Match Reports: Semi Final 2016
By Josh Hoevenaars
There were plenty of good vibes on Saturday as they Seniors headed out to the Home of the VAFA with memories of the Clubbies’ Premiership at the same venue 6 days prior still fresh in our minds. There were no complaints weather-wise, with a partly cloudy day on offer and a slight breeze that became somewhat stiffer the closer we got to Elsternwick Park.
We arrived to a delayed Premier C Thirds final, which allowed us to watch the first half of the Reserves’ final, and we got around the Ressies as they tried to recover from a slow start. As per usual, the boys headed out into the centre circle at half time to discuss the conditions, opposition and game plan. The message was clear: continue as we’d been playing over the past three months, control the controllables, and get the job done.
Upon making it out onto the deck, the boys were calm and after a final message from Andy Leahy “ándale, yeehaw, yeehaw!” the OGs were ready to get the job done. Despite starting with the breeze, the boys started slowly out of the middle, leading to a number of Old Mentonian inside fifties. The backline responded and rebounded through Rupert “Slim Sleeves” Kemp and Sandon “First Name’s a Last Name” James and the OGs started to win the ball and send it deep forward. Unfortunately despite registering repeat inside fifties and 10 shots, only two goals were scored in the first quarter, and the Panthers were only seven points down.
An increased effort and intensity in the midfield led to a better second quarter performance, as Hugh “that Girl Just Walk Walk Walk in the Club” McKay and Ryan “The Snip” Parsons taking it up to the Mentonian mids, generating inside fifties against the breeze. Goals from Callum “Josh Thurgood” Wood and Will “Nothing Worse Than a” Sloss extended the OGs lead to 16 points at the main break.
Old Mentonians came out with intent in the third quarter, tackling hard and running harder to dominate the play, and despite the OGs’ best efforts they managed to bring the margin back to just four points at the last break.
The Panthers continued to build momentum into the last quarter, kicking the first couple of goals. Unfortunately wayward kicking, both across the field and in the forward-line, meant that the OGs couldn't get back in front, eventually going down by nine points. This result ensured Old Mentonians will play in Premier C for the first time in 14 years. It also means the OGs have one final chance to make the Grand Final and be promoted to Premier C, this Sunday against PEGS at Bill Lawry Oval. Get there for the 2pm clash that will make or break the OGs season.
By Ben Millar
The Reserves gathered at Elsternwick Park on Saturday morning following 18 weeks of competitive and ever-improving football, excited about the upcoming contest against neighbourhood rival Prahran. The 2016 ledger between the sides was 1-1 however we went into this game with our strongest side for the year and full confidence that our best football was capable of getting a win.
As is the case in finals it was a hot footy early and disappointingly we were slowest to adapt, convincingly beaten around the ground from the bounce which left us trailing by 5 goals at the first change. There was no panic shown by the group with an understanding that if we made good use of the slight breeze the scores could be levelled at half time.
Gus ‘brother of the 2016 Clubbies Premiership Assistant Coach’ Smith and John ‘Papa’ Forster showed their footballing maturity by pushing back against the Prahran tide and beginning to get the ball moving our way. Scoring was still proving difficult however and the Two-Blues weren’t missing at the other end, entering half time with a ‘Millsy (Senior) esque’ 7 goals 2 behinds.
Our mid-forward group of Rorey ‘body finally feeling good, ready for summer’ James and Michael ‘one session a week at South Yarra Bronzing keeps me this dark’ McCormack really got working through the later part of the game and showed examples of the great football they have both provided to the team this year.
The third term was incredibly frustrating for players and spectators alike as we controlled large passages of play without getting any reward on the scoreboard. George ‘super digit’ Macdonald made the most of the large ground and provided a strong option for moving the ball up the field.
29 points in arrears at 3 quarter time set a formidable task for the boys (albeit aided by a slight breeze). Jack ‘Vespa Bandit’ McMeel took control from the commencement of the last quarter, kicking 4 goals as we almost doubled our score in the space 20 minutes.
Unfortunately we had left our run too late. The siren sounded at 23 and a half minutes with us 2 points down and our 2016 season over.
Overall it was an incredibly disappointing performance and wasted opportunity.
On behalf of all players who have played through the Reserves side this year I’d like to thank Lefty for the passion he has shown toward making this side successful and also offer our thanks to everyone involved on a weekly basis in getting the side on the park, Reedy, our Physios, Coaches, and volunteers.
For now our attention turns to the Senior side and their quest for premiership glory. We will all be there supporting from this Sunday at Elsternwick till the 10th September when the cup is ours – Ogwards & Upwards.