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Under 15's (Navy)

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Round 11

Beverley Hills 7.3.45 def by Doncaster 8.8.56

Our captain for the day ‘Azza’ Heward lost the toss and we started by kicking into what looked like a 4 goal breeze.
And thats exactly what it turned out to be. Down 4.2 to 0.0 at the and of the first quarter.
However, we started the game very well and had the ball inside our 50 for the most part of the first half of the quarter but were not able to score. We were winning the ball around the stoppages with Josh Warren (6 1st qtr possessions, Roper (4), Corbelly (4) providing some opportunities for the forwards.
The wind was a big advantage and with a couple of very long kicks they were able to quickly get the ball inside their 50 and put 2 goals on the scoreboard against the run of play. Xander was given the early task to run with their ‘gun’ player, however he was able to kick a couple in the first quarter and started to look very dangerous.
Overall though I was very happy with our pressure as we layed 16 quality tackles for the quarter, the signs were good but we went into the qtr time break down by 26 points.

We needed to take advantage of the wind in the second quarter and get some score on the board. We dominated the inside 50’s but were only able to kick 2 goals. Azza playing a great game across half back (5 kicks, 2 marks) pushed up into the wall and by intercepting a rebound kick from Doncaster he was able to get his hand on it and kick our first. Josh Rallakis then kicked a great goal a few minutes later from an acute angle and we had all the momentum.
Was great to have Conor back from 2 weeks away on holidays and he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat picking up 8 possessions for the quarter and constantly winning the ball through the middle. Jack Crawford playing his first game for the year after missing through illness picked up 3 kicks and took a mark and looked like he would improve in the coming weeks as he gains match fitness. Ibo capped off a good half with a lot of clean possession and ended up collecting 5 free kicks for the day by putting his head over the football and being rewarded from the umpires. We went into half time 12 points down.

The 3rd quarter our aim was to hold them to only a couple goals but again they managed to kick 4. One goal we gave away through an undisciplined double 15m penalty and another with an errant kick from our last line back into the hot spot. In the end those 2 ‘easy’ goals would prove the difference.
Menta (9) started influencing the game rebounding off half back and combining with Azza (7), Ibo (5), Xander (6) we again looked at times like we were going to score. We managed to get the ball inside 50 on a few occasions but our forward structure was non existent! A late goal from them just before 3 qtr time was disappointing and we went into the final quarter 39 points down.

We swung Azza and Jim Menta forward in the last quarter as we needed to kick goals in a hurry! The midfielders were doing a good job getting the ball forward and finally things started to click as we piled on 5 goals. Jim kicking 2 and Azza, Simmo and Yianni 1 each. Unfortunately Yianni went down with an injury after kicking his goal. Dal Santo was playing a fine game across half back and with Conor (7), Ibo (5) and Warren (7) all getting their hand on the footy we looked the far better team and had all the momentum.
Unfortunately with time against us we fell short by 11 points.
A disappointing result especially given that we won the inside 50 count 39 to 31.
With 3 games to go the season is still very much in our control and we go into next weeks game against Prahran full of confidence knowing we can match it with the better teams in the competition.

Major effective possession leaders for the day were, Corbelly (22), Menta (20), Azza (19), Warren (18), Xander (14), Ibo and Dal Santo (12)
Tackling champions, Azza (5), Ibo, Roper, Adem (4)
One %’er leaders, Warren (4), Hamish (3)
Goal kickers, Menta (2), Azza (2), 1 each to Rallakis, Simmo, Yianni

A big thanks to all the helpers for the day. Especially Rob Heward who has stepped into Coxy’s shoes for the last 2 weeks!

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