Round 16 Match Report
A season that in June looked so full of promise has been derailed by injury, unavailability and a sharp drop in form. Today was simply do or die as a loss would consign the season to the scrap heap.
While we welcomed back a couple of seasoned performers, the team was nothing like that assembled in round 1 when we defeated today’s opponent St Kevins by 16 points in a high quality encounter. Veteran Nick Roberts returned for his first senior game at the club since 2013. Nick was member of ‘Team of the Decade’ and his start to the season was delayed due to training for a full distance iron man event which he completed in June. There can be no question marks about his fitness!
On paper it looked a stronger looking outfit then our last outing against St Bernards but against a team that contained four players with recent AFL experience and a good number of others with impressive football résumé’s the 22 who took the park would need to be at their best.
Kicking into a breeze that was worth two or three goals we started well and managed an early goal when Nicholson got on the end of some adventurous play from up the ground. The visitors did all the attacking for the next 10 minutes but could find the goals. Against the run of play Keely slotted a nice running goal and a minute later Tom Humphrey marked and converted from close range. Jack Vickers prominent in setting up both scoring opportunities. The visitor’s probably let us off the hook with some wastefulness but we finished the quarter in style. Curwood drifted forward to goal from a nice mark and then Dooley did likewise for a handy 20 point lead at quarter time. Jake Williams was proving plenty of drive from the middle.
The game seemed to tighten up in the second quarter with plenty of contested football. Despite more intent from the visitors we put together some impressive passages of play. Plenty of highlights with Nicholson bagging a double and Pickett landing one from well beyond the arc. Our forward pressure and tacking was outstanding and our re-modeled forward line was working a treat. Tom Humphrey got on the end of some nice work from Hogan to slot his third and Dooley was rewarded for a great tackle in the forward half and his goal saw us out to 45 point lead at the main break.
The buoyant half time mood was improved further with a bright start to the second half. Vickers snagged an early goal followed by a great snap from Fieldsend. Soon after Dooley kicked his third and we enjoyed a commanding lead. Credit to St Kevins who started to move the ball with more precision and they enjoyed a good period through the later stages of the quarter. But 3 goals into the breeze was a good return and we held a comfortable 40 point lead at ¾ time.
It was important to finish the game on a high and 6 goals to one for the quarter ensured that we did. Three more to Dooley saw him finish with 6 to lead the scorers.
Fair to say we have relied heavily on the same handful of players in recent weeks so pleasing to report that today we had 22 contributors. A few standouts including second gamer Callum Dooley who was a handful up forward. Jake Williams and Hugh Nicholson (3 goals) provided the early spark. Keely and Murphy were great contributors as were young defenders Bull and Walker. Key defender Tom Humphrey provided a real presence up forward with 3 majors and laid off several more with skipper Fieldsend also hitting the scoreboard with 3 goals.
The equation is simple – we need to win both our final games by decent margins and hope that Uni Blacks slip up. They have a couple of tough games to come while we need to win to stay alive. We will be looking for the same effort next week when we travel to Elsternwick Park to take on Old Melburnians.
|De La Salle||5.3-33||11.5-71||14.9-93||20.12-132|
Goal Kickers: C. Dooley 6, T. Humphrey 3, H. Nicholson 3, M. Fieldsend 2, D. Keely 2, N. Curwood, S. Pickett, E. Clinch, J. Vickers
Best Players: C. Dooley, J. Williams, H. Nicholson, D. Keely, J. Bull, X. Murph
A much improved effort today against a good side. We stayed in touch for most of the game but an ordinary period leading up to ¾ time proved the difference. Could not question the commitment, led by Hockey and McMahon who were exceptional. Defenders Ramsay and Anastasiou were also solid contributors. While still mathematically possible a poor second half of the years looks to have ruled us out of finals calculations. Important to finish the season on a high and looking to get a win next week against OMs
|De La Salle||2.0.12||6.3-39||8.3-51||10.4-64|
Goal Kickers: T. McMahon 2, S. Lowe 2, R. McDonough 2, H. Curtis 2, J. Hanley, J. McGAW
Best Players: J. Hockey, T. McMahon, H. Ramsay, D. Anastasio, H. Curtis, A. Kneebone
Grand Final on 27 August.
Fifth placed De La Salle Blues took on Old Scotch for fourth position in the finals and came up well short. Before mentioning areas for improvement on the day, it has to be conceded that Old Scotch were impressive and too good. They could have kicked more goals.
Nevertheless with six less inside 50s, we once again squandered opportunities through an inability to use the ball efficiently or together. In a replay of last week we often (even usually) got first use but gifted many goals with unfortunate turnovers under pressure. The contesting was good but the bigger Scotch boys grew in confidence as we finished with more broken bones and injuries.
Our composure was good all things considered. Unfortunately, losing big games tests character and whilst, as DLS ambassadors we can be proud, we probably have to accept some overall underachievement. A bitter pill but not the end of the world.
The spotlight moves to finals bound Marty’s Golds and Steve’s Colts and even the Senior boys who still have their chances. Please keep training and supporting.
|De La Salle||0.2-2||3.3-21||3.5-23||5.8-38|
Goal Kickers: D. Krelle 3, A. Lvovskiy, S. Pennell
Best Players: H. Persson, S. Michael, M. Griechen, L. Bisognin, Z. Hawker, W. Taylor
A welcome return the winners circle by the Golds this week which ultimately secured our participation in this years finals series. Bolstered by the return of players back from injury, travel and managing numbers of games played while trying to ensure all under 19 teams qualified for finals the Golds fielded a much stronger team this week and it certainly showed given the result.
Along with welcoming back Liam O’Callaghan from study commitments, Matt Saunders from travel, Chris Ghersi and Tom Defterous from the Blues the Golds were also able to blood a couple of younger players into the team with Chris Busetti and Jamie Wheatley making very creditable debuts and fitting in well to the team.
Being able to put early scores on the board was the tonic the team required as it gave us great confidence and allowed us to play with a lot more freedom and work on the aspects of the game which we as a club see as important with run and carry, quick movement of the footy and running in numbers to give us greater opportunities to score. The players need to be congratulated for the persistence to look to implement the team goals and in what was a pretty good team performance albeit against an Old Scotch team looking for the end of the year.
On an individual basis we received good run from Tom Defterous, Michael Laoumtzis and James Yossifidis from the back half and this was complemented by the speed across the middle from Ben Ahearn, Danny Melissinoss, Liam O’Callaghan and a much improved game from Liam McCluskey. The good thing was this allowed us to transfer the ball deep into our forwards quickly and isolate Matt Saunders one-out where he was able to use his size to advantage as a significant marking target. In the middle we had good games from josh Galbraith, Harry Morris and our undersized rucks in Matt Horrigan and Michael Canny which gave us an advantage at stoppages.
Thanks to Wazza Wheatley who helped as goal umpire and to Tim Wood as timekeeper – I’m very grateful for the support given to us busy these people week in week out, because we just cannot play without the support of our volunteers.
All in all – it was a very pleasing performance which is tinged with a little regret as the Blues were unable to get the result the club wanted and also secure a spot in this years finals.
Next week we are home against Williamstown CYM’s in our final home and away game prior to finals.
|De La Salle||6.5-41||9.8-62||12.17-89||16.19-115|
Goal Kickers: C. Ghersi 5, M. Saunders 5, B. Ahearn 2, R. Davis 2, M. Simons, A. Wood
Best Players: C. Ghersi, M. Saunders, H. Morris, B. Ahearn, J. Galbraith, M. Laoumtzis
A return visit to Mentone to play St Bedes with a desire to atone for a poor performance at the same ground 4 weeks ago. Again we were confronted with a small tight ground but with a strong commitment and willingness to get back to run and carry footy rather than kicking down the line as we did last time.
Harry won the toss and we kicked with a 4 or 5 goal breeze. Our run and carry was first rate and we dominated play but despite kicking 5 goals, we felt we hadn’t capitalised and disappointingly allowed St Bedes 2 goals into the wind. The 2nd qtr saw the boys defend really well and attack when we could. With 5 minutes left in the quarter we had kicked one goal and restricted St Bedes to only 2. We then made a couple of basic errors and lost a bit of composure which allowed St Bedes to kick 4 late goals.
We had generally played a good first half, but 5 minutes of poor football resulted in a 6 point deficit at the main break.
The 3rd quarter was a tight tussle with St Bedes despite kicking into the wind having 9 scoring shots to our 8 and by quarters end they had a 2 point lead. We were down to one on the bench and it looked like the game was St Bedes for the taking. At ¾ time we resolved as a group to attack and give everything to win the game and despite tiring legs we would run and carry the ball.
We started brilliantly, took the game on and with some of the best footy we have played we kicked the first 3 goals and held a 15 point lead deep into the last quarter. With no bench, players cramping and lots of tired bodies, St Bedes were coming again and we defended like men possessed. The Backs were terrific, supported by Bowen and Riley who were tireless workers all day and Nick O’Sullivan was terrific, despite playing FF he was pushing deep to help out and then pushed forward to give us a target. We had 10 point lead with 30 seconds to go before a St Bedes goal gave them a slight chance but our boys held on for probably the best win of the season.
It was a great example of team footy, determination and courage which is what will be required to win finals footy. A great effort by all the boys. Thanks to Riley Watson for taking on the team managers duties, Josh as self appointed assistant coach, Harry Gill doing the board and Joe squires and Jordan Gregory running water. All these boys are injured but still contributing to our team and team environment. Thanks to Greg Gill who even with Harry being ruled out for the year with injury continues to be our timekeeper every week.
|De La Salle||5.3-33||6.5-41||9.10-64||12.12-84|
Goal Kickers: N. O’Sullivan 4, J. Epifanidis 2, D. Brasher, J. Squires, A. Monkman, H. Bowen, B. Melissinos, M. Riley
Best Players: H. Bowen, M. Riley, N. O’Sullivan, J. Mullaly, M. Tyquin, J. Bailey