Coaches corner week 15

With the senior teams on a bye and the Guns’ season finished, it was the Under 19 teams, Warriors and Colts representing the blue and gold on the weekend.

19 Blues
by Nick Hyland

It was second v fourth as we took on Old Xavs at home. Boosted by having Liam Murphy and Sam Michael back from the seniors, we were looking to lock away a top two spot.

We kicked with the breeze in the first and took full advantage. Our intensity around the ball was up, we put the heat on and our ball movement was pretty good. Defensively we were strong, keeping the opposition goalless while we were able to put five on the board.

Sadly however, that was as good as it got for us. From then on our intensity fell away dramatically. Xavs got the game on their terms and dictated to us for the next three quarters.

We went away from what we agreed upon before the game – The boys weren’t willing to work hard and hang tough when the opposition took it to us.

To Xavs credit, they played a more consistent game and deserved their four goal win. We look to regroup and have a solid week on the training track fully aware there is plenty to work on if we are to be competitive against quality opponents for four quarters.

Our best players were Murphy, Michael, Fasoulis, Hawker, Colak and O’Callaghan.

There’s no bigger challenge in U19 Premier footy than Beaumaris at Beaumaris and that’s what’s ahead next week. We are up for the challenge and the boys assure us, they will respond.

Final scores: De La Salle 11.7.73 lost to Old Xavs 15.6.96

19 Golds
by Martin Kelliher

In a game crucial to establishing a top two finish, the Golds took on Old Xaverians in what was a crunch match for us both. There had been contrasting form by both teams leading into this game, but form is never really indicative of what happens when these teams meet. To the credit of the players they were very aware of what was at stake and played accordingly.

Taking full advantage of a very strong breeze favouring the cricket nets end of the ground, the Golds played hard-nosed footy to quickly build an early lead which was always going to be hard to overcome.

The positive start showed the Golds what they are capable of when they apply themselves and it also had the added impact of making our opponent chase shadows, from which they never really recovered.

We had a slight lull in our efforts in the third quarter when our opponents kicked the last two goals to get a glimmer of hope. Xavs then kicked the opening goal of the last and our resolve was going to be tested.

But the players tore up the script, playing strong running footy into the wind and kicking away again to record a very strong win that all but secures a top two spot.

The players are to be congratulated for their willingness to commit themselves to the challenge of this game and for the result, but they are also aware of the need to see this as a stepping stone on our season’s journey and not the summit.

Better players on the day were Matt Simons, who seemed to have no opponent for three quarters and did as he pleased. Remy Cadman was a strong target up forward, Cooper Morris, Tom McDonald and Tom Harrington were solid in defence and our on-ballers Ricky Rando, Mitch Riley, Riley Watson and Josh Ingram were also key.

Next week we take on Beaumaris at Banksia St. We need to keep our form going as we place pressure on teams around us and also have players push for games in the Blues.

Final scores: De La Salle 15.14.104 defeated Old Xavs 6.5.41

Colts
by Steven Ingram

In what is becoming a common occurrence, the Colts snatched victory in last few minutes to get out of jail with a two point win.
We ventured to a windswept ground adjacent the Geelong freeway in Altona to take on a Williamstown team fighting to keep their finals chances alive.

We played a disappointing first half but were still in the game at half time, trailing by 11 points.

We came out in the third having to defend against an increasingly strong wind and played a great quarter. We finally used our hands to run the ball along the wide expanses of the defensive wing, resulting in us having the ball deep in our forward line for long periods of time.

We had a number of shots at goal but as would become apparent in the last quarter, kicking goals at the freeway end proving very difficult.

We started the last with a 13 point deficit but with the advantage of the wind. It was not a great quarter of footy and if wasn’t for a nice set shot from Curtis Day and a couple of scungy opportunist goals by Joe Squires, the result could have easily gone the other way.

Disappointingly, Williamstown were able to take numerous uncontested marks inside their 50 and had a number of chances to kick goals, but they found as we did that kicking successfully at the end of the ground was almost impossible.

Our better players were Vance, Squires, Morgenthaler, Green, Caruso and McCormack.

We really need to improve in a number of areas and get the chance to show this when we take on Hampton next week, another in the group of teams fighting for fourth.

Final scores: De La Salle 5.9.39 defeated Williamstown 5.7.37

Warriors
by Rob Breda

The Warriors took on Old Scotch at Waverley Oval for our last home game of the season. The equation was simple; beat Scotch and be just about assured of a top two spot. Lose, and we must rely on results to go our way for the double chance.

Kicking with the aid of a strong breeze, Scotch got the jump and kicked away with a five goal to zero first quarter. There was plenty of feeling in the contest with bodies flying around and some behind the play physicality.

In the second quarter we cut into the lead with good ball use and increased pressure around the contest. Though our kicking was wayward, we went into the halftime break with less than a kick in it and the momentum with us.

Defending into a stiff breeze again in the third, Scotch capitalised with some long goals and took their chances when converting in front of goal.

The last quarter was ours to win and we had the majority of possession in the first 15 minutes, though inaccuracy would again cost us. We piled on 1.8 unanswered until Scotch broke the momentum and finished the game off with two goals to seal the victory.

While we went down by 26 points, we had four more scoring shots than our opponents which will give us confidence to take into the next time we match up against them, hopefully in the finals.

Final scores: De La Salle 7.17.59 lost to Old Scotch 13.7.85

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