It was Cystic Fibrosis round and it was great to see the support from the football community and also to watch a very important match for the Seniors to consolidate their position in the final five. The team welcomed back in Al Pettigrew and U17 player Cal Norris but had a late withdrawal with Gary Conyers going out and Al Knudsen coming back in.
The opening quarter was played at a fast and furious pace with both team’s defence holding strong. The Jets finally hit the scoreboard with a beautiful running goal by Cal Norris. That started a flurry of goals. Cam Evans and Chris Nayna were getting it out of the centre and the mids were pushing it goalward. The team was making the most of the opportunities, a mark by Brent English found Robby Savory and our next goal. Then Bailey Stevens chipped in with a goal out of the pack. David Knowles seemed everywhere and he managed to get the ball to Fin Brown for our fourth goal of the quarter. In a clever passage of play involving English and Fin a series of handpasses eventually find Sinders running past for our fifth. It also proved to be a fairly physical quarter too and The Basin eventually scored their first goal just before the siren. So it was a 25 point lead to the Jets at the first break.
We knew this wasn’t going to be an easy match and The Basin came out in the second quarter to take it up to the Jets. The ball was moving between forward line to forward line with neither side able to break through to score. The quarter was a mirror image of the first except it was The Basin that broke through with three unanswered goals. Turnovers were starting to cost us too. The Jets were getting it up there but points not goals on the scoreboard. Ryan Burleigh and Knowlesie combined to finally get a goal on the board for the Jets but the Basin had all the answers and kicked the next two. The lead was down to just three points at the main break.
Would it be the ‘premiership’ quarter for the Jets? Nayna did not come back on the field after half time and would take no further part in the game so the ruck work would rely mainly on Evans and Ben Abbruzzzese. The ball certainly spent a lot of time down in our forward line in the opening minutes of play, but The Basin defence stood strong and the team was unable to take advantage. Turnovers were still causing the Jets some grief. The Basin scored the first goal and hit the front for the first time. AMac kicks a quick reply for the Jets to take back the lead and then Truck receives the ball from the centre bounce and kicks truly to see the lead stretch to ten points. The Basin respond with another goal and the lead is down to four points. The rain comes and the opposition manage to kick a goal and hit the front just as the siren sounds and take a two point lead into the last quarter.
Oders and Fin had been well held by The Basin all match. Matt Decler was giving his all around the ground and Pedders was continually streaming out of the back line. Sherriff was defending strongly anytime the ball came into The Basin’s forward line. What would the fourth quarter hold for both sides? The rain was still coming down so conditions were becoming very slippery. The Jets got first use of the ball out of the centre and kicked forward only to see The Basin take it out, but only as far as the boundary. Luke Casini had the resultant free kick but kicked across the face of goal and a strong mark is taken by Ryan Young on the other boundary. He slots it through and it’s a four point ball game with the Jets taking the lead. The Basin then manage to push it down their end and through heavy traffic score to take back the lead by two points. This is followed by the next goal to go up by nine points and then a point to stretch their lead to ten. The Jets couldn’t seem to push the ball back down to their forward line to score and it was The Basin who had the ball in their forward line for the later part of the quarter. Our defence were trying everything to push the ball out but it was a short quarter and when the siren rang we had gone down by ten points.
Our season is now on the line with a must win match against Waverley Blues next Saturday to stay in the five.
The Basin 11.7-73
Goal Kickers: J. Merrett, D. Sindrey, R. Savory, F. Brown, R. Young, D. Knowles, A. McIntosh, C. Norris, B. Stevens
Best Players: J. Sherriff, D. Knowles, M. Decler, C. Evans, R. Young, A. Pettigrew
Past Players – Jim and Dorothy Kerr Award
Matt Decler – 59
David Knowles – 54
Rob Savory – 52
Brent English – 46
Alan Pettigrew - 35
When the Jets travelled to The Basin in Round 5 it was a case of "the one that got away" when we went down by four points in a game where the last quarter was significantly shortened due to there being four games played on the ground that day. Our Development Squad have come a long way since then, but with The Basin sitting fourth on the ladder coming into this game and only one win behind us, this was always going to be a tough encounter.
The Jets had five on bench this week, and inclusions to the team were Chris Columbo, Henry Ballard after two games in the Seniors, Khaige Stenson, and we welcomed Under 17 player Ben North up from the Under 19's for his first game.
First blood went to Chris Columbo who marked in space 25 out from goal and kicked truly. Soon after Chris repeated the dose, this time from further out, and he had two goals inside six minutes to give the Jets the early momentum. Henry's composure was evident early on as he intercepted multiple opposition forward entries, and Nick Sellar was simply terrific with his attack on the ball at ground level. Nathan Parker took a fantastic intercept mark then fired a bullet pass to Khaige Stenson which resulted in our third goal. The visitors didn't register a major in the first quarter, and our lead was 17 points at the first change. The Jets won the clearances, but did not switch enough when opportunities presented. Coach Guido Van Der Wal encouraged the boys to back their speed and endurance and "Run, run, run!"
The advantage remained with the Jets through the early part of the second term thanks to Connor Van Der Wal in the ruck against a much bigger bodied opponent, and through second efforts from Jack Leithhead and Liam Douglas. Jessie Francis posted a contender for goal of the day when his pass into the forward 50 dribbled past its intended target and straight through for a major! As requested by the Coach, the Jets started to run and carry more, and this led to Connor getting on the end of a good passage of play and converting a nice banana snap. The opposition registered their first goal at the 15 minute mark of the second term, before Dave O’Brien worked his way on the end of a nice pass from Con and converted for the home side. We went into the long break with a 31 point margin, but realistically some of our mistakes had kept the oppo in the game to that point. Handball receives were down on the normal level for this side, and it was a solid start, but not our best. Guido praised Ben Irvine's first half, asked the mids to push back to help in defence, and for short hit ups into the forward 50 rather than bombs.
After repeat entries continuously through the first few minutes of the third term we got the results when quick hands out of a contest found Khaige who snapped his second for the day. The Basin rebounded from this point to put on four unanswered goals. There was argy bargy aplenty as the testosterone levels lifted and the contest heated up. Our lead had been reduced to just 13 points at the last change as we were "out-quarterbacked" in the term.
The final quarter was better. Dylan Robson-Long and David Short mopped up across the half back line, whilst Jack Hendricks was busy around the midfield and Josh Kral was the link from defence to attack. Tay Van Der Wal struggled to the bench in extreme pain after landing heavily from a massive attempted speccy (think Michael Roach's mark of the year, Round 5, 1979 over Kelvin Moore – also unfortunately for Tay he has four broken ribs we wish him well in his recovery). Our next goal came through a neat passage of play started by Ben, via Khaige, to Nick Sellar, who sent the ball sailing straight over the goal umpire's hat. The Jets were back to much better movement, and smart use of options. Jessie then connected with Ben, who delivered to Liam for a well deserved goal. The final margin was a 24 point win in a relatively low scoring affair. The Jets now sit second on the ladder, on the same points as Ferntree Gully but well ahead on percentage, one win behind Scoresby going into Round 18.
The Basin 5.5-35
Goal Kickers: C. Colombo 3, K. Stenson 2, J. Francis, N. Seller, L. Douglas, C. Van Der Wal
Best Players: C. Colombo, J. Francis, N. Seller, L. Douglas, C. Van Der Wal, B. Irvine
Past Players – Ron Smith Award
We hosted The Basin in gloomy conditions and we were greeted with a lot of surface water from overnight rain when we got to the ground. Thanks to the improved drainage since the ground renovations this had disappeared by game time and the conditions were pretty good. It was second v fourth with the emphasis to get off to a fast start and meet The Basin head on as we knew they would be keen to get a big scalp heading into finals while we were looking for our twelfth win in a row.
Our pressure was fantastic early with gang tackles and second and third efforts when the ball hit the ground a feature. Jack McNeil marked and goaled for our first to get us going followed by goals to JJ Dove and Trent Wynne (two) and we went into quarter time with a handy 23 point lead. 4.2.26 to 0.3.3
The second quarter was similar to the first with another four goals to us by Declan Browne, JJ, Trey and a great snap by Jimmy Von Eitzen with two goals to The Basin. We were doing everything right and went into halftime with a commanding six goal lead. Some inaccurate kicking was hurting The Basin but it looked like it was going to be how far Heathmont. 8.6.54 to 2.6.18
There were some worrying signs early in the third quarter with The Basin lifting their work rate and tackling pressure around the ground. Our forwards and midfield weren’t working hard enough and The Basin were able to get a lot of uncontested possessions with not much pressure and they were starting to hit the scoreboard while keeping us to a solitary goal to Trent Wynne, his third for the day. 9.7.61 to 5.7.37
We started the last quarter with a four goal lead but this was reduced to just five points with around five minutes to go. The Basin were clearly on top and we were now in a position we hadn’t been in all year where we now had to protect a lead - and it showed. Instead of slowing things down and taking control we were playing on quickly and giving the ball straight back to the opposition. Luke Box, playing his first game for the 19’s having come up from the U/17’s, kicked the sealer with about 90 seconds to go and we were able to hang on for a 12 point victory.
In hindsight this was exactly the kind of game we needed heading into the game next week against Waverley Blues where we are playing for top spot. It’s the first time we have been tested for a long time and the boys just got complacent at halftime thinking we would just keep rolling over the top of them as we have all of the other teams we have played. We look forward to the challenge next week brings, a chance to test ourselves against the best team in the comp. We can’t wait.
The Basin 8.10-58
Goal Kickers: T Wynne 3, J Dove 2, J McNeil, T Braione, J Von Eitzen, L Box, R Brown
Best Players: M Palmer, D Browne, J Gosbell, L Purkis, T Braione, H Isaacs
Past Players - Eileen Marsh Award