Saints in local paper

Heath Decker chases after the ball. Picture: Richard Serong

North Ringwood falls to three-point loss against Eastern Football League powerhouse Vermont

IT WASN’T the result North Ringwood desired, but it could have been the performance that confirmed the Saints as a finals contender.

North Ringwood ran perennial premiership contender Vermont to three points on Saturday, falling to its first loss of the season.

Guy Phelps had a shot in the dying stages from a tight angle in the pocket at Terrara Rd but the ball was touched on the line, leaving Vermont as the only undefeated team in Division 1.

Despite the 14.8 (92) to 14.5 (89) defeat, North Ringwood captain Jack Whelan was encouraged by his side’s efforts against the competition powerhouse.

“We spoke after the game that we didn’t really want to pat ourselves on the back for an honourable loss because at the end of the day they mean nothing,” Whelan said.

“In saying that, there were some positives we took out of the game so I think the fact that we know when we bring that level of intensity and attack on the footy and we can match it with the best.”

Vermont led by 17 points at the final change before North Ringwood almost pulled off a come-from-behind victory.

The Saints kicked five goals to three in the final quarter but just fell short of its first 3-0 start to a season since 2013.

Curtis Dunne was the star up forward with five goals, while key defender Harry Nolan was among the best players in just his third game for the club.

Nolan was one of host of new faces to join the Saints over the summer, with Petracca brothers Julian and Rob, Jayden Hoegel, Mitch Keedle and Matt Cullinan also on the list of additions.

Whelan said belief was building at Quambee Reserve that North Ringwood could challenge for its first finals appearance since 2014, when the Saints won promotion from Division 2.

“I think it is going to be a very even competition but there is a real bit of belief that the group can hopefully snatch a spot in that top five and play some finals footy in first division for the first time in a long time,” Whelan said.

“Moyley (coach Brett Moyle) has said to us a couple of times that he wouldn’t have come back and wouldn’t have given his time to come back if he didn’t think we weren’t going to play finals.

“He’s not coming back to finish seventh or eighth, he’s got a real genuine belief and I think the group is starting to go with him.”

The Vermont clash was the start of a challenging month for North Ringwood, with games against Noble Park, Blackburn and Norwood to come before the interleague bye.

Match Reports – Round 3 v Vermont

Darcy Harris ready to pounce after checking out the score. Photo courtesy of Sharon Jones.


Close but not quite.
After two good wins in the first 2 weeks we took on a grand finalist from last year and the measuring stick for the last couple of years in Vermont.
I have belief in our group that we can contend but Saturday was going to clearly expose whether that was fact or fiction.
We started well with the first 4 goals as we jumped Vermont. Our pressure was great with 22 tackles in the first quarter. There were no easy kicks to be had and it was very competitive around the contest. Dylan Van Unen started very well across half back and our overall pressure was keeping us in the contest. We had a 3 point lead at quarter time.
In the second quarter our pressure dropped a touch and we did not force the same number of turnovers on Vermont and they were able to run and carry the ball on the outside a few times and were able to score. It was still an arm wrestle though and Vermont led by 2 points at half time. Our back 6 were holding up well with Nolan, Decker and Locco all doing well in their respective 1 on 1 duels. Whelan and Petracca were having a bit of the ball and Dunne was a dangerous forward target for us.

At half time you could see the belief growing in the group.

In the third quarter I believe we had the better of the play but our ball use across half forward was poor and we got hurt on the counter attack several times. A good side like Vermont will get you if you give the ball back too easy. The contest looked to slip away as Vermont drew clear but our boys dug in and our tackling pressure and intensity really lifted late in the quarter that resulted in a couple of scores in the last few minutes to keep us in it.  We trailed by 17 points at 3/4 time.

In the last quarter we were all over Vermont. We won around the contested ball and surged the ball forward. At times not polished enough and our decision making at times letting us down but our intensity and thirst for the contest was terrific. Taylor came to life and his pace forward resulted in a couple of goals and Dunne also kicked his fourth for the day. We just missed a couple of late chances that just missed and resulted in points but also missed a few chances with inside 50 entries. A little more composure could have meant us taking a big scalp. It wasn’t to be though and we feel 3 points short.

I am very disappointed because we could have and should have won with how we played in the last 40 minutes of the game. However, it is great to have it confirmed through performance that we are a genuine contender this year. That doesn’t get us the 4 points that we desperately needed Saturday and we need to ensure we bring the same level of effort this week against Noble Park at home to get the 4 points this week.

Best players- Locco, D.Van Unen, Nolan, Dunne, Decker, Whelan, Fenton.

Goal Kickers: C. Dunne 4, L. Taylor 3, M. Cullinan, J. Hoegel, A. MacKinnon, D. Harris, J. Whelan, M. Joyner, S. Barnard

Brett Moyle – Senior Coach

Vermont 3.3-21 8.4-52 11.7-73 14.8-92
North Ringwood 4.0-24 8.2-50 9.2-56 14.5-89
On Saturday, we took on Vermont away.
We went into the game with some confidence with 2 wins to start the year, however knew it was
going to be a very tough contest and would require our 110% all day.
The report this week will be short, as it was a tough day at the office.
I felt we were slightly off at the start of the game, and weren’t prepared to play contested man on
man football. We were beaten winning at the coal face and our opposition run, kicking and spread
really exposed us.
This is a good learning for the group, that even at reserves grade football in division 1, you cannot be
off, and if you are – you need to kill the contest and get yourself into the game.
At half time, we had a good chat about the game, what we could do to improve and get ourselves
back into the contest. Focus being on 1 on 1 contested footy, lifting our pressure and tackling, and
matching Vermont with uncontested marks.
After our chat, our 3rd term was strong and we matched Vermont 8?12 on the scoreboard, which
proves to the group when we commit to playing a tough brand of footy we can match it with the
best. Unfortunately, however in the last quarter the intensity again fell away and we were again hurt on the
Vermont are a very strong team and have some seriously experienced footballers running around, and
take nothing away from their performance. As a group, we need to believe we can match it with the
best through, and this was clear we are able to with our effort in the third quarter.
A couple of notable performances. I thought Jordan Ursich was fantastic holding full back and
keeping his opponent goalless. Kaka was also strong at CHB and forward in the first quarter. Dan
Cox, Todd Morgan and Max Dymond all tried their guts out in the centre and I thought Matt Payne
made a strong impact.
Was also great to have Josh Ralph back playing footy and Jake Cullen who both contributed.
So, we need to take learning from this week and rebound to make sure we are competitive next
week and get the W against Noble Park at home.
Best Players: J. Ursich, M. Kakaflikas, M. Payne, D. Cox, T. Morgan, J.Ralph, B.Marshall
Goal Kickers: M. Kakaflikas, J. Moss

Paul O’Callaghan – Reserves Coach

Vermont 6.2-38 13.5-83 14.11-95 22.16-148
North Ringwood 1.2-8 1.4-10 2.6-18 2.6-18


Under 19s:

Welcome to Round 3 – 2018
After coming off a big win last week against Knox, we were excited by the prospect
of taking on Vermont at their ground.
We were down a lot of personnel this week, due to school footy, injury and
unavailability – which certainly wasn’t ideal leading into a game against one of the top
We got off to a super start with Nicko and Wheels our captains leading by example
and brining some real physicality, Vermont seemed a little shell shocked.
Stevo got on the end of a couple of early goals which was great, and it was also great
to have Sharkey back from suspension really presenting well up forward and giving us a real
We went into quarter time with some real belief only 5 points down at this stage.

Unfortunately this was short lived as we lost more personnel and Vermont started to really take ownership of the game and we ran out of fight end in the end.

We will reset and get a couple of players back this week, I expect us to really
challenge Noble Park next week, we are a young Developing side and we are Building some
real chemistry, unfortunately we will have these challenging weeks as it’s all part of the Journey.
Stick fat boys and re-load for a big effort this week.

Better Players: Heckley, Bell, Naismith, Sheild, Murfett, Sharky
Goal Kickers: Stephens 2, Whelan

Matt Povey – Under 19 Coach.

Vermont 4.1-25 8.7-55 16.11-107 22.13-145
North Ringwood 3.1-19 3.1-19 3.1-19 3.1-19


Match Reports Round 2 v Knox

Matt Sheppard – BOG round 2 v Knox, Jack Whelan – BOG round 1 v East Ringwood, Peter Appleby of The Grand Warrandyte – presenting the awards, and Brett Moyle, jubilant Senior Coach.

Three wins against  Knox on Saturday. Seniors and Reserves 2 from 2, and Under 19s with a 136 point win. What a way to start the season.

Match Reports:


After a good win Round 1 we wanted to keep our season moving forward against Knox in Round 2. Knox won the division 2 flag in 2017 and had a close loss to Montrose last week so were a little unknown going into the match.

We were lucky to get Dylan Van Unen come back from Port Melbourne and slot him into our back 6.

The conditions were very difficult with heavy rain and strong winds so lots of the pre-planning  and structures goes out the window.

We started well. We tackled strongly and dominated inside 50s. Hoegel started well with our first 2 goals. We led by 3 goals at 1/4 time.

In the second quarter Fenton kicked 2 goals and got himself going in the midfield, Taylor looked dangerous forward and won plenty of the ball and Sheppard got himself in he highlight reel again with a spectacular mark and goal. Our half backline was repelling lots of Knox attacks and we had a 7 goal buffer and kept Knox goalless to half time.

The message at half time was more of the same and push home our advantage. We were able to do that with Whelan continuing his good form from the previous week and Petracca continuing his good start with his new club by winning heaps of the ball. In the end we ran out convincing winners.

It has been a positive start to the season and great to start 2-0. We had a very even contribution across the ground with only 2 players not getting 10 possessions and only 1 having more than 20. The intent of the group to all tackle and work for each other has been good.  There was also a good spread of goal kickers with our small and medium forwards contributing well in this area. The feeling of ‘team’ amongst the group has been good and will need to be at a very high level this week as we take on Vermont at Vermont. Our boys are more than ready for this challenge.

Well done also to Paul and Matt and their teams. It was terrific for our club to have 3 wins on the day.

Best players- M. Sheppard, J. Petracca, L. Taylor, D. van Unen, J. Whelan, A. Mackinnon, A. Fenton, J. Hoegel.

Goal Kickers: J. Hoegel 3, M. Sheppard 3, C. Dunne 2, A. Fenton 2, M. Keedle, L. Taylor, G. Phelps

Brett Moyle – Senior Coach

North Ringwood 2.2-14 7.4-46 9.9-63 13.12-90
Knox 0.1-1 0.4-4 0.6-6 1.11-17



After a good result in Round 1, on Saturday we took on Knox for our first home game for the year.
Knox had just come off a good win against Montrose in Rd 1, and we knew it was going to be a tough
We welcomed Owen Tozer into the team this week for this first game for the club. Congratulations
Owen. We unfortunately lost our Captain Michael Peart being away along with Darcy Harris being re-
called into the seniors after a strong game last week, but we picked up Matt Payne and Sean Barnard
– back for this first game for a couple of years for the club.
Our Vice Captains Josh Taratuta and Jordan Ursich led the boys out for the day.
Weather conditions = wet… very wet.
Kicking into a strong breeze in the first quarter and wet weather, the importance of not over
conceding and making sure we shopped early were critical.
The whole group battled extremely hard during the first term and we were able to keep Knox to 2
goals, whilst also kicking 2 ourselves, which was a big effort as the wind at that stage was very
The second quarter we started getting our mojo going in some very wet weather. We were able to
win footy forward and create opportunities on goal – but it seemed to be the day of hitting the goal
post with Todd Morgan hitting the post 3 times and a number of others also.
The second half we really put the pressure on Knox and were able to take control of proceedings.
The midfield was able to clearly win the contest, especially at the coal face and as the game opened
up we started using the full width of the ground,  which we had struggled to do early. Our
backline was outstanding and our forwards worked hard all day and had several opportunities on
In the end, we got a W and kept Knox goal-less from quarter time, which is a great effort.
From this were have now been able to start the season 2-0, which comes down to hard work, but
most importantly enjoying our footy and company.
We have a challenge this week – Vermont.
Let’s bring the same attitude and enthusiasm and make it happen.
Well done boys – I am proud of all your efforts.

Best Players: A. Goldsmith, J. Kennedy, M. Kakaflikas, M. Payne, S. Barnard, T. Morgan

Goal Kickers: M. Kakaflikas 2, J. Hollingsworth, S. Barnard, M. Dymond, P. Nicholson, J. Kennedy, J.
Cox, T. Morgan

Paul O’Callaghan – Reserves Coach

North Ringwood 2.1 3.6 4.8 9.13-67
Knox 2.2 2.2 2.4 2.6-18


Under 19s:

Welcome to Round 2 – 2018
We worked really hard this week after moving on quickly from Round 1, our focus
was on setting up some run from behind, pressure across all areas and accountability.
This week we Started with 24 players, which was great and definitely our strongest
team so far this year, we also welcomed Liam Lyall for his first game for NRFC.
First Bounce you could tell we were on today, all the talk prior to the game wasn’t
just talk now as it was evident that we were wanting to perform well in front of our Home
crowd and get the day off to a good start for the entire club.
It started in the middle with Chopper giving us first use and Ireland working hard
around the contest, getting some clearances and lots of forward entries, also rewarding
himself with some very nice goals.
Heckley’s rebound and run of Half Back was outstanding and he was really taking on
the opposition which is exactly what we wanted to see.
By Quarter time the boys had got us off to the perfect start, but we knew that Knox
would continue to compete hard around the contest.
2nd quarter was underway and our intensity and willing to crack in continued and we
were again getting reward on the scoreboard against a strong breeze. Naismith’s ability to
read the game very well from full back, and to turn the Knox attacks into North Ringwood
goals at the other end, by taking the game on was very pleasing.
We were rotating the bench very heavily to give everyone plenty of opportunity as
well as play guys in all sorts of different positions, Finta moved on to a wing and did some
really good things there, Wright Jnr was super on his wing and was very hard at the contest.
At half time we discussed the importance of keeping our structure in these type of
games, also the enjoyment of playing this game with our mates and getting the best out of
each other.
3rd quarter started really well again, Povey was taking the game on giving us a lot of
drive out of the middle, breaking the lines and rewarding himself with a few goals. Wheels
had been a real focal point forward since the outset and continued to be dangerous and
physical around the ground.
Payno was working really hard in the middle, really strong at the contest and leading
by example, Murfett was giving us some good drive off half back and positioning himself
really well to create some good run.
We moved into the last quarter feeling really good and now wanting to finish the
game off well. Lyall in his first game had been really good and continued to apply pressure
to the opposition and be dangerous up forward.
Glassborow looked great going forward and continued to present really well and
take some strong marks.
Bell was having a good game too, contributing well from various positions, Sheild
played his wing really well and his ball use was a highlight.
We got the win and we learnt a lot from each other this week, now looking forward
to the challenge of Vermont next week.

Better Players: Heckley, Ireland, Povey, Naismith, Wright, Whelan, Payne, Murfett

Goal Kickers: Povey 4, Ireland 4, Whelan 2, Sproles 2, Church, Payne, Naismith, Heckley,
Lyall, Bell, Wright, Glassborow

Matt Povey – Under 19s Coach.

North Ringwood 6.5-41 10.7-67 15.14-104 20.17-137
Knox 0.0 0.1-1 0.1-1 0.1-1



Saints go to TOP of EFL Division 1 Ladder

After an emphatic win over Knox, NRFC Senior team sits joyfully on top of EFL Division 1 ladder.

Let’s hope we can continue our winning form against Vermont (away) next Saturday.

Another screamer by Matt Sheppard and 3 great goals highlighted a best on ground performance.