After the disappointing loss against Scoresby saw us slip out of the five for the first time this season, the team rallied together during the week knowing that they have to win their last two games if they are to take advantage of results that might fall our way in these last rounds. Still missing a few players through injury, the side welcomed back Chris Colombo from his stint at Sandringham, Tom Rourke and Josh Kral. It was a two pronged forward attack this week with Fin Brown and Kev Clark marking and scoring most balls that came their way in the first. Fin opened up the scoring followed by a ‘casual’ snap by Kev. Fin added to his goal tally and looked as though he would be in for a good day. Warrandyte were not making it easy for the team though, and it was a fairly even match early in the quarter but luck was with the Jets, and so was the bounce! A long kick for goal, again by Fin, saw the ball bouncing, bouncing in front of the opposition and eventually bounce through the goals. Not to be outdone by his junior teammate, Kev kicked a goal on the run towards goal and again the ball was bouncing towards the point post, but at the last minute bounced the other way and through for the Jets fifth goal of the quarter. Ben Abbruzzese also joined in the action with a strong mark and goal, and when Jack Hendricks managed to kick another out of a pack it was a seven goal quarter for the Jets and they went in with a 38 point lead.
Kev didn’t waste much time in the second, with another snap goal to increase his tally and extend the lead. But the opposition were beginning to thwart the Jets advances, which saw the ball rebounding between forward lines without too much scoring. A good mark and resulting goal to Josh Davis saw the Jets finally break the deadlock. You can’t say the game wasn’t being played without passion, as this ‘passion’ did overflow a few times during this quarter distracting from what was transpiring on the field. At one stage it appeared there were only six players playing! Finally another strong mark to Fin and goal saw our lead extend out to 50 points at the main break.
There were those of us in the crowd keeping an eye on results of other matches which at half time were proving too hard to call.
As the third quarter opened it was again another strong mark to Fin and goal – starting to remind the writer of club legend Mick Aitken! And then another to Ryan Young from a free, but the goals seemed to dry up and it was points going on the scoreboard. The view of the game from up on the balcony was a great sight, you could get an overall picture of their passages of play, their teamwork, their talking to each other, signs that hadn’t been as evident in the past few games. The passion was still there too. At three quarter time it was a 58 point lead.
Scores from other matches were still not conclusive as the boys ran out for the last quarter and it may all come down to percentage! There were no easy shots to open this quarter and it was proving to be a very bruising match and I’m sure there were a few sore bodies the next day. Ben scored the first goal of the quarter at the nine minute mark, then Kev took a mark just near the 50m line and went back for a set shot – not normally his strong suit – and kicked truly. A running goal by Jono increased the lead and, just to show us his goal skills, Kev was awarded a kick literally on the boundary fence – and yep, he kicked it through to take his tally to five for the day and seal the 87 point win.
The coach was happy with the boys four quarter effort this week and the goal feats of Fin Brown and Kev Clark with five apiece. He made mention of the back six who performed solidly all day and became our first line of attack. It was hard to pick the best as it was such an even spread but he did single out Al Knudsen, Aaron Walton, Chris Colombo and thought Jarrod Spurrell put in another great game.
And then the scores from the other matches were in …. It all comes down to next week!
Goal Kickers: F. Brown 5, K. Clark 5, B. Abbruzzese 2, J. Davis, J. Hendriks, R. Young, J. Knudsen
Best Players: F. Brown, J. Spurrell, J. Wynn, A. Walton, C. Colombo, J. Davis
The squad was ready for their next challenge of winning four in a row after their spectacular win against Scoresby the previous week, and they were playing a team above them on the ladder. The numbers on the track had been good and at last the injury count was rapidly declining. This week the wind was only slight for a change on a sunny Winter’s day. The intent was there from the first bounce with Dave O’Brien slotting the Jets’ first goal within two minutes. Then another by Pat Warman. The opposition were peppering the goals but points were the results and our backline was holding strong. It was a three point ball game in favour of the Jets at the first break. The second quarter saw the ball rebounding from one forward line to the other with limited chances of scoring. Warrandyte were making the most of their chances but it was still points. Joel Merrett chipped in with a goal against the flow of play and the team went in at half time seven points down.
The Australian Rules International Football Cup is currently being played in Melbourne, and we had our own German representative, Bernie Lechner, representing the Jets. He took to the field for his first takes of Aussie Rules and quickly became involved in a passage of play that ended up in the forward line with Trent Matthews who goaled! Congrats Bernie! Another quick follow up goal by Davey O saw the lead down to two points in the final minutes of the quarter, and another point made it a one point ball game at the last break.
It was an all-out effort by both sides in the last to see who could break free and take a convincing lead. The opposition kicked the first two goals of the quarter but our reply missed, and so the crowd saw the ball go from one end to the other, with both backlines standing firm. Merrett managed to goal at the 15 minute mark to make it a five point ball game, then it was points that were adding to the score. Resulting from one of these kick outs was a mark to Captain David Short who goaled truly at the 18 minute mark and the Jets were up by two points with not much time left on the clock. Warrandyte managed to push the ball down their end from the next centre bounce and as the crowd saw them kick for goal, a flurry of blue and yellow jumpers and hands in the air saw the ball touched on the line! It was a one point ball game and down Warrandyte’s forward line. Then the siren! The boys had done it again – giving their supporters some angst in those last seconds. And it’s four wins in a row! - which is a first for the team for quite a few years. The coach again was proud of the boys and the fight they showed on the ground to keep pushing it up to the forward line and giving ourselves a chance to score. It was another great team effort! He made special mention of Matt Beasley and Tom Battersby for their great work down back, and to Lachie Sverns who was marking everything that came his way in the middle.
Goal Kickers: D.O’Brien 2, J.Merrett 2, T.Matthews, P.Warman, D.Short
Best Players: M.Beasley, T.Battersby, D.Short, T.Van Der Wal, J.Merrett, L.Sverns
The Jets headed to Donvale this week and welcomed Callum Norris up from the U17’s to play with his brother Billy. After a good dose of rain overnight the centre wicket was an ice-skating rink, and a few of the lads wore a fair bit of the pitch home on their jumpers by the end of the game. In the blink of an eye in the first quarter Josh Robertson had two goals on the board, which was a sign of things to come. Down back Reuben Brown continued his great form from last week with strong overhead marking, and he drilled one pass to Danny Palmer who hit up Billy Norris for a major. Joel Gosbell’s silky left foot was trusty as ever, and Jake Herring goaled then continued to apply good forward pressure through the term, as the Jets held a 20 point margin at quarter time.
The second term was low scoring as the ball spent a lot of time in our backline. Jets defenders Daniel George, Connor Van Der Wal and Danny Palmer withstood the pressure and prevented Donvale from capitalising on their forward entries. When we took the ball inside 50 we were not hitting targets so the scoreboard attendant mostly had a quiet quarter. Jack Lacey kicked truly just seconds before the half time siren to give us a 25 point lead. Coach-for-the-day Craig Rutley was clear in his instructions during the break as the lads looked to improve on the first 40 minutes of footy.
A highlight of the third quarter was when one of the young guns Connor Weightman outmarked a much bigger opponent right in front of the coaches box. Ben Irvine was prominent throughout the game zigging, zagging and breaking lines, and Trey Braione won plenty of hard balls in the contests. The scoreboard started ticking over as Cal Norris snagged a couple, and Robbo booted three for the term as we extended our lead to 64 points with one quarter to play.
The wind picked up at the start of the final term to the Donvale end. Lachie Inaps and Cam Osborne lead up strongly and marked well across the half forward line, and Cam’s impersonation of a Michael Holding’s long run-up (players – ask your parents or Google it) finished with Cam kicking truly to register his second major for the day. Jackson Scotti won plenty of hard balls through the game, but his old man learnt the hard way not to park directly behind the goals after Robbo drilled another of his seven goals straight into his windscreen with smashing results. Lachie Purkis’ second and third efforts were outstanding, and Nathan Amos continued to provide drive out of the backline right through to the end of the game. The second half was much better than the first as the boys ran out 76 point winners.
Thanks this week is extended to some more of the awesome people who help our boys to be their best. Michael Kral is the statistical genius who manages to count tackles, inside 50’s, defensive rebounds, clearances, marks inside 50, ruck taps, and coaching mistakes (that last one doesn’t usually get written up on the board). Riley Honey’s world famous photos are loved by hundreds of players, parents and supporters every week, and he even has players from other clubs sharing his photos – I’m not sure if that was part of the plan! Jan Purkis and Liz Grierson have provided generous doses of vitamin C through the half time oranges each week, and we all know that some people only come to the footy for the wonderful Ann Irvine’s three quarter time lollies. The Jets thank every one of you for being so awesome!
Goal Kickers: J. Robertson 7, C. Osborne 2, C. Norris 2, L. Purkis, J. Lacey, J. Herring, J. Scotti, B. Norris
Best Players: J. Robertson, C. Norris, J. Scotti, C. Weightman, N. Amos, D. Wynne