Winter is Coming
Last Saturday was a jumbled up affair. With our Women playing at the GBO at 2pm and all other teams playing away, our teams plied their trade across a gusty Melbourne as the VAFA celebrated 125 years of Amateur football.
While we racked up 2 wins from 4, you can rest assured all our teams had a massive crack and won plenty of plaudits for how they went about their games. Winter can be a tricky period for player management particularly for a young group of men and women looking to travel. We have our fair share of people enjoying warmer climes including my entire family who are sunning themselves in England (OK they are ‘clouding’ themselves but it’s warmer!)
The Reserves are on a mini run and knocked off Old Haileybury away which is no mean feat. The Women faced off a determined challenge from Ivanhoe AFC to cement top spot and played host at GBO after the game (photo below) Our Unders were severely depleted and battled hard against Oakleigh away with four current school boys donning the jumper. Our Seniors worked tirelessly against a team that had beaten us by 120 points last time around to eventually go down fighting. All teams are keen to be on the winners list next time out and all have everything to play for.
Congratulations also to Rhiannon Green and Eloise Defina who have made the 30 woman Victorian Squad and to Steph Defina for being a current first reserve. A mighty effort to get this far and best of luck when the team is announced later this week.
We will take a pause with the newsletter given the bye this weekend. VAFA Representative football will be played this weekend and I know our girls would love to see our supporters there should they make make it and you fancy a trip to North Ballarat. Road trip anyone? Details on the VAFA website http://www.vafa.com.au/latest-news/vafa-womens-big-v-squad-30-released/
Next week I look forward to announcing OCGAFC’s 3 nominations for incredible service to our club over the last 25 years to mark the 125 VAFA celebrations.
Our next game is at home – it’s the Women’s Lunch and it’s a Super Saturday. Bring the beanie and look forward to seeing many of you there. Don’t forget free afternoon tea and cakes at half-time.
Unfortunately a momentary lapse at the 26 minute mark allowed 3 quick Hailebury goals and we went into quarter time trailing narrowly despite having the best of it for most of the quarter.
Whilst we tried hard to wrestle back momentum in the second quarter, we made too many mistakes and Haileybury, showing their class, were able to capitalise on this. A rev up from Browna at half time gave us a renewed vigour in the second half and we gave everything we had. The backline held firm all day with Jimmy Allen and Rob Deev repelling attack after attack from our opponents. Similar to the first quarter – we had our chances, but some near misses and some poor decisions making meant we were unable to make a dent in Hailebury’s lead.
The final quarter continued in a similar vein and despite our best efforts, we couldn’t close the gap. The end result was a win to Hailebury by 43 point. Whilst this is disappointing, it is a 14 goal better result than our last encounter. I was proud of the effort that everyone showed all day however if we want to be finals contenders, we need to be cleaner with the ball and make better decisions under pressure.
We have a week off now to get rid of any niggles and we come up against the top side, Caulfield, at home in our next match. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Goal Kickers: A. Brettingham-Moore 2, M. Trait 2, N. Adamson, J. Arnold, J. Edwards, S. Bennett, L. Huysmans
Best Players: J. Allen, F. Wells, W. Kanz, R. Deev, S. MacDonald, J. Arnold
|3||Old Ivanhoe Grammarians||11||7||4||0||0||0||812||855||94.97||28|
|7||Old Camberwell Grammarians||11||5||6||0||0||0||863||1035||83.38||20|
ReservesThe Ressies faced a huge challenge this week taking on Haileybury who were one of the 4 teams tied with us for fourth spot.
The team showed its character and desire to win, with their attitude in the change rooms before the game and the intensity in which they completed the warm up run by Jordan setting the tone for the day.
Tom Stayner played a captains game from the first bounce. From his attitude and intensity it was evident this was a game he wasn’t willing to lose. He took control of our midfield structures and attacked the ball with a toughness he has become renowned for, resulting on us applying great pressure around the stoppages and not allowing Haileybury to run out the back and kick easy goals like they had last time the two teams met.
The end of the first quarter saw an even contest with us taking the lead by a point.
The second quarter saw even more players step up with Alex Gilmour playing his best game for the season, Gilly lead well all day and then followed up all his efforts with great tackles which kept the ball in the forward line and allowed us to dominate control of the game.
Unfortunately we were unable to convert this dominance into scoreboard control but finished the half up by 7 points.
With a renewed focus on playing 4 quarters of footy, the boys were determined to ensure we didn’t drop off.
The third quarter saw a whole team effort with defenders led by Ben Mann & Matt Cottrell who took control of our structures all day and provided great contests around the ground.
The midfield also stepped up their efforts with some great clearance work from Tavs and Boycey, which saw us take a 34 point lead into the final break.
The fourth quarter saw Haileybury come out hard and pile on a few quick goals, however swingman Greg Tolson was able to plug the hole in defence and pretty quickly we had responded with three goals of our own.
Overall this was some of the best footy we have played as a team all season, the turnaround from earlier in the season where we went down to Haileybury by 10 goals has been phenomenal and a testament to the teams positive attitude and willingness to improve
Goal Kickers: J. Simon 3, M. Jenkin 3, N. Russell 2, S. Kaiser 2, C. Gorman, A. Taverner
Best Players: T. Stayner, S. Boyce, A. Gilmour, S. Kaiser, C. Urwin, T. Pepperell
|4||Old Camberwell Grammarians||11||5||6||0||0||0||810||789||102.66||20|
|9||Old Ivanhoe Grammarians||11||2||9||0||0||0||632||999||63.26||8|
On one of the coldest morning in a long time the Under 19’s ventured away to play Oakleigh who were in third place on the ladder.
With a stiff breeze favouring Oakleigh in the first quarter they attacked the goals kicking 3-6 to our solitary point as we struggled getting the ball into our forward 50, the pressure applied by our defence pressure resulted in Oakleigh’s inaccuracy and we were battling to play our typical free flowing game.
With the breeze in the second quarter we managed two goals from the CGS year 12’s Norris and Veitch, we moved the ball better with centre clearances by Percy, Westy and Holding out of the centre, with the game becoming more physical our mid field presented better but we started to spectate a little around the packs and our desire fell away in the last stages before half time.
The third quarter was one of the most physical of the season with Hudson – Mollard splitting his nose, McPherson off with a knee and Purcell with a back injury left us with one short on the track. Oakleigh came out of the blocks kicking 5 goals to our 2 and we started to remove ourselves from the contest and due to rotations being a luxury the mid field tiring.
Goals from Holding and Schumann pegged us back slightly but we needed a massive final quarter to get back into the game. We fought back with 4 goals from Everett, Veitch, and Dalla-Riva kicking two to lift the spirits which rewarded the efficiency of our midfield out of the centre. Oakleigh had numbers around the ball and accuracy in the latter stages of the quarter kicking 5 goals.
Overall, a good team effort with 5 new players to make up the numbers and the CGS Yr 12’s showing great skills and leadership when required, we thank them very much for playing and hopefully we can get some victories together later in the season.
Slipping to second spot after this week’s loss should rekindle the desire to attend training and to regroup for the second half of the season to play finals.
A big thank you to Alex McKenzie for coaching the boys, also to Peter Storey and Chris Webster for running, very much appreciated.
Goal Kickers: A. Dalla-Riva 2, H. Veitch 2, J. Holding, J. Norris, K. Scheiber, S. Everett
Best Players: H. Veitch, K. Percy , J. Holding, A. Stefanos, J. Elliott, K. Scheiber
U19 Assistant Coach
|1||De La Salle||10||8||2||0||0||1||924||421||219.48||36|
|2||Old Camberwell Grammarians||11||8||3||0||0||0||997||505||197.43||32|
|4||St Bedes / Mentone Tigers AFC||10||6||4||0||0||1||820||610||134.43||28|
|6||Melbourne High School Old Boys||10||5||5||0||0||0||784||643||121.93||20|
|9||La Trobe University||10||3||7||0||0||0||538||867||62.05||12|
On a weekend that the VAFA celebrated a decorated 125 years of continuous competition, it’s ironic that it has taken the same amount of time to introduce a women’s competition. While it should’ve come a lot sooner, Club president Adam Kyriakou reflected on this in the post-match presentation and paid tribute to the fact that the women have well and truly arrived. Our win on Saturday was testament to this.
In our previous meeting, Ivanhoe had proved to be a team that were hard at the ball and the contest. Saturday’s challenge was to match this and ensure we weren’t out-muscled around the ground. A strong, physical display by the women’s team ensured we maintained our two-game advantage at the top of the ladder and put to rest any questions about our ability to match it with the most physical teams in the division.
Led by a best-on-ground performance in the ruck by Booth, our desire to win the 50-50 ball and willingness of all players to take a hit or lay a bump was a feature of this game. From the sidelines it was pleasingly to see players throw themselves around and not shy away. Lots of straight-line running from our normally physical players – Green, C. Wilson and Opray – was complimented by physical acts around the ground from Hillman, Fuller, Hart
An entertaining first-quarter, in which five goals were scored, saw us take the early advantage kicking against a pretty strong wind. A knee injury early in the second quarter to key forward, E. Defina, while not ideal, did not seem to hinder us with Harper and a season-best performance from Hart ensuring we were still dangerous around goals. With the wind advantage in the second, we hoped to kick away, but a lack of composure in front of goal and a congested forward line meant we couldn’t quite shake Ivanhoe at the main break. Although, we did still manage to register 12 scoring shots to four, meaning we were comfortably in control.
The third quarter saw a continuation of a tight arm wrestle with both teams cancelling each other out on the scoreboard and leaving it an open contest going into the last change.
Outstanding second half performances from attacking-minded defenders M. Wilson, Donkin, Sam Bangs and Sloane showed the way as we held Ivanhoe to a single point in the last quarter. Across the day, Anderson and Soph Bangs led by example as our running players had linked up really well by hand and foot, showing clean skills and a really deliberate style of movement – something we’ve been working a lot on in training. So it was pleasing that we maintained this throughout and finished the game strongly.
A timely week off to recover and look after those niggling injuries as we look to get ourselves ready for the homestretch.
Goal Kickers: R. Green 2, A. Robison, L. Anderson, E. Defina, C. Wilson
Best Players: M. Wilson, S. Bangs, R. Green, D. Booth, J. Hart, M. Sloane
Women’s Assistant Coach
|7||SBMT / St Peters AFC||11||4||7||0||0||0||165||352||46.88||16|
|8||Yarra Old Grammarians||11||2||9||0||0||0||111||455||24.40||8|