The long term injury list is growing, with Jordan Haynes now joining the likes of Kev Clarke and Jarrod Spurrell on the sidelines. Joel Merrett was in for his first Senior game this season and we welcomed back Al Pettigrew. Late withdrawals of Gary Conyers and Dave Sindrey brought up Rob Savory and Jon Knudsen to team. The depth of the club is being sorely tested at the moment.
It was a fast and furious first half of the quarter by the Jets, with a great passage of play by Colombo to Oders who, from a tight angle on the boundary and on the run, kicked our first goal within the first minute. Another kick out of the centre by English landed in the safe hands of Fin Brown who was waiting at the back of the pack and another goal. The ball was pushed down our forward line again with another mark to Fin and goal… the Jets had three goals within the first six minutes of the game. Then disaster struck with a serious injury to Al Knudsen – who was in severe pain that the game had to be stopped so he could be stretchered off. *Note: the good news is that his hip was not broken but the knock has caused severe bruising on the bone and a lot of swelling so hopefully he will be up and moving in the not too distant future. This stoppage slowed down the entire game, with the Jets unable to recreate the run and carry of earlier in the quarter and then an injury to Jake Sherriff saw us down to two on the bench for the rest of the game. Not a good start! The game became cramped and congested with the ball spending a lot of the time out of bounds. The Basin had been inching forward with points but an error from a kick out saw them rebound and goal and only be down by a point at the first break.
The second quarter saw more of the same congested style of football and it appeared to be all The Basin in the early part of the quarter. Eventually the ball did make it down our end and an opportunistic goal off the ground by English stretched our lead. Unfortunately that was not for long with the Basin quickly replying with two unanswered goals. It was ugly to watch and some of the decision making by the men in charge was at times baffling. The Basin made it three unanswered goals before the Jets finally broke through with another goal to Oders. The tackling by the opposition was ferocious and it was a three point ball game their way at the main break.
The crowd was hoping for a break out quarter by the Jets and it started off that way with a great centre tap to Ryan Young and a quick kick to Fin Brown for another goal all within the first minute. The Basin got the quick reply but another goal by English closed the gap. It’s goal for goal with neither team managing to break free. Then a great intercept by Colombo from a Basin kick out sees the ball gathered up by Young and another goal so edging closer. We were playing from behind – and that doesn’t get you anywhere, and as mentioned the defensive play by both sides was seeing the ball punched out of packs and more often than not, out of bounds. Then the rain came and made the conditions fairly treacherous and visibility was nearly zero but the Jets managed to goal through some fantastic persistence of Young and we’ve edged in front by 13 points at the last break.
Conditions are made worse by the sun shining in the boys faces amongst the rain, which thankfully had lightened up slightly. It looked like the Jets might be another man down when English didn’t come on for the first part of the last quarter. The game was still one of backline to backline and points, The Basin did kick the first goal of the quarter to edge closer but a very tight goal from the boundary by English, who was back on the ground, gave us some breathing space. It was desperate football in very wet conditions. Another goal to Young from a boundary throw in, saw the Jets extend that lead, and when Jono received the ball waiting at the back of a pack and goaled it would appear that the game was ours. Our backline had once again stood strong with great work from Brent Honey, Dylan Sverns, and Al Pettigrew. Oders seemed to be everywhere as did Colombo, Young was making the most of his opportunities and Alex McIntosh was in amongst it too, Decler after a heavy knock last week also put in a great game. It was a relief when the siren rang and we had won our fourth game on the trot.
The coach was proud of the boys and stressed that we ‘can’t underestimate’ that win, it showed how resilient we can be when under pressure. The boys all worked so hard to get us over the line and that should give them heaps of encouragement and confidence as we come into a difficult patch of games. Be proud of the effort.
The Basin 9.10-64
Goal Kickers: F. Brown 3, B. English 3, R. Young 3, L. Odermatt 2, J. Knudsen
Best Players: M. Decler, R. Young, B. English , B. Abbruzzese, B. Honey, D. Sverns
Some more forced changes to the side this week saw Pat Schwalger picked for his first game for the club, and Cookie was making his return through injury. The Squad also welcomed back Rob Wood after a few games in the Seniors.
The side was up against a team that had only won one match so far this season but it’s not easy playing The Basin at their home ground, as the Dsquad soon found out. Adapting to playing on their small oval proved challenging and from the first bounce it was obvious. Congested football, neither team managing to break away, lack of space to run freely. It was a bruising encounter too. The ball was rebounding backline to backline and producing points. The Basin managed to kick the first goal before David Knowles managed to kick our first on the siren. We had the lead by a point - 1.3.9 to 1.2.8 – certainly a low scoring affair.
It looked promising at the beginning of the second quarter when newcomer to the club Pat Schwalger kicked the first goal, but some missed marks down the Basin’s forward line saw them intercept and goal not long after, and then kick another to take the biggest lead of the game so far. Rob Wood was winning in the ruck but we weren’t making the most of our opportunities and there were only glimpses of some free flowing passages of play that we had witnessed in the previous weeks. It appeared to become a game of keepings off, and once again rebounding from goal line to goal line. Eventually Liam Douglas scored another goal for us and it was all square at the main break. 3.4.22 apiece.
The third quarter was more of the same and the pressure being applied by the Basin was restricting our free flowing style of play. It was all The Basin early in this quarter and they gained the lead by kicking the first goal early on. Knowlesie was in everything but we couldn’t find our targets and the congestion around the footy continued – it wasn’t a particularly easy match for the supporters to watch. Cookie finally broke through for a goal just before the siren and we were up by a point at the last break.
Would the last quarter be the breakthrough quarter for the boys? Unfortunately no, it was more of the same with The Basin taking back the lead early in the term. Parks tried to push the ball forward on the wing on a couple of occasions and Liam was in everything as well, with Knowlesie playing four quarters of football, but it was only points going on the board. It was a very short quarter but when the siren rang we were still four points down and the DSquad suffered their first loss of the season.
The Coach rued the slow start to the game and the need for the boys to adapt to all different sized grounds. It’s early in the season and we can make amends!
The Basin 5.6-36
Goal Kickers: D. Knowles, P.Schwalger, L.Douglas, L. Grierson
Best Players: J. Francis, R. Wood, M. Beasley, B. Irvine, D. Knowles, L. Douglas
The U/19’s travelled to the foot of the Dandenongs to take on The Basin in a vital match for both teams. It was 3rd (them) v 4th (us) with the winner staying top three and the loser going back into the chasing pack.
In a tight first quarter we had all of the play but could not hit the scoreboard. It was one goal apiece at quarter time with a slender two point lead to us. The second quarter was similar with The Basin throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us with plenty of tackling pressure and contested ball around the ground. Harry Isaacs was unstoppable across CHB marking and spoiling everything that came his way. In fact, our halfback line with Harry, Joel Gosbell and Declan Browne were keeping us in the game with plenty of run and intercept marking. We went in at halftime with a three point lead.
The 3rd quarter proved to be the match winner for us. Rueben Brown was able to move back into the ruck after playing the first half at full back as he was a bit sore and Trey Braione moved into the midfield after playing as a permanent forward in the first half to give support to Angus Puddy, Lachie Purkis and Taylor Wallace. Jack McNeil kicked two crucial goals for the quarter which put us 21 points up but a late goal to them just before three quarter time cut our lead to just 15 points, so it was still game on.
We knew they would come out hard in the last quarter and while they had all of the play our backline stood up magnificently repelling everything they threw at us. Both teams kicked one goal apiece for the quarter and we were able to run out winners by 15 points.
It was a pleasing result considering what was riding on this game and it is a credit to the boys to bounce back so well after a disappointing loss to the ladder leading Waverley Blues last week. Another tough game awaits us this week with Chirnside Park traveling to the Hangar but I am sure we will be up for the challenge.
The Basin 6.7-43
Goal Kickers: T. Braione 2, L. Purkis 2, J. McNeil 2, C. Osborne, J. Herring
Best Players: H. Isaacs, J. Gosbell, R. Brown, A. Puddy, L. Purkis, J. McNeil