Winter had arrived and there was certainly a chill in the air as we ventured up to South Belgrave to try and make amends for last week. A late change to the side saw Jessie Francis come up to the Seniors to replace Ben Abbruzzese and we welcomed Wade Van Leeuwen back into the Seniors from the U19’s. It appeared to be a hesitant start to the quarter by the boys, with South Belgrave making all the play in the first part of the quarter. Brent English broke through for our first goal of the quarter which started a run, with Kev popping up with two and Jarrod Spurrell for another. Unfortunately we lost defender Jake Sherriff with an ankle injury and unable to take further part in the game. The Jets were up by 18 points at quarter time.
The wind and pressure from both sides was playing havoc with the scoring accuracy with both sides putting on the points rather than goals in the second quarter. A good mark to Fin Brown and a difficult kick across the goal face show us on the board. The Jets running game was back and the ball was moving more freely and finding its way to the forward line. Kev was adding to his total, so too Spurrell. A running goal by Wade Van Leeuwen opened up the lead and then another by Rob Savory saw us take in a 37 point lead at the main break.
English kicked a goal in the opening minutes of the third quarter to see us stretch our lead, but the ball was rebounding from one end to the other with both defences standing strong. It appeared to be a bit of a scrappy match at times, with the congestion and pressure around the ball. A strong mark by Savory saw another goal, and yet another by Kev, who also featured in a passage when marking a kick out and kicking to English for another goal. The boys were making it count. A great intercept by Van Leeuwen in the forward line saw him add to his tally. But it was a trademark twist and turn goal from Kev that was the highlight of the quarter. Defender Lachie Sverns also made a dent on the scoreline following a strong mark he kicked truly, and to top off the quarter a goal to Liam Douglas saw the Jets take in a 10 goal lead at the last break.
The sun was well and truly retreating behind the trees and the temperature plunged as the last quarter started, I’m sure the players were starting to feel it too. It was becoming hard to score goals by both sides, with Tom Rourke registering his first goal for the day early in. Kev was on fire with another and then another courtesy of a free kick taking his tally to seven for the match! He even handballed one off - but it resulted in a point. The second half of the quarter saw South Belgrave try to break through to score but the backline led by Dylan Sverns held firm and when siren sounded it was a 70 point win to the Jets and back on the winners list – and three wins for the club.
The Coach was happy with the performance and felt that the team did a lot right. He made mention of Al Knudsen, Alan Pettigrew and Dylan’s drive from the backline. Also it was good to see English showing some form after coming back from injury. Under 19 player Wade Van Leeuwen didn’t look out of place in the seniors and had a great game, also Jack Hendricks was starting to establish himself in the team. Best on ground went to our goal machine Kev Clark with 7.5 for the day. But it was satisfying to see the goals spread around the team having nine goal scorers on the day.
South Belgrave 9.12-66
Goal Kickers: K. Clark 7, W. Van Leeuwen 3, B. English 3, R. Savory 2, J. Spurrell 2, T. Rourke, F. Brown, L. Sverns
Best Players: K. Clark, D. Sverns, A. Pettigrew, B. English , R. Savory, J. Hendriks
A still undermanned Development Squad travelled up to South Belgrave on Saturday but full of determination to continue on from their efforts of the previous week. The squad gained some experience with the inclusion of Jon Knudsen and a cameo by Pat Warman, and the team were also helped by the U19’s again. The first quarter saw the ball travel between forward lines but both defences stood strong and scoring was hard to come by for both sides. South Belgrave opened the scoring but we had a quick reply through Dave O’Brien. At quarter time it was only a nine point deficit.
It appeared to be all Heathmont in the second quarter, with Trent Mathews kicking our first goal in the opening minutes. The Squad were peppering the goals but inaccuracy was becoming a problem, another goal to Dave and then a long one from Luke Barrett saw us wrestle the lead. We extended our lead after a turnover from a kick out landed in Davey O’s arms and a centring kick to Joel Merrett saw him slot it through, to see the Jets take in a 14 point lead at the main break.
It was always going to be a tough contest in the third quarter and the pressure from both sides saw a very congested match unfolding with no clear ascendency by either side. Eventually we broke through with another goal to Trent. Confusion reigned at the 15 minute mark when the siren sounded – was it the end of the quarter? After a few minutes and clarification the game recommenced but it was South Belgrave who rallied and kicked two unanswered goals in as many minutes to come within three points, and then another to hit the front. With not much time remaining in this interrupted quarter, the next hit from the centre went our way and found the strong hands of Sean Furniss who kicked truly. Another great hit out by Blake Van Leeuwen saw the ball move quickly down towards our goal which saw Furney again only have eyes for the ball – much to the detriment of Daniel Wynne – mark truly and kick another just as the siren sounded. We had edged in front by 10 points at the last break.
The last quarter was a bit of an arm wrestle and our inaccuracy was keeping South Belgrave in the game. It was goal for goal and we managed to extend our lead with a great shot on goal by Brent Honey and then another by Joel Merrett to have the match in our hands! What appeared to be a slight lapse in concentration, saw South Belgrave kick two unanswered goals in quick succession to erode the lead to within 9 points in the dying minutes of the game. They were on a roll when the siren sounded but it was the Jets who went on to win their first game in a while.
The Coach thanked all the players and singled out Jon Knudsen for his leadership and help with the young team today. Among the other best players were Trent Matthews, Blake, Feroz Khan and Joel Merrett who was best on ground.
South Belgrave 10.6-66
Goal Kickers: S. Furniss 2, T. Matthews 2, J. Merrett 2, D. O''Brien 2, L. Barrett, A. Honey
Best Players: S. Barling, J. Knudsen, J. Merrett, D. Robson-Long, A. Honey, J. Leithhead
The U19’s were pleased to welcome Reuben Brown for his first game for the season after recovery from injury and an extended stint with the Eastern Ranges. We also congratulate Wade Van Leeuwen on his first Senior selection for the year.
As Jane Bunn predicted, we rocked up to frost on the ground at South Belgrave, but despite the temperature, the contest was hot in the first quarter. Jake Herring set the tone with repeated solid tackles, and Daniel Robertson’s physical presence allowed the Jets to surge through packs. Cam Evans was active around the middle of the ground, and he took a one handed speccy in front of the timekeeper’s box. Lachie Purkis crumbed a ripper goal to see us with a 14 point lead at the first change.
In the second term the roll’n’go game of Joel Gosbell and Lucas Grierson gave us creative run out of the backline. Jack Lacey applied great forward pressure in his best game for the year, and Josh Kral’s speed was on display. Six goals for the term gave us a 46 point margin at half time.
After the long break we saw the opposition spreading and using the ball better, which put our defenders under the pump. Lachie Phelan, Danny Palmer and Henry Ballard stepped up to the challenge and worked hard to close down space. At the other end, both Daniel Robertson and Lachie Inaps celebrated in style after hitting the scoreboard for their first goals in Jets colours, as we took a 61 point buffer into three quarter time.
Final term highlights included Josh Robertson’s strong mark in the goal square to set up his fifth goal, Ryan Burleigh’s two majors in the quarter, and Trey Braione’s four quarter performance breaking lines and pin-point handballing to find teammates in better positions. The final margin was 83 points in favour of the Jets, and we now look forward to taking on Glen Waverley Eagles, who sit third on the ladder.
South Belgrave 5.4-34
Goal Kickers: J. Robertson 5, R. Burleigh 3, C. Osborne 2, T. Braione 2, L. Purkis, B. Irvine, D. Robertson, C. Evans, L. Inaps
Best Players: D. Robertson, T. Braione, J. Herring, C. Osborne, J. Lacey, L. Purkis