Round 6 - Match Reports

17 May 2016

Round Six - What could have Been

 

Round 6 - Seniors vs Uni Blues

St Bernards 10.10.70 vs Uni Blues 10.12.72

Goal Kickers: C. Hughes 3, J. Bevanda 2, N. Cooke, D. Wall, E. Sibbald, A. Bentick, G. Zoccali
Best Players: T. Sullivan, S. Fleming, S. Woods, A. Bentick, C. Hughes, Z. O'Halloran

The Seniors came into this game off a strong win vs Carey and against a team we had played in the preseason matches. It was a tight game from the opening bounce with both teams putting a lot of pressure on the ball carrier. Through strong work by midfielders, Sullivan, Fleming, Bentick and co, Bernards started to get repeat forward 50 entries, and hit the scoreboard.

On a windy day,albeit with some protection at the Uni oval, skills needed to be executed well and during the second and third quarters, Bernards gained the upper hand. Zach O’Halloran had another strong game leading the ruck and was well assisted by Jake Forder. The backline continued their good form with Captain Tom Caven directing traffic and again taking many intercept marks. Two late goals to Blues in the third quarter reduced the Bernie’s lead to 17pts at the final break.

The mood at the break was positive and play resumed at a hot pace, as both teams lifted their intensity. Youngsters Chris Hughes and Sam Woods were good all day and like the rest of the team pushed on hard into the last quarter.

After an early arm wrestle Uni Blues started to exert some influence and ball movement through the midfield, and it was their turn to get repeat inside 50’s. In the end it was a nail biter of a finish as Blues surged late, Bernards battled hard in the last few minutes but couldn’t bridge the two point deficit. A second one kick loss for the year is bitter medicine to take, and left us thinking, what could have been, but as coach Mark Riley highlighted after the game, we are all in this together. In five of our 6 games we have produced three quarters of top level VAFA football but our lapses have been costly.

The senior group as a collective is focussed on working hard and leaving no stone unturned to maximise team performance, for next weeks big game, back at the Uni vs Uni Blacks.

Note: Special thanks to the thirds and reserves players who supported the seniors in good numbers. The seniors really appreciate the support, and along with other supporters we had bigger qtr time huddles than the home team. We know Bernard’s team mates will always get round and support each other.

We look forward to another strong off field turnout from players & supporters this Saturday vs Blacks, and we look forward to another red hot game onfield.

Round 6 – Reserves vs Uni Blues

St Bernards 8.9.57 vs Uni Blues 12.8.80

Goal Kickers: D. Colaco 3, S. Piantella 2, J. Riley, T. Riley, J. Shine
Best Players: J. Shine, J. Gay, J. Manunzio, P. Gamwell, D. Colaco, J. Riley

A beautiful day for footy in perfect conditions we were aiming to build on our momentum gained in our 1st win the previous week. Coming up against the undefeated Uni Blues we had to be at our best. A continued focus of a ‘run and gun’ style of footy mixed with in your face defensive pressure was our aim and the 1st quarter produced this in spades. Every time a Uni Blues player got the ball he was confronted by a Bernards jumper. There were some great transition passages of play leading to a quarter time lead of a few goals. 

 

As all good sides do, Uni Blues lifted their tempo in the 2nd and it took us a while to match them. By the time we got the game back on our terms we had surrendered our lead. We regrouped at half time and played some inspired footy in the 3rd qtr. Jack Gay and Stef Piantella were winning plenty of ball and Jacob Shine was marking everything. Big Daz Colaco was putting the icing on the cake up forward. We managed to hit the lead again in the 3rd qtr only to make a couple costly errors in the middle of the ground resulting in late uni blues goals, leaving scores tight.

 

We fought on gallantly in the final term despite only having 2 on the interchange with injuries to key defenders Jed Carey and Jake Van Meel, only to fall short by 4 goals. 

It was our best performance for the season despite the result. We take many positives out of the game with plenty of players finding some form. I look forward to heading back to the same venue this week to take on Uni Blacks and I have no doubt if we bring the same effort this week the result will go in our favour.

 

St Bernard’s Thirds Round 6 vs Uni-Blues

Final Score:  St Bernard’s 11-9-75 defeated Uni-Blues 3-4-22

Goals: J.Notaro 3, J.Firth 2, M.Farrant, J.Holland, W.Kingston, M.Satterley, M.Sulzberger, D.Yacoub  

Best: S.O’Keeffe, C. Issa, M.Farrant, J.Oruba, X.Cox, L.Cookson. 

After an even first half the thirds were able to put the foot down in the second half and post a convincing victory over traditional rivals Uni-Blues in a wind affected game at Crawford oval. An early start always tests resources and attitudes. Winning the toss in these types of conditions is not always an advantage as neither team was able to settle. We were getting first hands on the footy but failed to direct the pill to the attacking side of the ground, we were continually “baited” by our opponents to go against pre-game instructions and the majority of the game was played in the dead pocket. We were eventually able to get on the board with goals to Yacoub, Firth & Kingston. Score check at the first break was us 3-2 them 0-0

The second term was an interesting struggle; we were able to win the clearances but were unable to run it up the ground without running into the Uni-Blues wall across half forward. Our forward pressure dropped off and their re-bound footy was beginning to result in forward entries. The defence was under enormous pressure but they continued to stand tall against their bigger and more experienced opponents, Oruba, Connelly & O.Mac were battling hard, however the Blues boys were able to kick 3 majors to have the scores all tied up at half time. One miserable point by us for the quarter was disappointing. Score check 3-3 to 3-3 had the coaching group scratching their heads.

The half time message was to break the game open and ensure we take full advantage of our ruck dominance and get the scoreboard ticking over. The third quarter started as an arm wrestle, Cookson & O’Keeffe were dominating the clearances and we started to follow the team plans. An inspirational effort from Coxy when he backed into the oncoming traffic inspired the troops and we were able to grab the initiative. Two goals to Notaro and singles to Farrant, Satterley & Dutchy was icing on the cake for the disciplined effort shown by the entire team during this very physical period of play. The Uni boys had turned up the heat and were throwing everything at us, but we were equal to the task and had our eyes on the ball & the ball only. Our blokes withstood the storm and stood tall. Our team defensive efforts were a feature during this quarter. At orange time we had them on the ropes 8-6 to 3-4

It was important to note that even though all the scoring had been at the Tram line end and the Uni boys had last use of it, the wind would not do it for them. Ralphy demanded we knuckle down, stop over finessing the footy, score into the wind and put the contest out of reach of our dogged opponents. Our efforts and hunger for the contest went up a notch; it was clearly rattling our opponents and left them in our wake. Three goals into the gale from Sulzy, Firth & Notaro well and truly ended the contest; once again our defensive efforts were a feature denying the Uni side time and space. Holding them to three points in three quarters was a brilliant team effort. Another box ticked off and four points in the bank.

Next Saturday the “Mighty Fearless Thirds” are away again, facing Collegians at Harry Trott Oval in Albert Park. Lets keep the ball rolling lads and really lock in our top four ladder position

Patrick Crabb