Round 18 Match Report
Final game of the 2016 season for the seniors and reserves and you get a sense that we were not really prepared for such an abrupt end to the year. Last weekend’s 4 point loss meant that we were playing for only pride today and after being in the hunt all season this was a bitter pill to swallow. Ironic also that we finish 2016 with a better win/loss ratio and percentage than 2015 but unlike last year don’t get the opportunity to participate in September.
Taking on the bottom side you could not blame the players for being a bit flat however they were determined to finish the season on a high and send retiring champ Leigh Harrison off on a good note. Like most games this season the breeze was a factor and the visitors had first use. They started well and at one stage led 3 goals to 1. We got back on top and by quarter time held sway by 11 points. Quite extraordinary that we went into the first change with only 19 fit men with Fieldsend, Hogan and Nicholson already finished for the day. This became 18 early in the second when Xavier Murphy, who at stage was probably the best player on ground, limped off with a bad ankle injury. We were left with no rotations for the best part of three quarters and would need to dig deep.
A dominant second quarter saw a return of 5 goals and 12 behinds with the failure to convert proving a major frustration. Despite our difficulties around the sticks we led by 52 points at the half.
Another solid quarter into the wind saw us manage 6 goals to one. Carey actually generated a lot of forward entries during this period but our defence was well on top and a winning mid field provided plenty of opportunities for our forwards. The game became a real scrap in the last as the visitors provided a flood of biblical proportions in an attempt to stem the scoreboard damage. The Williams trio had it on a string today, with Brendan Close, Andrew ‘Tex’ Walker and Jack Vickers also prominent Goals generally shared led by Pickett with 4. Harrison and Jake Williams 3 with “Puck’ Humphrey, released from defence late in the game booting 3 last quarter goals to join the multiple scorers.
So we now reflect on a season that ended in disappointing fashion. Our Thirds, Supers and two of our U19s see finals actions however the Seniors, Reserves and U19 Premier all frustratingly finished fifth which is ultimately how we must be judged. So very close but yet so far away.
For the seniors a lost opportunity. At our best we are as good as anyone as victories against each of the top three sides will attest. The reserves are left to rue a season that was derailed by unprecedented mid season injury and unavailability across the club, which ruined any chance they had to remain competitive. Likewise they also knocked off all the top fancies and with players back would have given it a decent shake had they managed to sneak into the finals. The 19 Blues had a solid season, always running the better teams close but never really bridging the gap. However we have unearthed some potential senior stars and with most eligible for underage football again in 2017 the future looks bright.
Today also brings the curtain down on the career of one of the clubs all –time greats in Leigh Harrison. Despite his youthful good looks Leigh has just about reached Superules qualification age (which I am sure will have the Dino’s hierarchy up and about!). Leigh was one of most consistent performers across the first nine rounds but unfortunately injury curtailed his appearances in the second half of the year. Perhaps no coincidence that our fortunes mirrored his availability. Leigh was a Rookie at the Western Bulldogs and played several years in the VFL with Werribee before returning to De La in 2003.
Included among a host of accolades are a senior premiership and best first year player award in 2003, senior best & fairest in 2005 and runner up in 2007. Leigh also had a couple of seasons with Kilcunda Bass that landed another flag. Leigh always let his deeds do the talking and will be remembered as one of the most sublimely skilled players ever to run out for the Blue and Gold. We wish him well in the future and hope that his footy smarts will be put to good use in a coaching role at the club.
|De La Salle||5.2-32||10.14-74||16.18-114||21.23-149|
Goal Kickers: S. Pickett 4, L. Harrison 3, J. Williams 3, T. Humphrey 3, L. Williams, X. Murphy, A. Forato, J. Vickers, D. Keely, C. Dooley, T. Nicholls, T. McMahon
Best Players: J. Williams, S. Williams, L. Williams, B. Close, A. Walker, J. Vickers
Gut wrenching to finish the season fifth having knocked off all the teams above us. A horror patch between rounds 11 and 16 when the clubs playing stocks took a hammering proved very costly. While the opposition was limited, we strung together 4 good quarters and finished the season on a good note. Harry Haley the star with 6 goals, including 4 goals n the last. Mc Donough and Matt Moore also managing 4 majors.
A few U19 Blues players injected into the line up today and were most impressive.
|De La Salle||7.5-47||12.12-84||20.14-134||27.20-182|
Goal Kickers: H. Haley 6, R. McDonough 4, M. Moore 4, A. Lvovskiy 2, H. Curtis 2, N. Hyland 2, S. Lowe 2, J. McGAW 2, A. Kneebone, T. Brasher, M. Lvovskiy
Best Players: H. Haley, N. Hyland, R. McDonough, H. Ramsay, D. Commins, H. Curtis
|De La Salle||3.6-24||6.7-43||8.9-57||8.14-62|
The Golds took on Beaumaris at Sportscover arena on Sunday on a day when the wind was not affecting the game ……. yes that’s right the wind was not a factor…. the Golds established an early lead and beat a determined Beaumaris to advance to a preliminary final.
Buoyed by the performance of the Colts the previous day who won their 2nd semi the Golds were determined to keep their season going and did so with an emphatic 1st quarter display on the vast expanses of Sportscover. When we look at the statistics we won the clearances 12 to 3, had 24 handball receives and 18 entries into the forward 45 as opposed to 9 all which allowed to set up an early lead which left Beaumaris not only frustrated but playing catch up on a day which was relatively warm and relatively energy sapping.
If we were to look at the downsides it was that we probably did not establish a bigger lead at the half because despite our dominance in just about all facets of the game we just weren’t able to deliver that decisive ball to the bigger forwards and the Beaumaris defenders were able to punch and clear the ball away and stem what could have potentially been a rout.
The 2nd half saw Beaumaris really push and make the game a much more physical and contested affair and through that they were able to gain a small toe hold back in the game and give themselves hope they could win.
That said the run and the willingness of the Golds players to push both ways dropped off and it allowed the Beaumaris players more time and space where in the 1st there had been little, so that is something the players need to be aware of as we look to advance through the post season.
The last saw Beaumaris pepper away at the goals and kick a remarkable 2 goals 11 with 4 out of bounds on the full, and despite creeping to within 14 points at the end the early lead the Golds had established always looked a tall order for them to overcome. That said we were able to kick early goals to establish a lead which gave us a bit of a comfort zone and as such the players psychologically had probably dropped off a little allowing Beaumaris that glimpse of a comeback win.
We were well served by our runners led by Chris Ghersi, Ben Ahearn, Danny Melissinoss, Pat Cook and by our on-ballers led by Harry Morris, Josh Galbraith and Jimmy Tran, along with cameos from Ajay Nyanjok and Dean Krelle, who all set a really good tone for the team. The defence of Yoss, Woody, Tom Defterous and Liam O’Callaghan were also heavily involved with getting involved in the run and carry to help set up the win.
We are also grateful to the off-field support of Sabrina and Kristen our trainers along with Tim Wood for timekeeping and special note of Geordie Nagle an injured player who acted as the interchange steward. Without our volunteers it just doesn’t work.
Thanks also to Matt, Mick and Steve for their support on the day which was terrific, and even more so as the coach was late due to an under 14 grand final he was coaching at another ground, and without that help we would have been a bigger shambles than normal! On a serious note this group of coaches have has been terrific and the support from them is invaluable.
In summary we advance and did so without any injuries, and we look forward to another final as we look to keep the Colts company in the finals.
|De La Salle||5.2-32||8.8-56||10.12-72||13.14-92|
Goal Kickers: P. Cook 3, C. Ghersi 2, D. Melissinos 2, A. Nyanjok 2, B. Ahearn, J. Yosiffidis, J. Vance, M. Saunders
Best Players: H. Morris, P. Cook, D. Krelle, L. O”Callaghan, T. Deftereos, A. Nyanjok
The Colts took on Parkside at their home ground in Alphington with a decent wind favouring the clubrooms end. Great to see all boys arrive early and familiarise themselves with the ground and conditions.
We spoke before the game about settling quickly and being strong over the ball as the pressure will be on but both teams took time to adjust to finals footy. Our tackling pressure was terrific and with Parkside kicking long with the wind it helped our defence who read the ball well. Michael Jakes took multiple marks and with all defenders playing well, we managed to restrict Parkside to 2 goals. We were well placed at ¼ time trailing by 2 points.
At the break, we focused on running the ball and not bombing it forward with the wind. As the boys confidence grew we began to outrun Parkside and with big Jon providing strength deep forward we began to put on some scoreboard pressure. Our midfield was working hard with Harry, Pat and Mitch getting it out to our runners, Ricky, James Bailey, Ollie, Trent etc and with Will Taylor providing a strong target at CHF ably supported by Josh we held a well deserved 4 goal lead at the main break.
The 3rd quarter could be decisive if we could hold Parkside but also kick goals and the effort put in by all boys was immense and it became the match winning quarter. With Jakes, Grundman, Wheatley repelling every attack, mids and forwards working hard, we ran the ball into the forward line, took our chances and kicked 4 goals straight to Parkside’s 1.3, to establish a match winning break. The pressure applied to the opposition was terrific all over the ground, we had a record number of tackles by ¾ time.
With the game probably beyond Parkside heading into the last quarter and with both teams feeling their legs after extra long quarters, the last quarter lacked some intensity but the boys battled on and ran it out to win a place into the Grand Final. A terrific effort by all.
It was great again to see all our injured boys helping out with boundary umpiring, running water and taking stats. Thanks to Matt, who took control of the board and rotations and Mick and Marty for their support and advice. Greg was busy in timekeeper’s box as most qtrs. went beyond 30 mins !
Great to see a number of boys at Elsternwick Park to support the Gold’s who had a great fighting win and now play next week to win a place into a grand final. We now have two weeks to prepare, so please get along to training and look after yourself, we have plenty to work on.
|De La Salle||2.0-12||7.4-46||11.4-70||13.8-86|
Goal Kickers: J. Bailey 3, J. Epifanidis 3, T. Shannon 2, J. Ingram, W. Taylor, A. Martuccio, P. Hounihan, N. O”Sullivan
Best Players: M. Jakes, M. Riley, Z. Grundmann, J. Bailey, H. Bowen, J. Ingram