Round 4 saw us host Ajax on our home ground in what was a must win contest.
Six forced changes from round 3, meant we were going into this game with an extremely young and inexperienced team. It was great to have the Filipovic twins (Thomas & Sebastian) make their senior debuts after some stellar form in the U19’s this season.
The first half was an even contest. Kicking with a slight breeze in the first quarter, we were able attain stoppage dominance which allowed the game to be played in our half. Some good ball movement and direct inside 50’s to dangerous areas, along with some fantastic forward 50 pressure resulted in us kicking 5 first quarter goals to Ajax 1.
Second quarter Ajax came back hard. They starting winning stoppage and were out hunting us in the middle of the ground. They took control of the game and that led to them having scoreboard impact and reducing our lead to six points at the major break.
The second half was a tussle. Both teams had momentum throughout the quarter as the game ebbed and flowed, and we went to 3/4 time with a two goal lead. We challenged the players at the final break to trust each other, trust our process and to trust themselves. Our start to the final quarter was excellent. Our mids, led by 150 gamer Hugh Nicholson set the tone and we won the contested ball which gave us good looks going inside 50. Our forward pressure in the last terms was excellent and we were able to have the game played in our half for large periods of time. A couple of quick goals gave us some breathing space, but of course Ajax responded and came back hard. We stood up and withheld the counter attack and came away with a much needed and well deserved 3 goal win.
The resilience our players showed through a challenging week was outstanding. The leaders set the tone for the young, inexperienced group and stood up when it mattered most. It was great to see the playing group get reward for effort.
We look forward to our Rd 5 encounter against Old Carey next week at home.
Result: De La 13.9.87 vs AJAX 10.9.69