Match report: Division 3 Melbourne High Old Boys vs Bendigo 30/4/16
A gloomy morning that promised rain at Lancefield, became a magnificent Autumn day at Royal Park. I shed my jumper as I got out of the car and never needed it again all afternoon. We had an early start (12:45) for our game, and Bendigo took the field with low numbers again (13), while MHOBs boasted a bench of 6.
Both clubs watched each other carefully at warm up, aware that each represented the other’s best chance for a win. Youth, speed and numbers versus experience, physical size and an intimidating backline.
Bendigo also had another first gamer in Steve Everton. Welcome to lacrosse, Steve!
The game began as an end-to-end affair, with both teams unable to settle in attack. The Bendigo forward line was a little static to start with, as we tried to initiate our new players into it. Inevitably there were some dropped passes and gaps after cuts that should have been filled, but weren’t, and Bendigo could not get a score on the board in the first quarter. Fortunately, the Melbourne High OBs found the going tough in their forward line. Their ball movement was good around the outside, but the Bendigo backline kept them high and wide and limited them to frustrated long shots that were often wide of the goal as well. The quarter finished zero all.
In the second quarter, the Bendigo forward line opened wider and there was better player movement and we began to keep possession. Our first goal came from John Webb, who found himself without an opponent on the left side of goal, but with a nice pass from Nick Goddard.
Alex Orr scored the second and third goals in the quarter, from dodging runs to goal after other players pulled their opponents wide with improved movement. Nick Goddard was also the assist in one of them.
MHOBs scored one goal for the second quarter, giving a half time total of 3 to 1.
The third quarter was an arm wrestle, with the ball on the deck for much of it. Inelegant lacrosse from both sides saw few opportunities to score. And we went to the final quarter with the score unchanged.
Alex Orr managed another nice goal from a long run from the restraining line into an open crease area and met with only light resistance, to post our last goal for the day. MHOBs scored one more and the final score was 4 to 2 and a win for Bendigo. Not a very pretty win, but a win.
This game gave the Warhawks a good idea of where they need to improve, and our newer players now have a taste of a fairly even game. They all did well considering that with only three on the bench, there was little time to rest and just watch. I think we all acknowledge that it’s a difficult sport to master in the early years. So well done again.
Votes went to Alex Orr (3 club and 2 Association), and I can’t think of a new way to describe what Alex does to earn votes, so “Well done!”; Nick Goddard (2 club votes and 1 Association) and it’s great to have him back up forward and helping out the centres in the middle, though we need to see that beast of a shot unleashed more often; and a club vote to Mark Reader (and also well done to the other defenders) for keeping the MHOB whipper-snappers away from Mike in goal.
Good to have a win, but the need to train was obvious. Let’s get there!