Match Reports: Round 11 2016
By Callum Wood
A book of football colloquialism would tell you that a week is, by any measure, a long time in footy. The same book would also probably let you know that when it rains, it generally pours. The week leading into the important round 11 clash with Ivanhoe was certainly made longer by the disappointing result of round 10, and as the heavens opened up on us during Thursday night training it certainly wouldn’t take ABC statesman Paul Higgins to tell you that it wasn’t just raining, it was bloody pouring. With the major test for the OGs due to take place at Como Park on the Saturday, the first test of the week was that of the OGFC Wet Weather Jacket (available on Team App – RRP $100) in the driving Thursday night rain, and it’s with pleasure that I report this tremendous and durable garment stood true to its upbringing in the cyclonic conditions of Fiji and left its owner as dry as a Woolworths Muffin Mini.
Given the significance of this must-win game it was very important that the senior side prepared themselves appropriately and remained focused in the lead-up to the match. Unfortunately on the eve of the game a major distraction in the form of #Brexit unwelcomely hit the headlines and brought with it a wave of chaos and panic . Fortunately for us the term ‘Brexit’ stands for ‘British Exit’ and we actually live in a country called Australia, a mere 15,000km from the United Kingdom. Furthermore the only items of significance that we trade with the British are Fosters (a horrific beer) and McVitie’s Hobnobs (a bloody tasty and sturdy biscuit). A final, and probably the most important point to make is that Gaz and Bomber exited the Cats at the end of 2010, and despite widespread worry and anxiety the Cats went on to win the whole bloody thing in 2011. Case closed, anxiety over.
Saturday finally arrived and it was Ladies Day at Lady Como, yet another distraction for some members of the starting 22. Given a large list of injuries and the University holiday period, a relatively inexperienced side was named to tackle Ivanhoe. It was great to see Nick ‘A Follicle On the Head That is Perfectly Spherical’ O’Hare, Ed ‘A Member of the Male Species Who Weighs Exactly 1,000kg is Commonly Referred To As A’ Manton and Will ‘Whilst You’ve Still Got the Chance Make Sure You Implement Negative Gearing On Your Investment’ Holmes selected to make their first appearance in the seniors for season 2016, and the re-appearance of John ‘Nothing Worse Than an Easterly Gail’ Forster who would have been a little firm in the jodhpurs at the sight of a muddy Como Park. Debutant Hamish “Dutchy Holland Looks A Fair Bit Like Cam” Guthrie’s tactic of brutally breaking the collarbone of Rupert Kemp paid off, albeit a few weeks later than first planned, as he took Kempy’s position in the defensive unit.
Coach Knight wanted to give the boys some added motivation before taking to the field and established a nice little multimedia suite in the change rooms where we were treated to an inspirational documentary featuring Kurt Fearnley crawling the Kokoda track (that is when he wasn’t being carried by a team of New Guinea locals on an orange stretcher…just saying). The audio was pretty tinny and the sight of 22 blokes huddled around a laptop brought back less inspirational and more juvenile memories from school days, but the message was clear and the team ran out onto the ground ready for the challenge.
The opening stages of the first quarter didn’t quite go to plan as Ivanhoe booted the first 2 sausages of the game in quick succession. Due to the heavy rain leading into the game some patches on Como were as bare as Dutchy ‘Don’t Come Monday’ Holland’s stock portfolio in the #Brexit aftermath, and the ground took its first victim Ed Manton whose day ended just moments after it began with a rolled ankle in a pothole that he himself had ‘filled in’ as property steward just hours earlier. It was important that the boys didn’t panic, and the midfield work of Joshua “Josh” Hoevenaars and Hugh ‘Sure He’s an Honest Bowler But I Still Can’t Believe They Gave a Baggy Green to Clint’ McKay enabled us to get on top around the stoppages and work the ball toward goal where we were able to capitalise on the scoreboard with 6 unanswered goals from George ‘I’ve Been Biting My Tongue But Any Chance of Playing a 6 Man Forward Line?” Burbury and Will Holmes which saw the OGs take a 19 point lead into the first break.
The second quarter turned into a real slog in the heavy conditions as Ivanhoe turned the screws on the OGs ball movement. Despite being under immense pressure the backline held firm, led by Josh “Jabba The” Hutley and Mat ‘I’m Pretty Stoked To Learn Research Suggests That the Red Head Gene is Proven to Make Me Look” Young who each used their penetrating kicks to clear the ball from danger on multiple occasions. The courage of John Forster and the silky skills of Rupert “Le Tour” de “France” Crespigny were also standouts in a quarter which saw us kick 3 goals to the oppositions 2 and ensured we went into the main change with a 26 point lead.
Gifted musician Jason Mraz was once quoted as saying that ‘Two halves don’t make a whole. Two wholes make a whole’. It turns out that this romantic statement by Jason and his trusty trilby hat were wrong, as the OGs demonstrated that a successful second half would most definitely result in a whole game victory. Led by wily veteran Colby “I Grow My Own Fruit, Own My Own Racehorses But Refuse to Shave My Own Face” O’Brien and a terrific lock-down defensive performance by Carl “I Cut My Hair To Look More Like My Father – The CEO of QANTAS Alan” Joyce, the boys ensured that a determined Ivanhoe would be held at bay as we held on to the 4-goal half-time buffer through to the final siren.
After the traditional post-game song and a not-so traditional post-game stretching session, the majority of the team exited the change rooms more abruptly than the British left the EU (hashtag Brexit) and made a beeline for the Como Pavilion to join in on the Ladies Lunch festivities. Whilst celebrations were rightfully enjoyed, it’s important to remember that this season of D1 VAFA football is tighter than the federal election race and therefore focus must be maintained heading into the next must-win clash against NOBs on July 2 – let’s hope there are no political issues distracting anyone on this date. Oh wait…
By Luke Hooke
Game preparation for the Reserves on Saturday depicted an craft class for the elderly as grown men feebly attempted to thread orange laces into their boots. It was, of course, for good a good cause and the lads represented the Club and Step Back Think well with cool heads (except for Tom ‘Hero” Hays, naturally). In a team with a number of changes this week, leadership was key, and Ben “words of wisdom” Millar delivered an oration in memory of our departed VC Micky Mac.
The Ressies took to the field in the first quarter undermanned, awaiting reinforcements from the Clubbies. This had Lefty sweating bullets atop the dugout, but then again, that could have been the 80kg of “coffee” in his car boot. A level playing field in the first quarter raised concerns of a Brexit style disappointment and Cameron style capitulation from the leadership team. The boys went into quarter time down a point.
Spurred on by the vision of Sir Lewis “Walkalot”” Chiodo leading his band of barely sober reinforcements onto Como the Oggers went to work in the second quarter. Demonstrating the depth of the Club the forwards kicked 5 goals to the Hoes zilch.
The third quarter was a similar story with the 'Hoes defence remaining as loose as Haysey’s trackies. Dale “Dazzle” McKie reached for the stars delivering ball after ball down the throat of Benny “BOG again” Millar, Hamish “helm of steel” Macmillan and Alastair “where has he been?” Dugdale.
Duggy returned in fine form slotting two goals. This effort was matched by Harley “(very old) brick sh*thouse” Beaumont and bettered by Peter “sign him up” Grouios and Tom “head in the clouds” Wigan, who had four goals apiece.
The Ressies finished the game 71 points up, again putting more security behind second spot on the table and easing concerns about the potential of a European-summer-induced form slump. Well done to the boys and thanks to the support from the ladies attending Ladies Day.
By Matt Collister
Having been softened up slightly the week before by ladder leaders St Kevins the Old Geelong U19 brigade headed bayside to Beaumaris in what was genuinely an old-fashioned eight point game. It was drilled into the boys all week that a win would leave us only one game outside the four however on the flip side a loss to fourth placed Beauy would see us three games adrift with only seven matches remaining.
With first semester uni exams just completed the absentee list had begun to appear as long as St Kilda’s premiership drought. Pleasingly this was slightly alleviated by the injection of some talented Geelong Grammar students who were still hungry to chase around the leather in their own holidays. One of these was Matt Kirkwood and his fierce and hard-running start to the match meant we doubled the opposition in scoring shots in the first quarter but unfortunately our inaccuracy in front of the big sticks meant we still trailed by seven points at the first change.
The following two stanzas saw Beaumaris slowly extend their lead. The OG’s would continue to dominate the inside 50 count during this period but to everyone’s frustration it would result in little scoreboard reward. Defenders Ed Gubbins and Rupert Kebbell were warrior-like in generating repeat inside 50 entries from the back half but it eventually took its toll as Beaumaris took advantage of their local knowledge of the ground and conditions to slot goals from all angles and distances.
Trailing by six goals at three-quarter time the boys were instructed to take the game on at all opportunities. Onballers James O’Shea and Harrison Stewart continued their good form of recent weeks to continually drive the ball forward whilst Will Noall had begun to discover his form and confidence in his second match back from an extended period on the sidelines.
For all the will and determination shown in the last quarter the boys were only able to add one further goal to the scoreboard. The end result was a 29-point defeat and the boys knew that this was an opportunity lost as we had one more scoring shot than Beaumaris. A finals berth is still mathematically possible so it is now more important than ever that the boys knuckle down and commit because as we saw with Richmond winning nine in a row back in 2014 anything is possible!!
By Jimmy Cave
The Clubbies made their way down to Monash Uni Clayton for what can only be described as underwater football. With the bounce delayed so the umpires could decide if the oval was safe to play, the dressing room was quiet and there was even less of a warm up than has become the usual.
As play began it became clear that Monash saw this as an opportunity to knock over the hoops in a scrappy affair, but with both sides adjusting to conditions it was a goal apiece at the first break.
The second quarter saw Cam “Dangly” Sherman win every tap and some solo efforts in the front 50 from Josh “Coleman” Archer to provide the OGS with a 2 goal lead. Although Monash were far from done and came out of the main break simply harder at the ground ball. Putting on 3 goals in the process and keeping Old Geelong to the solo point.
Assistant super-coach Rhett Nicholls made sure everyone knew at the final break it was time to step up or this would be the second loss of the season and he got the response that was demanded. Led by Rob “Goal of the Century” Officer and a solid backline of Josh “Got some sleep this week” Sumara and Jimmy “Silent Assassin” Imhoff, the OGs pulled through for a fantastic win.