We were treated to perfect conditions as we travelled to Bulleen to take on Carey. Seven changes to the team which took on Fitzroy a fortnight earlier, which included debutant Will McKinnon who has showed some stellar form in our U19 team in the first half of the season.
The first quarter was an even contest. Both teams were getting good looks in front of goal as a result of some poor pressure being applied up the field. Will McKinnon’s debut was unfortunately cut short, as he split his webbing in his hand and was taken to hospital for surgery. We frustratingly missed some gettable set shots and as a result meant we only had a 1 point lead, which should have been more.
Our second quarter was disappointing. Our pressure dropped off, Carey took control around the ball and had the game on their terms for the best part of 30 minutes. Our backline was under fire and we were struggling to stop the opposition momentum. Conceding 5 goals to 2, saw us face a 19 point deficit at half time. On top of that, we lost Cam Roberts to a hamstring half way through the quarter.
At the main break, we regrouped and reset. Some structural changes were made and we adapted the way we wanted to play. We knew we were up against it, with 2 rotations down and playing on a big ground, but we were confident we could turn things around.
Our 3rd quarter was quite strong. We got on top around the ball, and looked to control the ball by foot more and deny Carey the ball. Our forwards were looking dangerous, and as a result we kicked 4 goals to 1, to see us trial by 1 point at the final change.
The game was up for grabs in the last quarter. Unfortunately for us, we conceded an easy goal, meaning we were playing catch up for the remainder of the quarter. We were able to wrestle back momentum and won enough of the ball which generated some great chances in our front half. However we let ourselves down in front of goal. We kicked 1.6 and one out on the full, compared to the opposition 4 straight. In the end, we went down by 13 points in a really disappointing loss.
The effort of the playing group cannot be questioned. The players gave there all despite being undermanned, however our polish in front of goal proved really costly. We will regroup, work hard and improve, and be ready for another tough challenge next week as we take on Beaumaris at home.