Match Report: Grand Final 2016
By Tom Balcombe
September 10th 2016: The Division 1 Grand Final – the date pencilled into every OGs calendar since preseason.
After a morning of grappling with Google Maps over the exact whereabouts of ‘Coburg City Oval’ (FYI: 37.7438° S, 144.9645° E) the boys arrived with their game face on. The air was brisk and morale was high as we moved into the best warm up we have undertaken this year.
As to be expected, the pressure and intensity was on from the very first bounce with some hard bodied efforts to calm the big dance nerves. The usual suspects were sitting behind the goals led by Stevie ‘hates a colourful shirt’ Landsell, making it a long day for whoever dragged their opponent to the goal square.
Jock really lived up to his name in the first and made ‘shaw’ times were ‘grim’ for his opponent, nailing a long range sausage roll as an appetiser before going on to kick 3 for the game. Despite OGs getting off to a good start, fresh legs from a week off allowed Mentone to head into the first break in front by 2 goals.
The second quarter started much the same as the first with Mentone putting our backline under heat early. Thankfully, the veterans down back Colby ‘One more year’ O’Brien and Jason ‘Sash from the Bachelorette’ Barry, were able to turn defence into rebounding attack. Also excelling in the second quarter was Youngy(s), managing to fend off several opponents at one time and making his way across the field at lightening pace. Knighta summarised this performance perfectly, exclaiming: “It’s almost like he can be in two places at once!!!”
September is not only finals time, it’s swooping season, and so it’s important to be beware of the Bird. This was as true on the field as off it, as our very own Aaron Bird was everywhere even notching up a goal from 80 metres out, or so he told us. With a huge crowd rooting for him, Cal Wood had his opponent truly stumped as he managed to branch away and kick a couple of crucial goals to the keep the OGs in the clear.
The third quarter lived up to its hype of being the premiership quarter. A lot of missed goals from Mentone due to pressure up field and some effective sledging both on and off ground made for an all enthralling last term and some great viewing. I don’t like getting the ball kicked over my head that often; but when It’s Josh ‘Super Boot’ Hutley, and lands 100m down the wing - it’s okay. Another great quarter from all.
Heading into the final change a mere three points in front, it is no stretch of the imagination to suggest that the game was as tight as Sharpy’s calves on a Thursday night. ¬¬Walking out for the last time it seemed like the blue and white army standing in the pocket had increased ten-fold and no one wanted to let them down. Wind the clock back two weeks ago and the word ‘choker’ was being thrown around albiet prematurely by a few Mentone players. Not today. Today was the day… not the day the teddy bears went on their picnic, but today was the day of the Ogger. The troops rallied in the last with solid performances all over the board. Some crucial goals in the last, one from Rupe ‘Leave it to me’ de Crepsigny and another from George ‘Charles Cousin’ Burbury in front of the huge sea of blue and white allowed the cup to be returned back to the Lady Como once again.
A fantastic year, super club and special people. Stick together over the break and see you all again next year in Prem C (yes - see you again next year, Colby).
Ogger and out.