The Jnrcorns walked onto Righetti Oval flying high after two resounding wins on the trot. In conditions slightly better than expected, the U19’s looked to continue their form against a St Kevins side who came in with polar-opposite form, being soundly beaten in the last two weeks.
From the opening bounce it was clear the boys would be in for a much tougher fight than expected, with St Kevin’s kicking the first two majors and clearly up and about for a contest. The Melbourne High boys responded with forward pressure and a great Alec Webster snap but couldn’t generate clear chances and ended the quarter down despite double the scoring shots.
The boys came out clearly more ready to play in the 2nd quarter, containing the ball inside our forward half for the majority of the quarter but again couldn’t capitalise on the great ruck and full forward work of Will and Harry Kruyt. The twins were by far the most impactful players of the day, dominating the ruck, ground balls and forward 50 entries as they were a force to contend with inside the goal square. Aditya Munukutla constantly broke away from the occasional double team, with his fantastic ability to bring the ball to ground generating plenty of chances. A few quick St Kevins goals on the counter undid the hard work of the Corns as the two teams went into the half time break level at 31.
Conditions worsened in the 2nd half and hard footy around the contest became the style of play for both sides. With the corridor being mostly neglected, Kit Swingler and Tom Finney worked incredibly hard both ways to contain the dangerous runs of the opposition. Al Rodgers and Xabier Twyman toiled constantly to get clean possession out of the middle, but further inefficiency in the wet let the Unicorns down. A 1.4 quarter allowed the deficit to slip out to 9 points, a mountain to climb given the brand of game it turned out to be.
The boys came out to fight admirably and were rewarded for their effort with Al Rodgers forcing through the arm-wrestle of a contest and putting one through to get us within a goal. Unfortunately, this hard work was quickly for naught on the back of a questionable 50m penalty against to give up a shot from the square and the lead to go back out past our reach. Despite the best repelling effort of Liam Devine, Tom Golz and Liam Hynes in defense, the team yet again couldn’t reward themselves and were left to rue inefficiency as time expired on a disappointing loss.
The Jnrcorns go back to the High next week to take on an inform Mazenod team one spot above them on the ladder in an extremely important game in the pursuit of breaking out of a tightly contested finals race.
Goal Kickers: W. Kruyt 2, H. Kruyt, A. Webster, A. Lackner, A. Rogers
Best Players: W. Kruyt, H. Kruyt, L. Hynes, K. Swingler, A. Munukutla, T. Finney