Round 6, June 1st

U10s vs Upwey-Tecoma

What a fantastic game of Under 10’s football by both teams today.  It was a tough, ferocious and highly competitive contest and one that I am sure was enjoyed by all parents and spectators.

It was clear from the pre-game warm up that the Young Bloods were focussed, switched on and prepared for what would turn out to be and extremely tough and hard contest.  The contest started before the first bounce with Captain of the day Xander Oldfield involved an intense battle of “Paper / Scissors / Rock” to determine which way were we kicking.  After some initial confusion it was confirmed that the Young Bloods would be kicking down the hill in the first quarter.  From the very first bounce the tackling pressure of both teams was impressive as was the intensity and hardness at the contest by all players.  In what was a titanic struggle, the Young Bloods were able to manage a solitary behind for the quarter but the effort and work rate by all players was outstanding.

With some slight drizzle, the arm wrestle continued in the second quarter with no further additions to the fancy electronic scoreboard.  Rian Sharp was leading by example with his attack at the football, first gamer Josh McMeekin made some great team contributions and Max Monkhorst was getting involved with some strong tackles and some handy ruck work.  Cyrus Wright was doing a great job at full back along with Ned Ford and Felix Hatherley who were providing some much needed run off half back.  As was the case in the first quarter, the tackling pressure by both teams was awesome.

The third quarter was much the same as the first two, with lots of hard tackles and hard work by all players on the field.  Josh Leonard had a great quarter of footy as did Lachie Bates and Ethan Blenkiron.  Once again there were no additions to the scoreboard. At three quarter time, only one behind had been scored for the game which demonstrates just how tough and hard the contest had been.

The flood gates opened a little bit in the last quarter with the Young Bloods scoring a number of behinds before a great goal by Rob Beekman thanks to some exceptional teamwork from Rian Sharp.  Not to be outdone, the Upwey boys also scored which led to every exciting last few minutes during which time Oliver Clark was outstanding in defence.

I was very proud of the effort today and it was really pleasing that for the 4th week in a row the young bloods were able to sing the song after the game which they did with lots of gusto.  Congratulations to Nick Heron who was presented with an award from the Upwey coach after the game which was a very nice gesture.  Also, a BIG congratulations to the Under 12’s on their come from behind victory. 

A great day for the Under 10 and Under 12 teams today. Well done lads!!


U12s vs Upwey-Tecoma

What an amazing contest we saw at Upwey/Tecoma today, probably the most see-sawing game we’ve seen from our boys this year, and yet again the “Young Bloods” providing plenty of value for money to all our great officials, parents & supporters (and I don’t mind admitting a few missed heart beats as well)

Both teams began the day locked on 3 wins and 2 losses each, and like us the Tigers, 2 losses had been pretty narrow so it was always going to be a tough and tight contest. Our 50 gamer & Captain for today Jonty Scott had us kicking downhill for the 1st term, and despite many strong passages of play forward, we just couldn’t quite capitalise and hit the scoreboard. Our tackling pressure was good, we kept our possessions to the minimum which was really good in the drizzly conditions, and our defence remained rock solid. At Qtr time we held a 5pt lead and had started in pretty good fashion, but football is definitely a game mostly played between the ears, and as we were about to find out, if your attitude and concentration drops away, things can fall apart pretty quickly. For the next 12 minutes, we comfortably played our most disappointing Qtr of football for 2014. All of those key areas we pride ourselves in (being in front, our tackling, our skill level, our defensive running, being unselfish) simply fell by the wayside and Upwey banged on 5 unanswered goals to nil to hold a 25pt lead at halftime. In these wet conditions it really a huge task to overcome, I always tell the boys that each game is a marathon, not a sprint and to be the last man standing is pretty important.

I was obviously not going to yell and scream at the break, because I’m not here for that, and I don’t believe in it, however I’m pretty comfortable in saying that I was really disappointed in the boys effort. My main message is that we always give our best, we never give in, and that we always remain competitive; anything after that is purely a bonus. We couldn’t say that we achieved that during the 2nd term and so the boys needed to be told. I also believe though that this group is made of the right stuff, they have great character and they have shown a real willingness to work for each other, sometimes they just need to be reminded. The following response was just amazing to witness and it’s incredible that in dire times, some unlikely heroes always seem to bob up.

The third term saw a complete turnaround in the middle, with our boys taking control at stoppages and simply “cracking in” at 100mph. Within a couple of minutes, the game was turning our way via 2 brilliant goals from Jed Noar and suddenly we had all the momentum. With the “Big Oak” now dominating the Ruck, it gave us huge belief that we could be back into the contest at ¾ time and give ourselves a chance of staging a famous victory from nowhere. The ball hardly reached Upwey’s half forward line, and when it did it was met by a Back 6 who took front spot, attacked the ball, cleared it and then worked back to find their opponent, they were simply brilliant as they kept the Tigers scoreless, and as Oakley Jessop popped though another, we had worked our way back within 3pts – just amazing. Entering the last term, had we used all our petrol tickets to get back in the game? Could we continue to work up the hill at the same rate as the previous Qtr? I thought we could, did the boys think they could? Judging by their eyes and voices at the huddle, they looked like they had well and truly got their appetites back.

The last term to the credit of both terms was just pulsating, as all players showed incredible desperation to win the contested ball right across the small Upwey ground. Tackle after tackle, scragged kick after scragged kick, it was a committed performance by both teams. The words “structure” are ringing in my ears right now as I think back to pre-game, talking to the boys about structure, maintaining your position, not going kick chasing and to simply be where we need you and not where you feel like being. With about a minute to go, and 3pts behind, we managed to work the ball to Half Forward and when a long kick went right to the goal line, there was Alex Tomada 10 metres in the clear, who marked and turned around and goaled unopposed and we had hit the lead when it counted. I want to highlight this because it’s now the 2nd week in a row that Alex has done this, simply playing his role and being where we need him has seen him kick 2 great goals, and todays won us a game of football.

The ball was rebounced and still it wasn’t over as Upwey surged forward, 2 phenomenal efforts from Alex Gailis, and then a huge smother from “Patchy” Seymour in the dying seconds put the ball over the line, and when the siren went it ended one of the great games we have seen from our boys, a 3pt win (5.8.38 to 5.5.35) and a sea of excited “Red & White” supporters.

Just an outstanding effort to climb back into today’s game when it all seemed a bit much at halftime. It really takes great character to turn around such a tough situation, and whilst we are always proud of our kids, I feel a bit more proud than normal having witnessed that today. Just a fantastic contest from both sides today, it’s a shame that someone had to lose and I’ve no doubt that Upwey will find themselves around the mark at the end of the season, they have some terrific players. For our boys, we have this Sunday off but we will still train this week at Olinda as per normal at 4.30pm.

Congratulations to Pat Ford and the U10s crew who are setting a fantastic standard each Sunday, it’s terrific to get to the ground early and watch the kids going at it. They are already playing a great brand of footy and I’ve no doubt they’ll continue to improve as the year wears on. Also good luck to all our “Young Bloods” representing our club and league this Sunday at Casey Fields, we wish you all the very best of luck. You all belong so just get out there and do your best, enjoy the experience and make sure you learn as much as you can !

So sorry about the long report, still haven’t come back down to earth yet. Thanks to all our helpers again today, you all do a sensational job and we’d be nothing without you!