Coming off a great win vs Noble we took on a Balwyn outfit fighting for a top 3 spot.
Balwyn’s mids got the better of us early but we did settle better about 10 mins in.
We were competing well but perhaps not at the same level as the previous week. We were also seeming to struggle with decision making on the smaller ground which led to several skill and decision making errors along with being caught with the ball.
We were lucky that inaccuracy at the other end kept us closer than perhaps what we may have been.
A couple of quick goals early in the second quarter with Johns and Fenton having a good patch onball had us hit the lead for a short period before Balwyn kicked the last 4 of the term.
We trailed by 26 points at half time.
Balwyn have a premier ruckman and he was providing good service to his mids and put pressure on our back 6. Sam Whelan was battling manfully against one of the competitions premier forwards and Decker and Locco were both trying their best under some duress from injury.
We didn’t give in though and kept at the contest. The errors that had cost us early were less prevalent and our run was causing Balwyn problems. A couple of late goals in the third saw us win the term and close the gap to 19 points.
After almost bringing rain with a spectacular marking attempt Sheppard was injured and lost for the game soon after.
We changed a couple of things in an attempt to win the game. Jones went forward after being solid onball. A running goal to Dean and a terrific long set shot under pressure by Shield saw us close to 9 points at about 12 minute mark of the last.
Balwyn then steadied to kick the last few and run out 6 goal winners.
The playing group should be proud of their efforts this year to again improve in 2017 to have a percentage in the mid 90s. They have beaten finalists in Blackburn and Doncaster once (could easily have been twice) and have also knocked over Norwood and Noble Park. A bit of luck in some close ones and the group is not very far away at all from playing finals in division 1.
Another level of effort needs to be found by the group if they are to go to that next step.
I’ve enjoyed the last few weeks being back on a more constant basis at Quambee. Thanks again for the support of Brad Green, Ryan Cullen, Michael Locco, Paul O’Callaghan and the playing leadership group to keep the group together and committed to compete every week in difficult circumstances.
Goal Kickers: C. Haley 3, C. Shield 2, R. Harbeck, M. Kakaflikas, A. Johns, J. Dean, A. Sharp, S. Banfield
Best Players: A. Fenton, A. Johns, A. Sharp, T. Jones, J. Dean, C. Haley
After what has been a much-improved year for the reserves squad, we had the chance to take on
Balwyn for the last round of the season.
Earlier in the year we knocked off Balwyn at home, but playing away we knew it was going to be a
challenge against an improving opposition team.
The start commenced with a lot of intensity from both teams. The footy moved freely and was a
contest of kicking and running. Our half backline was solid, with Michael Peart leading the way, but
we allowed goals to our opposition from the run forward through the center of the ground. Pricey
was dangerous for us in our forward line and created goal opportunities.
We were right in the game at quarter time and after Balwyn’s quick start I felt we had worked
ourselves really well into the contest.
Our second quarter though was very disappointing, with the score of 6.4 to 0. We shut off for 20
minutes of footy, and couldn’t get the motor started.
Half time we had a pretty frank conversation about the quarter and I think we all acknowledged that
the standard of football wasn’t acceptable.
Credit to the boys, the motors kicked back in and after half time the we matched and beat Balwyn at
hardness at the contest and coal face and our tackle pressure really improved again, gaining 16 and
18 tackles in the last two quarters. On the score board, it was 7.3 (us) to their 8.5, so we were able
to match a very strong opposition.
Our maker again was a the 2nd quarter.
Darcy Price was fantastic kicking 6 goals and continuous efforts all day. I thought Michael Peart had
his best game for the year. Our midfield of Josh Barker, Mark Griffith, Liam Marshall, Daniel Cox and
Jake Tyler battled hard all day and gave their all. Barks continued his good form from the year with
a strong performance and Jake Tyler was really consistent. Jordan Ursich and Simon Gray were solid
and Jake Wood did good tagging roles in stages. Ben Gommers was also good in the second half and
worked into the game well. Billy Khattar kept on working all day and was rewarded with a goal late
and it was great to have Jimmy Ellison and Max Taratuta back into the team for the last game, with
Maxy kicking a couple of sausages.
We have had some really good results this year. We finished 8th on the ladder with 5 wins. (5 more
than last year). Our percentage from last year has increased by over 40%, and we have been
competitive. We have also beaten two local rivals, including Norwood who are playing finals this
year. The effort and wiliness to improve, even from half time in on the weekend, from the playing
group has been fantastic and the reason for the improvement. As we said after the game, this is a
really strong step forward.
A massive thank you to the Dave Tucker for his assistance as team manager and was fantastic to
hear he has been given Life Membership at our club on Saturday night.
Thank you also to Greg Chambers (Dollar) for his role as assistant coach this season. Dollar has been
fantastic support, great sounding board and fresh set of eyes which is much appreciated and the
boys have really got around him.
Glenn Gordon has also been fantastic help with the board and rotations and assistant coach during
the season also which is much appreciated. Also thanks to Ray O’C for helping with Stats and jobs
throughout the year.
Paul O’Callaghan – Reserves Coach
Goal Kickers: D. Price 6, M. Taratuta 2, B. Khattar
Best Players: D. Price, M. Peart, J. Barker, M. Griffiths, J. Tyler, B. Gommers
Last Home and away game we travelled to Balwyn hoping to finish of the year with a god win. We welcomed back into the side our captain Prahn Nicholson and our Vice Captain Patty Harris both from injury. Balwyn haven’t been travelling all that good all year but a win the previous week had me a little worried that if we weren’t switched on and ready to go we could be in trouble. With 4 Under 17s stepping up to play Josh Povey, Shaun Stevens , Toby Godfrey and first gamer Jake Ireland we really had a good team in. The first Quarter Balwyn got the jump on us with an early goal and it took my boys a little while to settle. Game plan was to clog up the corridor and force them to go wide down the boundary. Balwyn ground is very small so we wanted to own the corridor and get the ball in quick to Big Wheels. The game was going to be won in the midfield with clearances being so important. With Jake Moss on the ball and looking very dangerous with his pace and ball carry out of stoppages the game plan looked to be going ok and with some quick ball movement and Mossy’s pace he was able to get on the end of a pass and kick a nice goal. The 2nd Quarter we witnessed some nice work from our first gamer Jake Ireland, nice hard clean footy was what we needed and he was very well supported by Poves and Mossy. The game was a bit of a see-saw with both teams really wanting to win the quarter. With Balwyn having kicked 4 goals and with 1 main contributor kicking all 4 we needed to shut him down as he looked super dangerous. At Half time we entered the rooms 1 point down and to be honest the look on a few of the boys faces showed me that it was going to be a tough day, with our efforts recently in the 3rd Quarter this was going to be interesting. The 3rd Quarter we needed to kick the first 2 goals and with a couple of dubious umpiring decisions going Balwyn’ way we started to look flat , 2nd to the ball and we just weren’t hard enough at times when we needed to be. We couldn’t afford to give them 8 scoring shots on goal and us only having half that amount. That just shows you we weren’t hard enough at the ball and the man. 3 Quarter time I was pretty pissed with the position we had found ourselves in, but still had the belief that we could win this game – it was only 13 points …. But Unfortunately we couldn’t get the ball inside our forward 50 quick enough to give us a chance and Balwyn ended up smashing us all over the ground. At Half time we were done and I could sense that as a coach. I asked for hardness around the ball and I didn’t get it. I threw 2 of the best 17s into the middle for the last quarter which was a big responsibility and they took it in there stride which made me proud. Balwyn ran out winners by 27 points after being up by a point at Half Time. Not that it matters but Balwyn also ended up on the bottom of the ladder which really hurts. But being Positive we could have played finals this year. Winning 6 games for the year was a huge stepping stone. Also having 2 of my best 24 playing Seniors and also Prahn playing Seniors makes me very Proud.
Well that’s it for the year. I want to thank everyone involved at the club and for their assistance.
Goal Kickers: B. Whelan 3, J. Moss 2, P. Nicholson, J. Ireland
Best Players: B. Marshall , P. Nicholson, A. Goldsmith, J. Povey, J. Ireland, J. Moss