Round 11 Under 21 Match Report

MHSOBFC Maroon:     21.8-134

West Brunswick:          5.7-37

After a disappointing loss to the Club 18 in Round 10, the Development Squad spent the week leading up to the clash against West Brunswick reassessing our season and focusing on improving as a squad.

A strong pre-game warmup and the welcoming of five debutants contributed to the boys being fired up and ready to sprint straight out of blocks and punish a new look West Brunswick outfit. Stephen ‘goodnight’ Raikes led the charge from the front by putting in perhaps his best quarter of the year as he presented option after option to our midfielders who had confidence in his high-quality dukes. After having been locked down last week, it was clear that our midfield wanted to spread around the contest and play on when the opportunity presented itself. Alistair ‘Jooooooter (Junior Scooter)’ Scott was able to place the ball into the sure hands of Al ‘drop my name at the door’ Rogers and Jamie ‘Who puts their 21st on a Friday before footy?’ Radcliffe-Smith who broke the lines and put the ball into the hot spot for our forward line.

The high intensity pressure continued into the second quarter led by the ferocious tackling by Chris ‘Rocks for a brain’ King who had no regard for the safety of the opposition and kicked one of the best goals in Thirds footy on the run from 40 out straight through the big sticks. Huge. The best passages of the day occurred when we were able to quickly transition the ball out of defence and switch the play to the likes of Rob ‘secretly elevated to co-captain’ Rae who used his speed to kick the grass to the advantage of our forwards and kick a couple himself on the overlap.

West Brunswick took the fight back to us in the second half with strong tackling pressure that had us second guessing at time but they were unable to convert their chances onto the score board only kicking three goals for the rest of the game. Our consistently high-performing defence led by Byron ‘I’m too good for this division’ Gunn who sat on the head of their full-forward and didn’t lose a 1 on 1 contest all day. However, our structures dropped off towards the end of the game as tired legs meant we turned the ball over far more than we would like and this must be improved when facing the strong opposition teams. Nevertheless, the strength of our forward line shone through led by Lachlan ‘The Facilitator’ Dowling who continued to prove his consistency by kicking another bag of three alongside the formidable Will ‘Don’t send me to Cairns’ Hellier with four and Ashan ‘What’s a handball?’ Wijayakumara snagging a lazy eight for the day. Too bad 9s a bag.

It is good to get back on the winners list and provide us with some momentum going into a huge clash against ladder leaders Hawthorn who are undefeated.

Goals: A. Wijayakumara 8, W. Hellier 4, L. Dowling 3, R. Rae 2, M. Glover, N. Campbell, S. Raikes, C. King
Best: T. Finney, M. Glover, B. Britbart , L. Devine, K. Swingler, J. Timson