VAFA HQ played host to the Blues round 8 challenge as we faces the Old Melburnians for the second time of the year in a quirk in the fixture.
The traditional 4 goal breeze to the scoreboard end was no where to be seen as the game got underway.
After a week where we challenged the U19 group on their standards both on and off the field, the boys were keen to impress and turn their season around following a run of frustrating performances.
For the first time in some time, we were able to get away to a good start as the midfielders were able to dominate the post clearance possession and get the ball out to the wide expanses of Elsternwick Park, allowing some of our runners like Campbell Bedford and Jack Forer to do what they do best. Our preparedness to change the angles opened the game up and made us incredibly hard to defend and allowing our forwards to get on the move. By quarter time, we had goals to all of our 6 forwards including one goal of the year contender from Harry McLean! An 8 goal opening quarter set up a 35 point quarter time lead and we didn’t look back.
Whilst the goals didn’t come quite as quickly in the second quarter, the way the boys played continued to look dangerous going forward. Just as pleasingly was the fact that we were good enough to hold the OM’S scoreless for the quarter. Among the highlights of the opening half was the work rate and cleanliness of Shane Ho around the contest, along with his ability to continually evade tackles and even take some contested marks!
The early part of the second half was fairly scrappy until the boys started to get on top in the second half of the quarter, through some great workrate from our mids and halfbacks, the speed of ball movement was super impressive to watch, continually looking to take on the dangerous kick and consistently being rewarded. The highlight play of the 3rd quarter started of Half Back through second gamer Ethan Hele, resulting in a forward 50 entry from Tom Docherty, finished off by the man who ended with 7 goals in Tom Robinson. Robbo played an exceptional game, with high workrate, getting up the ground as he always done, marking the ball between the arcs but today he was also able to get inside 50 and finish off his work with some exceptional set shot goal kicking.
We took a 63 point lead into the final quarter and were determined not to let them back into the game as we did last time around.
Despite giving away a couple of early goals, the boys regained the momentum with a courageous mark and goal from Keagan Hillemacher, a goal to Charlie Maxwell and a 7th to Robinson, we were able to extend our margin by the end, winning all 4 quarters ad completing the 4 quarter performance that we had been looking for.
This performance should restore a lot of confidence for our boys as we head into the final game before the long weekend against a fellow top 4 hopeful in Old Brighton, a game that will no doubt shape the back half of the season!
We are looking forward to that challenge as we look to build on what we did today.