MHSOBFC Green: 9.10-64
MHSOBFC Maroon: 7.5-47
But none the less, the first bounce belonged to us. Big Adam “I don’t care if you’re from the same club I will smash you” Ashton got a beautiful tap straight to a bursting Chris Miller spearing the ball forward. With Linford Dean receiving a too high free kick early, he went on to seal the opener for the oldies, an empathetic show that we were determined to play it on our terms. But the unders hit back, Will Penhaluriack dominant in the air as a loose man down back for the juniorcorns, providing rebound and opportunities for their forwards. Our backs were no slouches though, Matt Grylls’ attack on the footy was fearless and outstanding while Adam Jones was busy early feeding the forwards with his laser-like boot.
With Ben Southam finally arriving thanks to the help of Lindsey Fox’s helicopter flying him in from the peninsula, once he got free of his parachute after the jump he rejoined us on the ground and managed to seal our second goal with an electrifying snap from the pocket. But it was the unders who had the ascendancy at quarter time, going in ahead 11 points up.
The second was an intriguing contest, especially watching the highly anticipated man on man rivalries across the ground. One such contest changed when Adam Ashton’s ruck opponent James Scott collided heavily with the stylish steamtrain, Stuart Grigg, the taller man coming off second best. Inspired by the idea of taking out opposition players, Adam Ashton remonstrated with a young unicorn after a late hit on a brave Matt Grylls. After several attempts, big Big Asho was unable to kill his opponent discretely, instead accepting that he would just have to play well in the ruck all day instead.
Our forwards were well supplied during the second, but like America’s aversion to the metric system, for the greater part they were unable to convert. It was Linford again however who provided the difference on the scoreboard, his second putting us within a kick of the baby unicorns.
Undoubtedly the story for the quarter though was the performance of the Flying Dutchman, the good ol’ Mustard, Thijs de Jong. Set the task of nullifying the dominance of Penhalluriack, Thijs wore young Will like a glove all quarter, eliminating his influence on the game whilst putting his body on the line defensively against multiple players to get the ball back in our hands.
With one point separating the teams at half time, Coach Rhys Craig T was pleased with our fighting spirit, but impressed upon us that it would be our sharpness and physical attack on the ball that would need to be the difference in the second half. In his 50th magnificent game with the High, Damien Damian Grantham was sent into the middle to play a bullocking role alongside the ever solid Chris Birch, and it wasn’t long before their bullocking work alongside that of Southam and Grigg began to turn the tide in our favour. The clearances became our territory, the young bodies unable to match it with a determined clubbies line up.
One of the highly anticipated contests of the day was between Byron Gunn and Arran Bouten, and it didn’t disappoint. While Byron was excellent all day, the first goal of the third came when Arran proved too strong and slotted one through for the seniorcorns.
The next goal though was one which has already been etched in clubbies folklore as “the play”.
The ever-reliable D.I.R.T.W.O.R.M Calum Bennett smashed through the deep backline winning his own ball before beautifully transferring play to the half-back / wing area where Tom Grigg marked cleanly and pushed back quickly. Like his doppelganger Mr Sheffield, T.Grigg was composed and debonnaire in manner as he shot a glance back toward the advancing DWorm, who by this stage had crept up to the back of the centre square. Pulling the trigger like a Pierce Brosnan era James Bond, Griggy hit up Dirtworm, who in a split second dished off to a top speed (10.5kmh) Ando who swept the ball to the far side forward flank to a rampaging Southam who, with time to spare, lowered his eyes and hit a leading Chris Miller 30 metres out.
When Chris, experiencing a renaissance in his disposal by foot, put the ball through the big sticks, the feeling was palpable – we were coming. Not like Carlton said they were when they were terrible though. We were really on the charge. Like Ben Southam’s car battery. With Thijs continuing his excellent work on William Penhalluriack, Liam Duffy tackling ferociously on the boundary line, Matt Grylls pushing forward to nullify the juniors’ loose man and Morgan Cole holding Ashan extremely quiet in the other highly anticipated contest of the day, it was trench warfare and bit by bit we inched ahead.
Coming into the last 13 points up, it was game on. The last was a bruising battle, in which ultimately it was our intent and desperation that proved the difference. Tom Grigg was unbeatable down back, his marking only surpassed by his clean ball use. Needing to put a stop to any unders comeback, it Chris Miller who again proved decisive, the Golden one slotting his second for the day to give us the chance to shut out the game. But the juniorcorns kept coming. After a succession of inaccurate shots on goal, the score crept closer, and with Thijs de Jong coming off from cramps from his hard running tag, Will Penhalluriack took advantage of the break to fly over his former coach and mark and goal 15 metres out. The score now under a 2 goal margin, it was do or die.
A reinvigorated development team threw all they had at the clubbies and when the ball came in long to a 1 on 1 between Morgan and Ashan, it looked like Ashan had the sit before Morgan “Joel Patful-like” Cole somehow willed himself to take a Leo Barry-like mark in the defensive goal square, saving an almost certain goal. With the game in the balance, the surrounds of the Woodfull Miller oval filled with the booming voice of Brendan Reeiiddyy at every contest, urging “STOPPAGE! STOPPAGE!”. It was lock down footy.
The unders pressed again though, and not content to let Morgs, Ando, Grigg, Southam, or Miller have claim to being the match saver, it was Albert Kuang who set off in chase of a fast breaking Rob Rae. But with the backline having set up early and rolled across, when Rob looked up to hit a target and saw none, his moment of hesitation was interrupted with an almighty KUANG!, Alby popping up like a sprinkler and bringing him down to win the holding the ball decision. Sorry son, you’ve been KUANGED!
Desperation in the air with only minutes remaining, the game was only put away when Adam Granger, having been a general all day in defence, managed to sneak forward to mark within range. When he goaled and flexed his massive biceps to check that they still worked, the whole backline ran to celebrate his efforts for all backdom-kind.
With Linford Dean kicking the final goal to close out the match, it was the oldercorns by a margin of 17 points over Mike’s boys to take the bragging rights in the first ever MHSOBFC Derby. Our man TDJ took out player’s player for his excellent sacrificial job on Will P. Damo was a warrior in his 50th, a fine game from a clubbies champion and top bloke. Another special mention should go to Rob Coxon who didn’t let anyone know, but played out the game with fractured ribs and showed the pace of a 19yo in out turning and chasing actual 19yos.
The juniorcorns pushed us the whole way and we certainly saw the talent that propelled them to second on the ladder. We now rely on our young comrades to finish off our other rivals to help us get through to finals so that maybe, just maybe, we might see a rematch come August…
Goals: L. Dean 3, B. Southam 2, C. Miller 2, A. Bouten, A. Granger
Best: C. Miller, B. Southam, L. Dean, S. Grigg, M. Cole, T. Grigg