After the wind, rain and hail from the Reserves match, the Seniors were treated to some sun as they ran out on the ground – but not for long. Although the rain had eased the wind couldn’t make up its mind which way it was blowing, making the opening term scrappy as both teams tried to cope with the conditions. There were a few new faces in this line up as Jake Sherriff and Ryan Burleigh came up from the DSquad, also congrats to Matt Decler on his first game of Senior football for the club.
The Jets had the ball early but were finding it hard to score. A solid mark to Ryan Young then another by Kev Clarke saw the Jets first goal. Sth Belgrave weren’t being left behind and it was desperate football by both sides in a very tight game. It could be a sign of things to come when first year Senior player Fin Brown took one of the marks of the day over a pack at the 27min mark and scored our second goal. This writer can recall another young gun with similar traits – Mick Aitken. It was a nine point game at the first break.
The Jets had the play and were trying to get their run on game flowing, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing especially on the scoreboard. The run of points was broken when Fin kicked another goal. Even in these conditions there were some strong marks being taken all around the field. Newcomer Bailey Stevens got into the action with one of those marks and kicked his first goal for the Jets. Cam Evans was doing great work in the ruck and we were able to get the ball out of the centre and down forward - but resulting in points. South Belgrave showed us how to move the ball quickly with a goal resulting from a kick out from down our forward line. The next time there was a point scored, the Jets ensured it stayed in our forward line when Oders took a strong mark from the kick out and swung the ball around his body for a goal. Chris Colombo and Jordan Haynes seem to be everywhere and having the ball on a string. The ball found its way down field again and a strong mark by Ben Abbruzzese on the wing who aimed for the goal square, and a mark by Decler resulted in his first senior goal for the Jets just as the half time siren rang. The team went in with a 25 point lead at half time.
We were down a player after half time, with Ryan Young going down with a concussion in the second term. South Belgrave came out firing, kicking the first goal of the quarter within minutes. A mark to Al Pettigrew (making a great come back from injury!) in defence saw a beautiful long kick down forward to find the strong arms of Oders who scored our first for the quarter. The game was starting to flow but the points were continuing as the wind had picked up again. In a great passage of play from a ball up, we saw Dave Sindrey run with the ball along the wing then kick to Brent English who kept running – goal! Another passage saw Bailey kick to Oders who kicked long to have the ball marked by South Belgrave on the line. And yet another with Lucas Grierson kicking towards goal and a terrific juggling mark by Tom Rourke but only resulting in a point. The opposition scored a goal, the lights came on again and the rain was back as the siren went for three quarter time and it’s a 28 point lead at the last break.
The wind factor was twofold this quarter, being fullon at the start, but dropping away by the end. South Belgrave scored the first goal, but a tap out of the centre saw Kev running past, grab the ball and kick to the goal square and a gutsy mark to Fin for another goal and a quick reply. The boys were controlling the centre now and the run was starting to come. Ben took the ball out of the pack and handballed to Gary Conyers who unloaded with a long kick for another goal. Our defense, led by Dylan Sverns and Jake Sherriff, also played a hand in rebounding the opposition’s advances. The ball ended up on the far wing and was picked up by Ryan Burleigh who kicked towards goal and Kev was there to pick up the crumbs and score another - a great start. In what must be the passage of the day the centre tap from Cam found Tom Rourke running through the pack, he in turn kicks to a running Oders who kicks another for the Jets. The goals were flowing now, with another to Kev from the ball rebounding out of our defence. Gary Conyers was making his presence felt in this last quarter and a tight kick on the boundary line towards goal found Fin and another fantastic mark resulting in the sixth goal for quarter. Another great tap out of the ruck this time by Ben who finds Tom who finds Sinders who kicks to Gary and yet another goal. And to cap off a great quarter, Kev takes a courageous mark between two South Belgrave opponents to score our 16th goal on the siren. A fantastic quarter by the whole team, and a great team effort by all involved.
South Belgrave 8.3-51
Goal Kickers: K. Clark 4, F. Brown 4, L. Odermatt 3, G. Conyers 2, M. Decler, B. English , B. Stevens
Best Players: A. Pettigrew, J. Haynes, T. Rourke, D. Sindrey, C. Colombo, C. Evans
As the weather closed in for the start of the DSquad match, the supporters took refuge in the great new rooms at South Belgrave – I’m sure some notes were taken for the Jets new rooms. A few more new faces in the team today, Wade Van Leeuwan playing his first game for the season and Nick Sellar his first game for quite a few years. Jon Knudsen and Ben Irvine joined the team as well.
South Belgrave were kicking with the wind in the first quarter but it was the Jets who scored the first goal within seconds, off the foot of Joel Merrett, and then another by Jessie Francis. Both teams were finding it difficult to score in the windy and wet conditions and both defences were holding firm. A strong mark by Jono in the centre, quickly left his boot and found Ben Irvine who capped if off with another goal. We were winning in the ruck and carrying the ball despite the trying conditions. A strong mark and goal to Rob Savory, as a result from a free kick coming out of the centre, saw the Jets take in an 11 point lead at quarter time.
The wind seemed to become ‘gale force’ in the second and we were winning out of the centre but not finding the middle sticks, and the points started to add up. Jono was in the thick of it again with an accurate pass to Rob who kicked our first for the quarter. The rain was now starting to play havoc and it was ugly football as both teams tried to control the ball in terrible conditions. In what proved to be a very low scoring quarter, a soccer kick off the ground by Rob added to our score and at half time we had stretched out lead to 21 points.
At the opening of the third quarter visibility was reduced to nearly zero as the hail descended on the players - the umpires even called in the captains to ask whether both teams wanted to play on. A credit to both sides to continue, while we were warming ourselves in front of the fire in the clubrooms. The play, when you could see it, was mainly up in our forward line and we managed to score a goal through Sam Fowless from a free. The points were still coming too. The hail did stop and the wind did drop but the game was looking more like a soccer match, with the layer of hail staying around for most of the quarter making the ground conditions very slippery. Another goal by Davey O just on three quarter time saw us extend the lead to 39 points. We had scored 2.6 to nil in that quarter, and some very cold players --- perhaps we may need some Stones Green Ginger wine in the kit bag if we come up against this atrocious conditions again ... there is a story there but for another time!
We extended our lead early on with a running goal to Jono. The ball was not getting past the centre for South Belgrave and the Jets kept pushing forward with the help of Lachie Sverns, Nathan Parker Jono, Ben Irvine, Jack Mac and Rob Woods, Rob Savory was in nearly every contest up forward too. A pass from Parks to Jono saw him kick one of the goals of the day. Jessie had been marking everything that had come his way and he left the best to last by taking a great sliding mark in the rain and finish it off with a goal just as the siren sounded and the squad came away with their second win. Credit to all the players from both sides, to be competitive under trying conditions that we haven’t had for many years and hope don’t see again for quite a few more. The squad were very quick off the ground to hit the showers and some warmth!
South Belgrave 3.3-21
Goal Kickers: R. Savory 3, J. Francis 2, J. Knudsen 2, B. Irvine, S. Fowless, J. Merrett, D. O'Brien
Best Players: B. Irvine, R. Savory, J. Merrett, J. Francis, J. McDonald, R. Wood
The U/19’s travelled up the mountain to play South Belgrave for our first game of the season. The conditions were very blustery with a strong wind favouring the southern end. We lost the toss and had to kick into the wind.
Sth Belgrave got off to a quick start and before we knew it we were two goals down. We were able to steady things and the game turned into a bit of a scrap with lots of mistakes, missed tackles and turnovers by both sides. Reuben Brown was dominating in the ruck giving first use to Lachie Purkis, Trey Braoine and Taylor Wallace. Reuben went to full forward for a rest and took a strong mark to give us our first goal just before quarter time. Qtr time scores Sth Belgrave 2.3.15 Heathmont 1.1.7. It was a great fightback to go into quarter time just eight points down considering they had a five goal breeze.
The second quarter had a similar start with Sth Belgrave kicking an early goal. We were peppering the goals but inaccuracy was hurting us. Liam Di Biase was proving lively up forward with Angus Puddy laying some great tackles before JJ Dove finally kicked truly. Another goal to Sth Belgrave was quickly followed by Trey slotting one and just before halftime Trent Wynne’s attack on the footy led to Jake Herring kicking a great goal on the run to give us a slender three point lead at half time. Halftime scores Sth Belgrave 4.3.27 Heathmont 4.6.30.
We were kicking into the wind in the third quarter and to top off the conditions it started raining! We made some changes with Kane Ponton going into the ruck and Reuben went to the backline to play as a loose man. Kane won the first tap out and a long kick from Lachie Purkis to Harry Isaacs saw us kick a goal inside the first minute. Harry quickly kicked another one and suddenly we were out to a 15 point lead. Reuben was unstoppable in defence repelling every attack they made, pumping the ball back into our forward line with great support from Joel Gosbell and Trent Schubert. More goals followed to Jack McNeil, Nathan Amos and Declan Browne topped off a five goal quarter. Three qtr time scores Sth Belgrave 5.6.36 Heathmont 9.10.64.
We went into the last quarter with a 28 point lead and conditions deteriorated even more with heavy rain and wind making it difficult for everyone. It was a battle with inaccuracy again proving a problem with us kicking five behinds and Trent Wynne kicking our only goal for the quarter. Sth Belgrave also kicked one goal with the final scores Sth Belgrave 6.6.42 Heathmont 10.15.75 for a comfortable 33 point win.
It was a great win against a very good side in extremely difficult conditions. We hadn’t played a game for nearly three weeks and it showed in how scrappy we were in the first half but once we got our game together we dominated the game with 25 scoring shots to 13. We look forward to Warrandyte next week.
South Belgrave 6.6-42
Goal Kickers: H. Isaacs 2, D. Browne, T. Braione, J. Dove, J. Herring, J. McNeil, T. Wynne, R. Brown, N. Amos
Best Players: R Brown, L Purkis, T Braione, L Di Biase, H Isaacs, J Gosbell