Match Reports - Round 7

25 May 2016

Seniors and Reserves continue their hard work, Thirds snatch a Win

Match Report – Seniors

Bernards 13.5.83 v Uni Blacks 16.14.110

Goal Kickers: C. Hughes 2, Z. O''Halloran 2, D. Colaco 2, T. Sullivan, A. Mcleod , J. Bevanda, T. Delzoppo, A. Singleton, E. Sibbald, J. Shine
Best Players: T. Sullivan, A. Mcleod , M. Caven, J. Forder, J. Bennie, M. Hughes

"Bernards" ventured back to University Oval for the 2nd consecutive week to take on Uni Blacks. Blacks have been in pretty impressive form, so we were under no illusions that the task ahead was going to be a difficult one.
Its been a bit of a pattern all year that we cop a couple of injuries and therefore each week we change our line up. Whilst this provides opportunities for in form players from the reserves it does make it difficult for a football team to develop synergy and chemistry. I believe its been a terrific effort by the lads to play some pretty good systematic football under these circumstances. Into the team that were narrowly defeated by Uni Blues came 
Darren Colaço, Jacob Shine, Nick Burgin and Jesse Manunzio.. Colaco gave us a good strong target and clunked a couple of marks and kicked a couple of goals.. Burgs started well and was very busy early in the game. He bounced back from a heavy reported incident and was impressive tough and brave.
Shiner also did some nice things and is overhead marking was a feature of his game.
The backs, whom were under siege for a lot of the day (Blacks had 55 I/50's to our 34) defended well. 
James Bennie did an excellent job on a guy who had been kicking multiple goals, Michael Caven continues to play some really good footy and Michael Angel and Tom Caven battled hard in many 1 on 1 contests. Sam Woods and Mitch Hughes continue to improve and we love the way they give us run and dash out of defence.
The mids were asked by their team mates to win the footy and when we didn't win it pressure the oppo and play hard 2 way transition footy. Well,
Tom Sullivan took this onboard and led from the front. Hard and tough inside and his defensive running and tackling pressure was super. Alex McLeod played his best game for the year. He had a really good balance between winning hard inside ball and clever outside finish. His 3rd Q goal from the centre bounce clearance was sheer class.
We have to mention the efforts of 
Zachary O'Halloran and Jacob Forder. Every week they ruck against much bigger opponents but they just roll their sleeves up and compete hard. They don't win every contest but they make the oppo beat them. Some of Jakes follow up tackles were excellent & aggressive and Zach pushed forward and kicked us 2 goals.As mentioned Colaco gave us a target and 
Chris Hughes continues to impress as a young player of hardness and quality.
Uni Blacks are the best team that we have played so far. They were strong & fit, played a good ball movement system and had some very good players. Our very inexperienced team was much their equal for 3/4's. That doesn't give us 4 points but it gives us hope that if we keep training with purpose, stay positive and keep persisting then eventually it will turn for us.
We return back to the "Pit" this week and play a good St Kevins team whom are in form. With sustained effort and continued improvement we will give ourselves every chance.
Senior Coach. Mark Riley

Match Report Reserves:
Bernards 9.7.61 v Blacks 9.13.67

Goal Kickers: D. Wall 4, M. Farrant 2, L. Scerri, I. Madden, K. Daly
Best Players: J. Riley, D. Wall, L. Scerri, M. Farrant, L. Sullivan, K. Daly

Beautiful conditions again greeted the Ressies for the second week running at University Oval, taking on a Uni Blacks outfit who were fresh off a win against the top side De La Salle.

St Bernard’s went into the game minus Jed Carey and Jake Van Meel who’d succumbed to injury, while Jacob Shine, Jesse Manunzio, Nick Burgin and Darren Colaco were rewarded with senior games thanks to their solid form. Well done lads!

The opening quarter was an arm wrestle, with both sides unable to make great inroads on the scoreboard. Luckily for Bernard’s, Blacks inaccurate kicking had kept them within arm’s reach. With his elite ball use, James Riley was dominant early, splitting open the Blacks defence while Dave Wall was proving elusive up forward.

The second term was again a close tussle, with Blacks maintaining a slight edge going into half time. Unfortunately for him, Stef Piantella suffered a recurrence of a hamstring strain which will see him miss another month of football. Andrew Stapleton, Matt Tonge and Kane Daly had been lively, while Luke Scerri and Michael Farrant were giving us some bite in the forward half.

The third quarter saw Bernard’s open up the corridor, and with some sharp ball movement, were able to kick four goals to Blacks solitary major. At times, Bernard’s looked like busting the game wide open, however to Blacks credit they were able to close the game down, and kept the margin to under a goal at the break. James Riley has also left the field with a nasty lower leg injury, after being far and away the best player on the ground.

In an all too familiar tale being down a couple soldiers at the final break, Bernard’s were going to have to dig deep to hang on. Despite conceding an early goal, Bernard’s scrapped and fought tooth and nail to remain in the contest. Another goal to Blacks took the margin to six points, but Bernard’s still refused to give up. An opportunist goal to Kane Daly bought the contest back level with five minutes to play. Bernard’s were out on their feet and had given their all, and lack of rotations in the midfield was beginning to tell, with Blacks driving the ball forward. An unlucky spillage in the defensive goal square allowed Blacks to swoop and kick the winner in the dying stages.

Despite the valiant effort, the loss leaves us with the solitary win from seven games. We have been a huge chance in almost every game, and taken it right up to some very good sides. A win is not far away. Keep the efforts up fellas!

Gary McIntyre & Chris Davis


Match Report - St Bernard’s Thirds 2016 Round 7 vs Collegians
Final Score: St Bernard’s 8-6-54 defeated Collegians 6-14-50
Goals: J.Firth 4, L.Cookson 2, J.Pignataro 2 
Best: M.Sulzberger, C.Issa, L.Cookson, J.Pignataro, X.Cox, J.Rose 

Somehow, someway St Bernard’s thirds ended up with their noses in front when it mattered in a torrid contest against Collegians at Harry Trott oval. The final margin was a nail-biting 4 points.
For some unknown reason Harry Trott oval has not been a happy hunting ground for the Thirds and even though Collegians were winless Ralphy & Borzy emphasised that we needed to treat our opponents with respect. We were on the board quickly with goals to Firthy & Cookson and all appeared to be going to the script. The home team had other ideas and hit back with 2 goals into the wind. As a direct result of our defensive efforts we were able to have our noses in front at the first change. Score check us 3-3 to them 2-2. “Game on”
Ralphy urged the troops at the first break to increase the effort & intensity at the contest. It appeared to fall on deaf ears as we struggled to win the pill on the inside or outside, Collegians were taking the game right up to us and we reacted poorly, our skill level and decision making was below par. The majority of the play was in their front half and only for inaccurate goal kicking Collegians could have blown the contest wide open. A pitiful point by us for the quarter had alarm bells ringing. The half time scores us 3-4 to an inaccurate them 4-7. The coaching group conceded that we were playing poorly however a 9 point deficit was not insurmountable. Ralphy, Moons & Borzy had the magnets whizzing around looking for answers however the “message was clear” We needed to dig deep and work our way back into this contest.
The troops responded in the third, our midfield began to attack the contest and the supply to our forwards resumed. Mark & goal to Cookson, a clever snap from Pigga followed by a goal on the run from Firth had us up and about. Our opponents would not wilt, the footy was hot and it was now a game of millimetres. When the ¾ hooter sounded we led by the narrowest of margins and we would have to kick goals into the breeze to bring home a win. Score check, us 6-5 to them 5-10.
At orange time Ralphy demanded that the troops up the ante, the only way we were going to win this contest was to work our backsides off and focus on committing to 25 minutes of maximum effort from all 24 players. We had to maintain our structures and stick to our pregame aims. The final quarter was a bruising affair with neither side willing to concede ground. Firthy found time and space to dance around his opponent and kick his fourth. Collegians struck back and continued to attack the goals. Our defence stood tall and were able to kill the footy on a number of occasions but conceded minor scores in the process. The time clock seemed to be going at snail’s pace as the Home side had their noses in front, we were trying to inch our way forward. The tackling was ferocious as both teams were leaving nothing in the tank. The coaching group were running out of finger nails and looked on helplessly. With two & a half minutes to go Pigga, who had been lively all day, was able to run onto a loose ball and headed goal wards, he the split the sticks to put us back in front. The last two minutes of the game was hectic as Collegians gave it one more roll of the dice. Through weight of numbers we were able to run down the clock and grab a hard earned victory.


Paul Rahill & Kevin Jones.