Match Reports: Round 16 2017
By Sam Anderson
WE met at the College Lawn on Saturday morning, a Prahran Hotel not normally associated with the 1598 works of Shakespeare's Henry V. But that's what we learnt from our coach Nick Bourke, who had been inducted as a VAFA Legend the previous day. So from one legend to another, Nick recited the words of the Bard: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, for he today that sheds his blood with me, will be my brother."
So 22 brothers travelled to Glenhuntly Oval to take on top of the ladder Caulfield Grammarians, a team that had beaten us by 95 points at Como two months earlier. We had new faces in Cam Sherwin in the ruck, Jimmy O'Shea from the U19s (the sixth this season) and Tom Sheridan from the twos. From the opening bounce Cam took it up to their non-stop talking ruckman and that set the tone for the day.
Every player produced something at some stage to help us stay in what was a game where there was little space. Importantly, Josh Hutley played his best game since his early-season injury and Jock Grimshaw had that spark back. We were never out of the match. George Burbury was everywhere in the first half, treating the extra attention he always gets like an annoying fly.
And it was a number of the senior players who really lifted us, Callum Wood typically continuing to present, Colby O'Brien displaying his smarts, Jeremy Nettlefold getting boot to ball quicker than anyone, Nick Mason showing why he has been one of the finds of the season and John Simson clearly winning his wing all day. Sam Youngman, Jacob Jess, Ed Keach and Will Sloss had fair-dinkum cracks as they always do, meaning that Caulfield could never relax.
To lose by eight points hurt like hell because we could have won the game, plus it meant we slipped from fourth to fifth. Now we have to hope Williamstown loses this week to Haileybury, or that we smash Ivanhoe to get our percentage up. One thing the coaching staff knows is they have depth with 42 players being selected at some stage this year.
By Tom Hays
As 10:30am ticked over, all the boys were at ground ready for a challenge. Lefty was already putting his compassionate coaching style to good use with coffee in hand dishing out life lessons on the middle of the marshlands that Caulfield call their home ground. Unlike Winx, that failed to jump only metres from us at Caulfield Racecourse, both teams came out firing. It was clear we were here to play a John Longmire special - 4 hard consecutive quarters of good hard football. Unfortunately though we ultimately fall short by a goal.
Nevertheless, we welcomed the return of the king of Mykonos, Rupert De Crespigny, who dazzled the thousands in the crowd with 3 super goals; 2 of which were kicked from the arc on the boundary at both ends proving he is a class above. A couple of important goals came from Ed Manton Jr who has finally found some form this season after being very quiet for the first 12 rounds. Scuttering around their feet, Sammy Everett provided good ground ball use off the half flank as well. Andy De Fegely in all his infinite wisdom and beauty lead by example in the middle moving like a ballerina at times as he effortlessly dodged, ducked, dipped, dodged and dove pass his puzzled opponents. Like most weeks the collective backline fought hard and battled it out to the end. Some good came of this game, we learned we could match Caulfield come September and look forward to a future run in.
By Ben Thomson
The Under’s arrived at the picturesque surrounds of Lady Como looking for a massive win against Old Trinity who we had lost to by 182 points in Round 2 and 76 in Round 12. With the boys arriving with the belief to win we were always going to be a chance.
The first quarter was a battle with the OGs controlling a majority of the quarter but struggling to capitalise on the scoreboard. Spencer “Gear shift” Wells started like a house on fire on the wing and accrued pill like no-ones business and Hunter “Run Straight” Fraser attacking the ball hard and giving our forwards some service with Killian “Sharp Shooter” McGregor kicking a couple and George “Gives 100%” Armytage in a new role up forward getting their opportunities. The OGs went into quarter time ahead.
The Second saw a step up in intensity from Old Trinity with number 5 for them causing carnage early. In stepped Angus “Tackling machine” McKillop who proceeded for the rest of the game make that player’s life unbearable and restricting his influence on the game substantially. With Charles “Silk” McCartin accruing the ball and seemingly getting the ball when he wanted. These two combined well with Rupert “Skipper” Kebbell and Gus “Run fast and kick long” Orford who stepped up their own intensity and we were looking nothing like the team that got steamrolled at College in Round 2.
In the third our class around the ball started to get rolling with Matt “40 a week” Planner doing his weekly duties of accruing ball and Matt “Sidestep” Kirkwood who we were extremely pleased to have using the open spaces of Como and breaking lines with his speed and sidestep. Our backline did a great job also under at some stages some pretty strong heat with James “Linguini” Calanchini looking to take the game on with the ever reliable and incredibly important Nic “General” Neeson ably assisted by his Lieutenant James “Accountability personified” Muir maintaining the rage down there. Looking at this quarter also we had some strong contributors around the ball Jack “Wrecking ball” Rayson and Sam “Loves a don’t argue” Stone stepping up the pressure and Charlie “Attack the pill” Baylis doing as his name says and attacking the pill.
The last quarter came around and with the boys sensing something could happen started aggressively with Luca “Got the fruits of his labour” Guisti working hard in the ruck and Noah “Sea” Shaw looking to pressure the opposition. This allowed Max “The Duck” Johnson to get the ball across HF due to his really high work rate and it is just reward for his hard work this year with Jacob “Tassie Mariner” Anthony moving dangerously and getting on the end of one with Archie “Big Fella” Boydell and James “Desperation” Sholl doing their bit in harassing and chasing keeping the ball in there for periods of time. In the last quarter our backline was again very good with Digby “Liam Jones” Sharp continuing his rebirth as a backman in fine style.
A massive thanks on behalf of the team also to Peter “Slicer” Lemon for helping out on Saturday and when you have throughout the year it has been greatly appreciated by all the players and myself and the day wouldn’t have run a smoothly without you being there so again thank-you.
In the end we fell short again but the performance was an encouraging one. For a team who lost to the same opposition by 182 points in round 2 to lose by 24 in round 17 I think is a credit to the boys and a testament to their hard work this year. A 158 point change is not something to be sneezed at and bring on the top side in Old Ivanhoe who would want to be ready for a good game come 2pm on Saturday.