Round 14 Match Report
When you are coming off three losses in a row the last thing you need is an away game against the top side on the horrendous University oval deck but that was the task confronting us today.
The Blues are a formidable outfit and on paper looked a much stronger unit then the team we narrowly defeated in Rd 8. The ground was in marginally better nick than our last visit a few weeks back against Uni Blacks, which saw a combined 8 goals kicked in two hours of football. However it was still heavy going and an ugly slog was expected.
A whopping 7 changes to the side and amongst the carnage of last week are potentially long-term injuries to Sam Haslem, Leigh Harrison and Sam Brooks. We welcomed another debutant and the 41st player to represent the club at senior level this season in Hamish Curtis. ‘Hammer’ is another hard nut whose game would be well suited to the heavy conditions of the Uni oval. Another inclusion was inspirational co-captain Matt Fieldsend, who was injured in the opening minutes of round 2 way back in April.
Kicking with the aid of the breeze we made an excellent start. While the home side probably had the better of general play we gained full benefit from our forward entries and with 4 goals held a handy 23 point lead at quarter time. Murphy and Nicholson prominent and their creative play set up our good start. While the scoreboard was positive the player personnel situation was already dire with Curwood and Gotch done for the day by the mid-way point of the first quarter, leaving us a few short for the remainder of the game.
The home side goaled early in the 2nd quarter and chipped away at the lead which had evaporated to 4 points by half time. Matt Fieldsend was throwing himself at every contest and Sam Williams was proving plenty of driver from half back. We battled gamely but in such difficult conditions a few of the Blues goals came a bit too easily.
We surrendered the lead soon after the re-start and consecutive goals by the Blues saw them open up a handy break. We hung in and with gun defender Tom Humphrey proving a handful up forward we had closed to within 2 points at the last change. Vickers and Rayson instrumental in getting us back in the contest but three goals into the breeze by the home side was telling. It would take a big effort to get our nose back in front and while we left nothing in the tank we could not impact the scoreboard in the last quarter. Young defender Andrew Walker impressive during this period but credit to Uni Blues who were a bit more composed with ball in hand late in the game and managed the only two goals of the last quarter.
The effort today was outstanding and while we did not get the four points, the commitment shown suggests a change in fortune is not far away. We sit in 5th place, level on points but 10 % behind Uni Blacks. With three of the four remaining games at home we are confident of seeing some September action but simply have to get the points next week against a rejuvenated St Bernards.
|De La Salle||4.4-28||5.4-34||7.7-49||7.8-50|
Goal Kickers: A. Indovino 2, T. Humphrey 2, X. Murphy, H. Nicholson, D. Keely
Best Players: H. Nicholson, T. Humphrey, J. Vickers, D. Rayson, M. Fieldsend, S. Williams
Uni Blues are the top team so a big effort was required. Once again due to travel, injuries and work commitments we started with one on the bench. Eventually Lachie Bull helped us out despite a severe corky from the week before. I ask the boys to play with spirit and just go out and have a crack. To cut a long story short we put in an enormous effort to lead all day only to lose by 2 points from the last kick of the match. The boys never gave up. We had some sore players and while we did not get the 4 points we got a lot more than that. We found our spirit and everyone did their best.
To the Blues credit they did what top teams do and just kept coming. Final score 24 points to 22 in an absolute mud wrestle. Some of our better players were , Harry Haley (Capt. for the day) Jordy Bull, Ned Murphy, Ryan McDonough, Cal Dooley and Steve Hogan but to be honest all the boys were great. As heartbreaking as a loss this was it will hold us in good stead. The group knows what they have to do and with four games to go we will win them all.
|De La Salle||1.0-6||3.2-20||3.4-22||7.8-50|
Goal Kickers: E. Murphy 2, T. Nicholls
Best Players: H. Haley, E. Murphy, S. Hogan, J. Bull, S. Vawser, R. McDonough
|De La Salle||4.3-27||5.5-35||9.6-60||10.7-67|
Goal Kickers: N. Stewart 2, D. Trotter 2, J. Hanley 2, N. Fyfield 2, D. Pendergast, S. McGraw
Best Players: J. Oakley, D. Trotter, H. Zaia, S. McGraw, R. Breda, L. Jarvis
Fourth placed De La Salle Blues took on 2nd place St Kevin’s with an important gauge of our progress and a great chance to work deeper into the top four. Unfortunately despite a supreme effort from our guys, we yet again failed to take our chances. No use crying over spilt milk. We simply have to execute our skills better against the best.
It was an impressive game in the wind with DLS boys striving hard to get back into the game after gifting SKOB with easy goals late in the first and second quarters. Whilst it was heart breaking to cough up some goals by taking on the game as instructed, it was also pleasing to see fantastic discipline constantly throughout the game with the ball being kicked to the right places, sensible decisions being made, no-preferred kicks when necessary etc etc etc. However at crucial times we still need more composure and grit under pressure.
Nevertheless we have now played 48 players in the Blues with Year 11 student Jordan Gregory really acquitting himself well along with eight other schoolboys in the team against opponents who are all school leavers. The more we can train and play together and persevere with our game plans, the more hopeful we can be of eventually rolling a top four side and making the finals. It will be worth the wait and hard work. Get on board !!!
|De La Salle||0.1-1||3.2-20||5.4-34||6.6-42|
Goal Kickers: D. Krelle 2, T. Shannon, M. Lvovskiy, Z. Hawker, M. Griechen
Best Players: M. Colak, H. Persson, L. Bisognin, M. Martinez, P. Burnell, A. Nyanjok
With another 7 changes and some very important outs from the Golds resulting in a limited bench requiring the addition of James Bailey from the Colts to help, this game was looming as a potential blow out. However, the spirit and determination to take the fight up to the top side by the 20 who ran out for the Golds should be held in high regard.
If ever there was a case for reflecting back that justice did not prevail this was the game as the undermanned Golds held out the top side for 3 quarters, but in the end an extended bench for SKOB coupled with no bench for the Golds as a result of injuries to lose by 28 points was not a true reflection of what happened.
With a quite significant wind affecting the game the effort by the Golds to stoutly defend, play the defensive side of the ground when kicking into the breeze in the opening and 3rd quarters and frustrate their opponents was terrific. A real feature was our tacking, harassing and our ability to stay with our much vaunted opponents for longer periods than was realistically expected given the team we fielded. The efforts of all players to commit their bodies, to look to get 1st hands on the ball and to compete against their opponents could only be admired.
Like all these things the Golds and De La sides generally do seem to give away size to their opponents each week, and as a result what should be noted was the efforts of our forwards with their pressure acts, tackling, harassing, and frustrating their opponents was a great leap forward in how we want to play the game. We could argue that some of tackling was not rewarded, but to see Matt Simons, Pat Cook, Matt Howard and Michael Laoumtzis tackle with such intensity was really pleasing. Coupled with losing our comparatively biggest inside mid in Harry Morris and as such operating with what could only be described as an undersized midfield (Nathan Monaco, Daniel Melissinoss, Rob Davis and a couple of year 12 boys in James Bailey and Ben Ahearn) the efforts of these guys who were not afforded too much luxury of a spell on the bench it was really pleasing to see. Special mention to Michael Canny a year 12 boy playing against 2” taller and overage ruckmen would no doubt ensure he would sleep well Saturday night.
The defence led by Aidan Wood, a returning Liam O’Callaghan, a couple of year 12 boys in Zac Grundmann and first gamer Riley Watson along with Yoss worked and teamed together really well, and in the end despite being overrun by our opponents, could all hold their heads up given how they held the highest scoring team to such a miserable score for the day.
In the end it was the lack of rotations which did not affect our opponents which made a quite significant difference, for in the last quarter when the game was on the line it was blindingly obvious that the fresher rotated players for SKOB were able to run over a tiring and much younger De La Golds. As such they won a tense, tight contest and blew the margin out with some junk goals, but the kudos across the game would all be for the Golds.
With the Golds featuring 5 year 12 boys from the college it holds the club in pretty good stead, and I hope to see them part of the club for many years. As an aside the Blues featured 5 year 11 boys and 4 year 12 boys in their game, so with a young group its really pleasing to see that these guys see De La as a part of their footy.
There is really not too much more to say and I’m sure it can be seen through the report, but the Golds were very brave and if the result of the game was decided on bravery, effort and for fighting out of your weight division then it would have been a different outcome.
|De La Salle||1.0-6||4.2-26||4.2-26||4.5-29|
Goal Kickers: M. Simons 3, L. McCluskey
Best Players: J. Bailey, Z. Grundmann, L. O”Callaghan, J. Yosiffidis, D. Melissinos, N. Monaco
We welcomed Aquinas at home who were down on numbers with the bare 18 players and at times only 17.
We welcomed Will Taylor and Chris the Ghersi who made their debuts for the Colts and Will Trewalla and Jordy Brasher also answered the call. The theme was to get back to our running game and despite a few lapses the boys kept to the plan despite the wet and windy conditions. With Nick O’ Sullivan missing, the plan was to play Adam M and Jakesy at full forward. Adam to his surprise was a natural and kicked 6 and Jakesy played a great game and finished with a couple goals. Chris Ghersi was giving plenty of drive from the wing and the general, Will Taylor was impassable at CHB. Jordan Gregory and James Bailey played great first halves before being rested to help out with the gold’s and blues in later games.
A big win but we must acknowledge Aquinas were down on numbers and the intensity and pressure this week will be massive as we battle Mazenod at their home ground this Saturday.
|De La Salle||4.2-26||13.4-82||15.7-97||21.13-139|
Goal Kickers: A. Martuccio 6, C. Ghersi 3, J. Gregory 2, S. Leary 2, M. Jakes 2, J. Bailey, M. Tyquin, F. Mccormack, M. Riley, D. Brasher, B. Melissinos
Best Players: A. Martuccio, M. Jakes, W. Taylor, C. Ghersi, J. Gregory, F. McCormack.