there via the efforts of too few but overall it was a quarter where we again failed to capitalise on opportunity and they made us pay for any mistakes we made, and we were well led by Jordy Hurley and Matty Charlesworth in the middle of the ground, well supported by Sam HK. Oakesy, as always led well.
The 4th quarter started badly with them kicking quick goals, goals in the middle and goals at the end, we gave them an 8 goal quarter!! I wish we could forget that last quarter ever happened! In the end it was another learning experience for the boys in that every week is separate and that the magic doesn’t just happen without effort. The other key learning we will take away from this game is that the efforts of all 22 players are critical and that any weak links get exploited. If you are losing your contests when it’s your turn to go and compete and you don’t get the job done, then that has an eroding effect on the team. They all walked away with the understanding that we can’t switch off for periods of a game against good opposition and when we are switched on, we will be very competitive. It was like we took one step forward last week and then two steps back this week but that will only be the case if we don’t learn from it. 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.
On the positive side, we are developing a couple of very good young players in Hoody and Lorenzo. Hoody is a young and developing ruckman who will be extremely valuable for the club in the medium to long term, Stewey Leowe is working with Hoody which is a great thing for the club. Matty Charlesworth and HK get better every week, Rayner plays his heart our every week. Before his injury Bainy looked great and Jack Grenda was again solid. We were pleased with Gowny’s endeavour and adaptability to play both forward and back and change in the ruck for a bit and it was great to get Joel back playing footy and with some valuable game time. Also, really happy with Zac Plaf’s development and his commitment to the club. Jordy Hurley is developing in different spots and Oakesy is a strong leader. And after what will be a long week on the track, Saturday cannot come quickly enough for us as we look to redeem ourselves turn it around again and get back on track!
Under 19s Match Report
Round 3 the 19s took on top of the table Kew with sights set on knocking off the top team. After a tough loss last week against Xavier, the boys were raring to go out and pick up a second win for the season.
We came firing early with three quick goals, one of which featuring some Finnstar magic taking on the man on the mark and snapping a beauty from the boundary. Despite a cracking first quarter Kew began to highlight their talents keeping us goalless in the second and piling on 4 of their own. Although down 23-45 at the half the likes of Keaton Law and Jesse Laity lead the boys through the premiership quarter facilitating the physicality and producing powerful plays to give Mitchy Doman and Jesse himself a goal.
Unfortunately, the final quarter saw Kew take the reins on the game holding us scoreless. The boys fought strong up until the final siren with some class from Max Sievers and Spiridon Poulos and strong defensive efforts from all the boys. Time for the boys to bounce back next week against Old McKinnon and pick up our second win. Go Bloods!