It’s Business Time
Firstly apologies for not putting out the regular Friday Preview email. Encouragingly several people contacted to ask where it was so at least we know there’s a few people reading it! Thanks for all the support this year.
I’m a big fan of the kiwi sitcom, Flight of the Concords particularly one of their songs ‘It’s Business Time’ and it popped into my head as I went to write the review.
Unfortunately due to some prior commitments I was unable to make the trip to Williamstown or North Balwyn for the Seniors, Reserves and Women’s so will refer to the write-ups. Again what you’ll note is that it was strong performances across the teams. The Seniors went very close to a rare when at windswept Willy while the Reserves continued their victory run and the Women were able to hone skills and structures leading into their final home and away game and finals.
I made it a very blustery St.Bede’s Mentone to watch the Under 19’s. I’m sure those who read are aware what a great season they’ve had so far. On a tricky day with the wind, our young men played hard against willing competition. I’ve said before how important and vital our Under 19’s are for the future of the club and we have an outstanding group able
supported by a terrific supporter group. I met one Grandma over from WA watching her grandson play for the Wellers and again reminded me our far-reaching our community is and judging by her barracking, she may have been head back in WA as well – loved it.
I will write this Friday to preview this weekend’s games. It’s not quite a Super Saturday as our girls play away but a huge day for the Club with the Wellsmen’s Premiership Lunch, critical games for all teams and another opportunity to catch-up with friends and the OCGAFC family.
SeniorsOur senior side was coming off a season defining win against ladder leaders, Caulfield Grammarians and now we were drawn to travel across the Westgate Bridge in order to meet the third placed Willamstown CYMS.
The preparation during the week was sound and all the players were well aware that Willy at home would only ever be a tough encounter, especially knowing that we had defeated them earlier in the season, having produced an 8 goal first quarter against them.
Despite losing the toss and kicking into a 4 – 5 goal wind, our boys hit the ground running early, following on from the supreme effort of the Ressies beforehand, who had secured a strong win against the home team. Three goals into the breeze was a mighty effort and we were able to keep the opposition to 2 goals 7 behinds. The boys were up and about and prepared to really scrap it out, defending solidly in what was an extremely crowded Willy forward line. When the opportunity presented to be able to run and carry the ball out of defence, it was done so with great effect.
Dealing with the wind was another story altogether though in Q2 and we lost any significant opportunity to ram home a strong advantage going into the long break by equaling the opposition’s Q1 scoreline, consistently kicking to the dead pocket enabling the Willy defenders to retain the ball in the dead zone for extended periods of play.
With a 20 point buffer, in our favour, we found with the increased pressure being applied that we weren’t able to move the ball as crisply and cleanly as we would have wished and therefore scoring became more difficult. There were also a couple of crucial fumbles by players who did not react quickly enough to the error, catching team mates behind them out and the opposition were able to score a couple of long goals that were pushed over everyone’s head. By this time we found ourselves defending a 5 point lead at the final break.
An early goal to Willy was quickly answered by Chooka Howells, who had been moved to the forward line, followed by another to Mitch Trait. Were we on our way to a follow up victory?
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The home team sensed a chance for victory, lifted collectively a gear or two and proceeded to take us apart in the contested footy stakes and continually thrashed us on the spread. It was like they had grown a leg, and we had lost one!
This forced our leading possession getters to play individual footy, abandoning the team’s game plan by blazing the ball away toward goal, where it was picked off by the smarter Willy defenders. Once beaten on the spread, the opposition were able to generate run from behind, over lap footy. In the final 15 or so minutes of the game, they were able to achieve with great effect and they ran out winners by 11 points.
Once again, we find ourselves behind on the Win/Loss ledger, having come through a extremely tough month’s footy playing all four top sides with a 1 to 3 win/loss ratio – yet believing that we were (and are) good enough to have won all 4 matches.
We now look forward to meeting Old Mentonians, another side we were painfully close to defeating earlier this season. Prepare well boys, this is a great opportunity for us to secure the highly prized 4 points!
Goal Kickers: S. Powell 4, L. Huysmans, B. Hart, M. Trait, S. MacDonald, J. Howells
Best Players: J. Allen, S. Bennett, S. Powell, J. Arnold, D. Proksa, D. Lattanzio
Senior Assistant Coach
|6||Old Ivanhoe Grammarians||13||7||6||0||0||0||939||1090||86.15||28|
|7||Old Camberwell Grammarians||13||6||7||0||0||0||1014||1186||85.50||24|
ReservesFollowing on from last week’s fantastic effort, the Ressies travelled out to a windy Williamstown and in difficult conditions were able to string together a 4th consecutive win and gain some valuable percentage
Several changes to last week’s lineup saw some familiar faces in Jeffers and B.Cottrell, return of the Huntsman and we also welcomed Bannister for his 1st game of the year who competed well with strong hands up forward. Our improved depth this year has certainly been highlighted over the past few weeks with players being able to fit into the side well each week
As we faced Williamstown earlier in the season we weren’t quite sure what to expect however the boys entered the game with the same intent and focus carried over from last week. We started with the benefit of a slight breeze blowing at a 45º angle so needed to be smart with our ball use. Kaiser was busy early and got us going on the scoreboard and played his best game for the year with 5 goals for the day and created many more opportunities over a 4 quarter effort. We were able to keep Williamstown scoreless for the quarter and came in at ¼ time having kicked 3 goals 5 points and the boys ready to lift a gear with some cleaner and smarter ball use
Our pressure lifted in the 2nd quarter and not wanting to get bogged down in slow stoppage football we were able to get some spread going from the contest and with our backline set up well we were able to control the ball for most of the quarter. Pleasingly, and despite not having played much down back together this year, M. Cottrell, B.Cottrell, Gorman and Rusty were able to control the ball through the middle and we were able to keep Williamstown goalless for the half. Up forward, we underestimated the impact of the wind at times and only added 2 goals 3 behinds for the quarter and weren’t able to make the most of our opportunities
We started the 2nd half well and were able to continue to control the football. Throughout the midfield Dick and Clark fought hard all over the ground whilst Simon continued his habit of hitting the scoreboard each week as we extended the lead by another 3 goals. Going against the wind in the last quarter we wanted to break the game open with some attacking run and carry football however we were unable to sustain our effort from the previous 3 quarters and Williamstown were able outmuscle us as we fatigued on the heavy ground and the two sides went goal for goal in the last quarter
The group have some exciting challenges against some of the top sides in the coming weeks and are looking forward to testing how much we have improved over the second half of the season
Goal Kickers: S. Kaiser 5, J. Simon 2, S. Clark, N. Russell, M. Jeffers
Best Players: S. Kaiser, D. Dick, C. Gorman, S. Clark, C. Young, M. Cottrell
Reserves Assistant Coach
|4||Old Camberwell Grammarians||13||7||6||0||0||0||950||872||108.94||28|
|9||Old Ivanhoe Grammarians||13||3||10||0||0||0||768||1143||67.19||12|
Camberwell faced a depleted Yarra valley side on Saturday in cold, windy conditions. Once again we had many changes from the week before and welcomed back Jo Hook and first gamer Claudia Collins who both contributed well.
The first quarter saw us take a handy lead with the breeze with Ash Sturrock and Eloise Defina getting amongst the goals early. Sam Franklin was dominate across half forward and Meg Harper and Jess Sincock were dominating in the ruck.
By quarter time we had built a substantial lead and mangaged to keep extending that over the final 3 quarters. In the end we won by over 20 goals and had 13 individual goalkickers, many who kicked their first for the year.
Once again our on ballers Rhiannon Green, Sam Anjou, Cassandra Nolan and Claire Wilson gave us plenty of drive out of the middle. Our forwards worked hard in tricky conditions, and it was great to see Kath Bithavis, Alex Osborne, Sam Banks and Katie Mirabella amongst the goals.
Some other highlights were the efforts of some of our girls who hadn’t played as much game time as others and the way they attacked the footy and used handball effectively to set up teammates in particular, Bronwyn King, Emilia Fuller and Melissa Jackman.
Maggie Wilson, Anna Donkin, Steph Elovaris and Sophie Bangs played their usual superb games. Ella Taverner had her best game of the year dominating across half forward and our skipper Stephanie Defina celebrated her birthday with a rare stint up forward kicking 2 goals and again winning plenty of the ball.
All in all it was good to come away with no serious injuries and another excellent team effort , especially the use of handball to create goal scoring opportunities. We now face 2nd place Collegians in a prelude to the 2nd semi final, confident but not over-confident.
Goal Kickers: E. Defina 4, R. Green 3, A. Sturrock 3, S. Defina 2, K. Bithavas 2, E. Taverner, M. Wilson, A. Osborne, S. Franklin, K. Mirabella, S. Bangs, C. Nolan, S. Anjou
Best Players: E. Taverner, K. Bithavas, S. Franklin, S. Defina, R. Green, C. Wilson
|7||SBMT / St Peters AFC||13||4||9||0||0||0||192||459||41.83||16|
|8||Yarra Old Grammarians||12||2||10||0||0||0||118||682||17.30||8|
With a number of boys returning from holidays Old Camberwell journeyed to St Bedes Mentone for a must-win game.
After losing the toss we kicked into a howling wind. The defence, led by Henderson and Appleyard, with Percy dropping back to provide support, worked hard to restrict St Bedes to three goals. We were able to kick two important majors, an excellent snap by Jono Elliott and a nice set shot by Mike Schumann.
Looking to take advantage of the wind, our boys attacked the contest with vigour. Josh Holding and Robbie West continually drove the ball forward, where Lachie Powell proved to be a key target, kicking two goals for the term. Josh Holding kicked an incredible goal from the boundary after judging the wind expertly. The quarter was highlighted by some fine individual efforts by Max Wong who held St Bedes at bay. We took a 16 point lead into half time.
By now the wind had increased even more, and was pushing across the ground. Our boys played an outstanding defensive quarter, turning the contest into a real scrap – just what was needed. Playing loose in defence, Alex Della Riva was impassable, and Jonathan Tan set a great example with his attack on the ball and tackling pressure. Although unable to score ourselves, we restricted the opposition to one goal five behinds, and maintained a slender lead at three quarter time.
Although the game did not reach any great highs in the last quarter, goals to Josh Holding and Mike Schumann ensured an eighteen point win. It was pleasing to see the boys grind out a gritty win in unfavourable conditions. Sometimes you just have to win ugly!
The win resulted from a real team effort, with everybody standing up when required. The closeness at the top of the ladder means there is no room for complacency, so we will need to bring our A game to GBO again this week to knock off the Peninsula Old Boys.
Thanks to all the parents and friends that made the trip to Mentone to support the team.
Goal Kickers: M. Schumann 3, L. Powell 2, J. Holding, J. Elliott
Best Players: A. Dalla-Riva, M. Wong, J. Tan, R. West, J. Holding, W. Dalrymple
|1||Old Camberwell Grammarians||13||10||3||0||0||0||1143||595||192.10||40|
|2||De La Salle||12||9||3||0||0||1||1029||587||175.30||40|
|4||Melbourne High School Old Boys||13||8||5||0||0||0||932||745||125.10||32|
|6||St Bedes / Mentone Tigers AFC||12||6||6||0||0||1||906||730||124.11||28|
|10||La Trobe University||12||3||9||0||0||0||570||1051||54.23||12|