This was a very different match compared to the DSquad. South Belgrave were coming off a very close match against top two side Boronia where they pushed them to the wire, so in the wet and greasy conditions the Jets had a game on their hands. I suppose a signal that it was going to be a tough day came with the late withdrawal of Captain Dylan Sverns in the warmup. Jesse Francis was called on from the DSquad to take his place. He joined Cam Evans back in the ones, Lachie Sverns called up for his first Senior match this year, Trey Braione from the Under 19’s for his first Senior match, and we welcomed back Cal Norris from Ranges, along with Ders and Knowlesie.
With the rain still playing a major part in proceedings both teams took the field. The Jets had the ball in their forward line for the first part of the quarter but just couldn’t score goals. Sth Belgrave kicked the opening goal against the play. It was contested, congested and defensive football, not really easy to watch. The ball did finally find its way through all this to be marked by Savory who scored the Jets reply. Norris was amongst it as was Lachie Sverns but the running flow was not there. It was a very low scoring quarter and a point our way at quarter time.
The sun was breaking through in the second and the crowd were hoping for some improved play by the Jets, but it was Sth Belgrave that seemed to have all the play in opening part of the quarter. They opened the scoring with points, as did we eventually. Our precision passing was not evident and the turnovers were adding up. The opposition did take advantage of this with two unanswered goals to take the lead. It was becoming a tense match too and a resulting free to Oders saw us score our only goal for the quarter and go in a goal down at half time. The team needed to lift!
It was more of the same in the third with the ball travelling from backline to backline with no opportunity to score by either side. A free to Cam Evans finally saw the ball travel into our goal centre and a great mark to Fin who goaled and the scores were level at the seven minute mark of the quarter. It appeared the boys had lifted. Lachie Sverns was marking strong all over the park, as was Oders but his goal kicking shoes weren’t on today, Abbruzzese seemingly everywhere, Bailey Stevens was in amongst it too, but it was points not goals going on the scoreboard. We had a three point lead at the last break.
So it was down to a do or die quarter for that must win for the Jets. In one of the highlights of the day Gary Conyers collected the ball, kicked to Ryan Young who finds Ryan Burleigh, who in turn finds the safe hands and another mark to Fin Brown – another goal inside the first three minutes of the quarter to extend their lead. The running game was starting to come to the fore again. English was finding touch and directing play. Abbruzzese found Brent who kicked it long to the high flying Fin for his third goal of the day and the biggest lead of 16 points. English and Abbruzzese seemed to be relishing the wet conditions in this final quarter and taking control away from South Belgrave. A final goal to Bailey Stephens saw a hard fought victory to the Jets by 23 points, keeping the opposition scoreless in the second half.
South Belgrave 3.4-22
Goal Kickers: F. Brown 3, L. Odermatt, R. Savory, B. Stevens
Best Players: B. English , M. Decler, B. Stevens, B. Abbruzzese, R. Burleigh, L. Sverns
While supporters and sponsors were inside keeping dry and enjoying the club’s President’s lunch, the DSquad hit the field in heavy rain that looked settled in for the whole day. Injuries are definitely making an impact on the makeup of the teams. With Cam Evans, David Knowles, John Hendricks and Lachie Sverns all promoted to the ones, it showed the depth of the club that we were able to field a competitive unit. We welcomed back Al Knudsen from injury - it was great to see him back on the field. Thanks to the Under 19’s that again put up their hand, in Declan Browne, Harry Isaacs and Lachie Purkis. AMac was also making his return from injury and we had a cameo appearance from a favourite player in Dean Thomas.
The Jets scored early with a goal from out of the pack to Josh Kral and that was to set the tone of the day. We were kicking down the Tennis Club end. The next quickly followed with a switch in play by Ben Irvine to Nathan Parker to Jesse Francis who found Taylor Van Der Wal who kicked truly for another goal. The ball was flowing freely from the centre and another goal from the 50 metre line to Wade Van Leeuwen. Parks was on the end of a handpass and on the run let go of a long kick on the far boundary which saw the ball bounce through for another goal to the Jets. Then out of the centre came Al Knudsen with the ball and kicked it through for another. Parks and Ali join forces again and ball ends up in Godra’s hands and another goal is the result. They are again involved in a passage of play that sees the ball with Harry Isaacs who kicks the Jets seventh goal for the quarter. It was all Jets in the first quarter with some great long distance goals and some on the run – defying the wet weather conditions. It was straight kicking too, and they had kept their opposition scoreless.
The weather was starting to affect playing conditions in the second, but the boys were again aiming for the forward line with AMac kicking through the first goal of the quarter. Despite the wet the team was tackling hard and making them count. The backline had moved forward in search of a kick. The goals weren’t coming as fast this quarter but Ben Irvine kicked towards goal and saw it shepherded through by Thommo. Thommo also played a part in the next goal which saw Nick Sellar kick truly. The points started coming then, until Parks received a handpass and kicks his second. A great tap out of the ruck by Danaher sees the ball picked up by Parks and a kick into the forward line sees a mark to ‘old timer’ Thommo who kicks his first goal for the match. It was a 5.7 quarter to the Jets while the opposition managed a point. So a substantial lead at the main break.
To the opposition’s credit they did try to stem the tide but were finding it hard going against a younger and faster side. The third quarter opened with Al taking it out of the centre, kicking to Taylor, to Godra with a kick which went along the ground for another goal inside the first minute. The points were racking up too, so it was spending a large amount of time in our forward zone. We found another goal from a boundary tap from Taylor which ended up with Harry Isaacs who kicked truly for his second goal. Parks then slots through his third for the match from a ball gathered on the far boundary. Ben Irvine is also again in the action with a pin perfect kick to Wade who goals. Al Knudsen is enjoying playing footy again. A pass to Taylor who slots through for another, he is also the recipient from another pass from Sellar and kicks another in quick succession. The backman are playing their part blocking any attacking passages of play. Henry Ballard takes possession of the ball and kicks to Godra who finds Isaacs for this second goal of the quarter. It was a 7.7 quarter – definitely the scoring end.
With such high scoring you could be forgiven for thinking it was a beautiful sunny day. The coach made a switch in the last bringing up some of the backline past the centre, but the goals had stopped coming and it was points being added in the early part. This was eventually broken with another trademark goal by Thommo. In what must be the ‘point of the year’ [sorry Beaser] Declan Browne found himself with the ball, kicked long towards goal where it was marked right on the line by Beaser who turned around to kick a goal - only to see it hit the post, to the groan of the audience inside the clubrooms. Declan managed the next goal, and AMac the next and the last goal went to Thommo as the siren sounded on a resounding win by the boys.
The coach was very happy with the team performance. Everyone contributed and played for each other which is what we need to do every week.
South Belgrave 0.3-3
Goal Kickers: N. Parker 3, H. Isaacs 3, D. Thomas 3, T. Van Der Wal 3, J. Francis 2, A. Knudsen 2, A. McIntosh 2, N. Seller, J. Kral, B. Irvine, D. Browne, W. Van Leeuwen
Best Players: W. Van Leeuwen, B. Irvine, D. Short, D. Robson-Long, A. Knudsen, A. McIntosh, N.Parker
The Ron Smith Past Players Award
After 10 rounds we have now played everyone once so it was time for the return game against South Belgrave at home. We beat them by 33 points the first time in a game that was played in very windy conditions and the weather was similar on Saturday.
We got off to a good start with Jack McNeil kicking the first two goals of the game but scoring then became a battle as Sth Belgrave lifted their work rate and intensity. We went into quarter time up by 12 points in what was becoming a pretty dour struggle.
Second quarters have been an issue for us all year and today was no different. We were getting beaten at the stoppages as they seemed to have more players around the footy. We managed to kick one goal for the quarter with Max Scotti kicking truly on the run from a tight angle, but Sth Belgrave kicked two to outscore us again. If it wasn’t for Harry Isaacs and Jack Farrell across halfback it could have been much worse. We went into halftime with a slender six point lead.
Our second halves have been good all season and after an evenly matched first half of the quarter where Sth Belgrave were only five points down we started to get on top with Nick Harrison kicking a couple of goals including one on the siren. This finished off a four goals to one goal third quarter which gave us a 23 point buffer at the break.
An early goal in the last to Trent Wynne was followed by another after a clever snap giving him three goals for the game, which set up another four goals to one goal quarter sealing a 43 point win. It was a particularly pleasing second half considering we lost two of our best play makers in Taylor Wallace and Angus Puddy in the third quarter and they weren’t able to come back on.
We now don’t play again until July 21st when we take on third placed Boronia. Our goal was to go into this three week break with 10 – 1 record consolidating our second spot on the ladder. With five games to go against the top six teams it is important that we keep winning and hold our position.
South Belgrave 5.4-34
Goal Kickers: N Harrison 3, T Wynne 3, J McNeil 2, L Purkis 2, J Dove, M Scotti
Best Players: H Isaacs, J Farrell, N Harrison, L Purkis, D Browne, J McNeil
Eileen Marsh Past Players award