Fresh off the Easter break, the Jnrcorns walked onto the Woodful-Miller determined to carry momentum through the long weekend after a big win against Bulleen last time out. Welcoming back Ben Britbart after a long offseason with a shoulder injury, along with new recruit Liam Hynes the boys were keen to start really making their mark on the competition. After a loud and energetic warm up which left coaches Lachlan McKinnon and Michael Mitchell impressed, the Corns came out to a hard-hitting contest to start the 1st quarter.
The 1st score on the board was bittersweet as Hugh Radcliffe-Smith struck truly from just inside the 50, but had to hobble off with an ankle injury sustained in the mark which would keep him sidelined for the match. The rest of the quarter was mostly our way, with the tough tackling in the midfield led by the irrepressible Al Rodgers, and just a touch more class with the footy leaving the Unicorns with a 26 point lead at the half.
The 2nd quarter was more of an arm wrestle as South Melbourne came out clearly determined to put their first win on the board. Clean footy was hard to come by as the Districts put 2 on the board for the quarter whilst the Unicorns were left to rue missed opportunities as the lead only grew by a point at the half.
Coming out to a 2nd half score line of 42-15, to say the game was all Melbourne High would be an understatement. The on-ballers began to capitalise on the ruck dominance of both Harry and Will Kruyt. The twins put on a display of both air and land skills, rarely losing a hit out to go along with a goal apiece and some clean hands (even a one handed pick up!). Xabier Twyman and Flynn Adaway’s tireless running through the middle opened up the wider areas for Tom Finney, Kit Swingler and Mikel Eduard to use their magic and give some clean entries to the forwards. Aditya Munukutla was finally rewarded for his strong runs all day with a goal, while Matty Glover gobbled up everything around the goal square and ending his day with 3 snags. 4 more were added throughout the day by Jeremy Chadwick, including one checkside from the boundary you might still hear him mentioning this time next year. Inspired moves from the coach freed up Alex Lackner to put through a seriously impressive 4 goals in a half, as well as Alec Webster snagging 2 in just the last quarter as a reward for lovely ball use all day. Best of all was seeing a first goal for the club from Will Freis and another one on return for Ben Britbart.
However, for all the celebration of 13 goals in the 2nd half the story of the day was the defence. Lead by the imperious Tom Golz, the backline allowed just 2 points and appeared offended that the opposition had managed to sneak two past them in the 1st. Liam Devine shut down their only avenue to goal after the main break, with South Melbourne’s no.34 going from cleaning up contested marks to not managing a disposal after being marked out of the game. Luke Franze continued his early season dominance by treating their forwards as stepladders and tackle bags for 4 quarters. The Unicorns can be very proud of their efforts racking up 100+ tackles for the game and should aim to carry forward their destructive 2nd half form into next week against a struggling St Kevins. A special mention goes out to Joel Hodder for suiting up for a quarter and showing exactly why he should quit his day job to come down and play.
Melbourne High School Q1 4.3 27 Q2 6.6 42 Q3 12.9 81 Q4 19.15 129
South Melbourne Districts Q1 0.1 1 Q2 2.3 15 Q3 2.4 16 Q4 2.5 17
Goals A. Lackner 4, J. Chadwick 4, M. Glover 3, A. Webster 2, W. Kruyt, H. Kruyt, W. Freis, B. Britbart, H. Radcliffe-Smith, A. Munukutla
Best: A. Lackner, J. Chadwick, L. Devine, T. Golz, H. Kruyt, W. Kruyt