After a run of poor results, the Development Squad were looking forward to bouncing back by solidifying our place in the top four and securing that coveted home final. With a strong week on the track the boys were raring to go against an Ormond side that had the potential to be a tricky opponent.
Following on from a bumper pre-game warmup we burst out of the blocks looking to transition the ball forward and put our mark on the game early. The excitement and importance of the contest got to us as jitters showed on the scoreboard as we managed only 3.7 from ten scoring shots to Ormond’s 1. Nevertheless, after a message to calm down was delivered by Michael ‘Cuddles’ Mitchell we were far more accurate in front of goal thanks to our dead-eye forwards Ashan ‘Ferrari’ Wijayakumara and Oscar ‘WoW’ Sargeant leading hard into the hot spot. They were assisted by the skill and poise of Lachlan ‘The Facilitator’ Dowling who read the play brilliantly by utilising the wide space on the Woodfull-Miller to then cut back inside and hit target after target, even managing to kick a couple himself. These performances ensured we turned 3.7 into 7.3 and had a strong lead going into the main break.
Although Ormond fought back early within the third quarter to put a few past our otherwise concrete defence we continued to have the upper hand as the young legs blew away the old. Jarrod ‘Get a haircut’ Growse was one of the stronger performers down back as he used his blistering acceleration to break tackles and hit targets further up the ground. He was assisted by the ever-reliable Alec ‘Stick’ Webster and Ben ‘Wallet’ Mitchell who were consistent down back winning the important one-on-ones.
Our midfield grew tired later in the fourth quarter allowing their larger bodied players to read the elite taps from the brother duo of Jooter and Scooter. Nevertheless, a strong performance from Hugh ‘The Better Brother’ Radcliffe-Smith dominate the midfield group able to use his pace and elite shoe to set up our forwards and snag five himself. Although we were unable reach the 20 goal target we set ourselves at three-quarter time it was fantastic to see a full team performance after a disappointing previous few weeks. We are looking strong going into the last round of the season. It is imperative that we put away Therry Penola this Saturday to hold onto 3rd spot and be able to play the coveted home final.
Goals: H. Radcliffe-Smith 5, A. Wijayakumara 5, O. Sargeant 2, M. Glover 2, L. Dowling 2, J. Growse, N. Brown, C. King
Best: J. Growse, H. Radcliffe-Smith, J. Chadwick, A. Webster, A. Wijayakumara, B. Mitchell