Round 6 - 29th May 2016

Under 10's - Round 6 v Healesville

In what was one of our better quarters for the season, the "young bloods" got off to great start against Healesville.  Captain of the day Bon Sullivan was leading by example following the pre-game instructions to "build the wall", Tom Ford was showing some impressive skills out on the wing whilst Max Monkhorst was playing his role at full forward beautifully, running to the right positions and kicking two goals for the quarter.

Healesville applied some great pressure in the second quarter as our adherence to team rules was not at the same standard it was in the first quarter. The boys defended strongly with Alex Higgs doing some strong work across half back. Blair Wilson was winning the ball regularly as he has done all season.
I was particularly pleased with the efforts of some of our first year players in the second half. It was great to see Bailey Lawrence being "first to the footy" and dishing out a handball to his team mate and I was equally impressed with Xavier who took a couple of strong marks and followed up with some "big kicks" as per our team rules.  Following a classy snap and goal by Nick Reid, the young bloods went into the three quarter time break with a slender lead.
The last quarter was a tough contest with Healesville kicking an early goal in what had been the scoring end. I was really pleased with our endeavour as both sides put on a great display of high pressure under 10's footy. With the ball in our forward line, it was great to see first year player James "johnno" Johnson win the footy and skilfully pass to Cooper Spurrel who took a strong mark and went back and kicked truly to score our fourth goal of the game.
I am really pleased the with way this team is progressing and whilst we still have a few things to work on at training, the team should be congratulated for their impressive start to the season.
Well done boys, keep up the good work.

Girls U12's v Ferntree Gully

Today the girls went head to head with Ferntree Gully.

Against a much physically larger side, the girls did not give an inch.
The Bloods put in a valiant effort, contesting every ball in every quarter.
Even though Ferntree Gully kept the Bloods scoreless, we did not back down.
A very tight contest, which the scoreboard does not reflect.
Special mentions to our on-ballers who did not stop running today, Drew, Grace & Sophia.
Tahlia did great in Ruck.
Well done to all the U12 girls, we'll get em next time!

U12's v Healesville

After a great couple of wins over the last couple of weeks, we faced a formittable Healesville outfit at Healesville.  Things didn’t start well with friendly fire resulting in Josh Leonard heading to hospital for a check up,we also lost Lachine in the 2nd quarter. Despite Healesville kicking 3 goals every quarter of the game, our endeavour at the contest has clearly improved against the older sides since earlier in the year. 

We feel that our forward line needs to improve on the defensive side, the ball came out of the forward line way too easy today.  Again our back line we thought was excellent and prepared to run off their man and try to create something up the ground. 
As a whole we need to keep working on our marking and our communication on the ground.  Great efforts by Josh Rowe and Rian Sharp who ran tirelessly all day.  Todays award winners were Cai, Max, Nick W & Felix, well done boys.  Another chance to improve with a home game against Wesburn.

Adam & Mick

U14's v Healesville

Always love the trip up to Queens Park, with such a beautiful back drop of Autumn trees and always a good surface to play on. Quite ironic in a way as its one ground we traditionally struggle at and we are always in for a torrid contest. With the breakthrough win of last week came a lot of confidence, and another enjoyable and strong week on the track. Today we faced a team more than capable of knocking us over, and if we are to figure in the action later in the season, then this was simply a match we couldn’t afford to drop.

The Valley Bloods kicked the opener pretty quickly, and the group realized that today was going to be a tough affair. We settled quite well after that but at times looked a bit hesitant in a number of areas. We are really working hard to teach and encourage the boys to start to run off their respective opponents, and provide some run and dash. Some are still a bit indecisive for fear of leaving their man and allowing him an easy possession of it goes back the other way. Unfortunately that is the game, and the more we run to support and keep the ball moving, the more chance we have of catching our opposition out. A couple of steadying goals saw us 1pt down at Qtr time and in a pretty handy position. Our 2nd term was quite dominant with many inside 50 entries and a lot of pressure to lock the ball in, but we lacked some composure with a couple of our senior boys just blasting away and missing good opportunities to pop the ball into the arms of a clear player in a dangerous spot. A return of 1.4 wasn’t exactly reward for effort, and from very limited entries, Healesville again kicked 2 goals to hold a 3pt lead.

We had really grown some legs by this point and this carried on throughout the 3rd term as we slammed on 4.1 to 2 goals to arrest the lead by 9pts. The run and linkage was much improved, but it was some of our defensive efforts that were really noticed. The work of some individuals at times to just hold Healesville up when they were out was exceptional, and would prove quite telling as the game went on. The instructions at ¾ time were to continue to take the game on, be brave in your ball movement and simply continue to play “our style”. The Valley Bloods threw absolutely everything they had at us, but each time they threatened we just kept coming up with the answers, and in the end we were able to prevail by 11 points in what was a fantastic game of U14 football. The beauty of today’s result, was that we got contributions from every player. The usual suspects were busy across the day, but it was some of our young defenders who especially late in the game, when the pressure was really on, and even one mistake could influence the result, were just able to keep their feet, remain composed and just win the one on one battles and clear the ball to a team mate and shut those forwards down – just so impressive to watch, and so influential on the final result.

This weekend we play host to ladder leaders Wesburn who are taking all before them this year. It will require our very best effort of the year to date, but our boys know that when they give that effort for the entire hour, they are capable of matching it with the very best. This weekend will be a huge challenge but it is one that we are very much looking forward to.

Tim Scott