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
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
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.