Match Reports: Round 18 2017
By Josh Hoevenaars
Just like the final round of the AFL season the week before, the makeup of the VAFA Premier C finals was decided in the last match of the season. Going into the match, the Seniors were very aware of the predicament they had put themselves in: three straight losses meant that a win was required against the second-placed Old Haileyburians, and fourth-placed Williamstown needed to lose against Old Ivanhoe across town. Aware that having an impact on Willy’s result at Crofts Reserve was impossible, the boys focussed on controlling the controllables; a win at Como Park.
On arrival to Como, there was an audible buzz of excitement as the crowd looked on in amazement as Nick Riewoldt galloped across the ground delivering messages and hydration to a surprised Reserves side. At first glance it looked as though Rooey had a young son or perhaps nephew alongside him, who seemed to mirror his every move; this was later confirmed to be lookalike and fan-boy Fletch Kelly. The excitement continued to build as Pivot Members and supporters gathered in the Pavilion ready to enjoy some of Frank Herd’s finest beef and listen to SEN’s Dr Turf spin yarns like a top. At the same time, the Seniors gathered on Como to listen Nick Bourke, who may well have his own doctorate in turf, judging by the way he detailed the difference between Como’s grass and Haileybury’s carpet-like summer turf.
The overall message pre-game was to tackle hard and take risks, in this a nothing-to-lose game against the second-placed side. From the first contest, the boys were switched on, cracking in hard at the stoppage. We were also willing to take calculated risks, moving the ball inboard and sideways where required to cut up our opponents and make the most of Como’s generous loins. It was pleasing to see from the start that Ed Keach “Lorraine” was back at this best; “boring in” for the contested ball just like he’d been told to do pre-game. The intent from the mids was first-rate, and resulted in many forays forward to Jock “Gallipoli Beach was Once a” Grimshaw who presented, duked and kicked truly for the first major of the match. Both sides traded scoring shots, and despite conceding an early goal, the OGs steadied and hit the lead late in the first with a classy left foot snap to Tom “The Whippet” Balcombe.
The message was re-iterated at quarter time and the OGs solidified in the second quarter by applying pressure to Haileybury’s ball-users and forcing turnovers, whilst being clean with our own ball usage. 100 gamer Rupert “de Butcher” de Crespigny was important in this regard, both laying tackles and using his anti-butchering skills to hit targets with precision. We started to extend our lead with goals to Johnny “How Many Yard Yakkas did I have?” Simson and Sam “Can Actually Kick it a Good Distance for a” Youngman and went into half time with a comfortable 21 point lead.
Despite our first-half ascendancy, the boys remained focussed at the main break and knew what would need to be done to ensure a last round victory. Haileybury started to work their way back into the game in the third, winning more clearances and delivering better to their key forward who to this point had been held goalless by the undersized but super-competitive Nick “Stone” Mason. A couple of opportunistic goals ensured that we maintained a lead heading into the last, but Haileybury was coming.
Not knowing the score in the Williamstown game, the boys were still very much of the mindset that a win could land us a finals berth, and this knowledge continued to spur the Seniors on in the last. Despite our skills dropping off, and Haileybury peppering the goals, the boys held strong and started to stem the flow and rebound out of defensive fifty. In a battle of attrition led by the likes of Jez “Dozer” Nettlefold and Will “Slossy is the Bossy” Sloss, the OGs drove the ball forward. After Haileybury missed a number of shots on goal, the boys moved the ball smartly through the middle towards Grimshaw who popped the ball over-the-topovic to a waiting Cal “Spindles” Wood who duly converted to give the OGs an unassailable lead.
The siren sounded and the boys celebrated with the knowledge that they matched and beat the second top side not once, but twice throughout the season. The news soon filtered through that Willy had beaten Old Ivanhoe convincingly and so we’d missed the finals and like your first bite of some Lindt 85% cocoa dark chocolate, it was a bittersweet moment. As de Crespigny was awkwardly chaired off by Kemp and Sloss we celebrated the win, but understood that much improvement is required from the group to make finals in this competition next year.
A big thanks to all those who supported the Seniors throughout the year, including the many members and supporters who came to watch our final match last weekend. This was an important year for our side, and despite missing the finals, we feel that we progressed as a team, and will be better for the experience given the number of young players we’ve introduced throughout the year. Keep up your support, we look forward to giving you many more wins in 2018.
By Andy de Fegely
Last Saturday saw the OGs Ressies take on Old Haileybury at Como for the final round of the home and away season. With the top two out of reach and a spot in the four locked in a few weeks ago the Oggers were playing for the privilege to wear blue shorts in the first week of the finals.
Despite the flat footy, lack of goal umpire and dewy conditions the OGs managed three majors in the first quarter to go into the first break with a one goal buffer. Hydration was ensured as former Saints legend Nick Riewoldt put his hand up to run drinks.
The game really began to open up in the second quarter led in the midfield by Dave “The Caveman” Andrew and Shaggy “Sin Bin” Tivendale. Inevitably this led to a plethora of goals up forward. Late inclusion Jimmy “Two Kebabs” Coumans slotted a couple as well as Ed “Mitts” Manton and Tommy “Seniors” Sheridan all chipping in.
After the long break the Oggers energy stocks were replenished thanks to the provision of sliced organic oranges by Tommy “Black Panther” Hays. As a result to the goals continued to flow. There was no missing Will “look at me” Evans and his new flashy boots as he continued to rack up the loose ball gets out on the wing and drive the ball forward. The back six were solid as always led by Will “RSY Serial Pest” Beasley and Harry “Sleazy” Sleigh limiting Haileybury’s opportunities up forward. Having the game wrapped up in the last quarter allowed Nicko “Joel Selwood” O’Hare and his fragile hamstrings to be put on ice as the Oggers ran out eventual victors by 55 points.
The result consolidated third spot on the ladder and the right to wear the navy shorts in the first week of the finals. Looking ahead the OGs will take on Old Camberwell at Elsternwick Park - The Home of the VAFA next Sunday to open our 2017 finals campaign. Thanks to Fletch “Bones” Kelly, Rhett “Last Name’s a Better First Name than his First Name” Nicholas and Nick “Rooey” Riewoldt for helping out with the match day duties.