Match Report: 14th April 2018, Division 3, Bendigo vs Melbourne University at Melbourne Uni

Lacrosse Match Report: 14th April 2018, Division 3, Bendigo vs Melbourne University at Melbourne University.

 …..rained and rained and rained all Saturday morning. I had friends coming to watch the game, so I texted them at mid-day and said that maybe next week might be a better bet, with the weather app predicting 80% or better chance of rain all day. Then the kids gloomily told me they weren’t coming either. So I loaded my gear into the car, with a heavy heart and a change of warm clothes and hit the road: Brunswick bound.

It rained all the way there and I began to wonder if I really had another season left in me. Then, as we made our way to the Uni change rooms, the rain stopped, and we never saw another drop until it began again as we shook hands at the end. Something of a miracle and we even had sun in the Uni goalie’s eyes to help us in the last quarter.

 Uni had a predominantly young side, with a couple of older players and a sprinkling of Divvy 1 players to liven things up. They started with 15, as did the Bendigo team, which was largely comprised of the usual suspects, plus the first of our juniors to come through our intra-club program. Welcome to seniors, Jordan O’Meara!

 The first quarter was scrappy, with both sides looking very “first game of the season” and trying to remember how to play attack. The ball went up and down the field, with the play settling into the usual low-scoring turnover-ridden tussle. Uni players moved well up forward, but played well wide of the imposing Bendigo backline, with Uni stalwart Sean Williams feeding cutters from wide on the left, and resulting long shots mainly miss the goal or proving easy pickings for Gino Iuliano in goals. At the Bendigo forward line, there was a distinct lack of structure, and stick work was considerably lacking in polish. After some excruciating missed chances, goals for Bendigo came from the usual sources under these conditions; individual efforts and drives on goal on the part of Mark Reader and Alex Orr. We went to the break with the score on two all.

 The second quarter was perhaps a little better as far as Warhawk forward possession went, but the back-and-forth nature of the game meant that tired middies couldn’t spread for Gino and the ball was thrown long. If the Warhawk forwards managed to get possession, the ball had to be held while the midfielders caught up, and there was still not much movement off the ball and not much in the way of cohesive forward play. However, there were still moments when things came together, and a series of good passes and a great shot from Will Kenny, as he fell, saw the Warhawks go to the half time break with three, while Uni managed two for the quarter and four for the half.

 The third and fourth quarters remained a tight tussle and in the third, both clubs scored one each, with Alex Orr dodging a couple and scoring. The last quarter had Bendigo down by one goal, and while Uni scored only one more, Bendigo beat the goalie twice, with Mark Reader sweeping aside the long sicks of Uni to drive a shot home, and with a minute or two to go, Ian Lock managed to take a pass and get a shot off under huge pressure to level the score at six each as the final whistle blew.

 We decided to play overtime for full points and alas, the youth and fitness of Uni told, and they held Bendigo scoreless and were able to net three in the extra time, running out worthy winners.

 Well done lads. The first game of the season is always testing. Thanks very much to Chris Thompson, who bolstered numbers and morale with his cheery presence in the middle, while on a week’s visit from WA, and congratulations to Jordan O’Meara for seeing out his first senior game and showing a lot of promise.

Votes went to Tim Davis (3 Club and 2 Association) for his tireless running and relentless pursuit of Uni forwards, on a day when the unglamorous, but vital role of a hard-running midfielder was pretty much the most eye-catching aspect of the game. Two Club votes went to Will Kenny for the same reason, with his hustle at both ends winning the ball in defence and creating scoring opportunities up front. Mark Reader deservedly got a single club vote for his usual never-say-die attitude; not only making life hard for Uni forwards, but also disappointing the goalie at the other end as well.

 Thanks to Lester Young for reffing, and Michelle Kennyfor scoring for us. Also, cheers to Vince Fitzpatrick for coming from Geelong to bolster the numbers on the bench.

 Not a pretty game to start. With organised set play not able to be established well in the forward line, we all kind of retreated into our individual styles in attack, which meant our scoring came from courageous dodging solo efforts of a few, but not the cutting and passing that gives us easier team goals from lots of players and higher scores. Something to work on. See you all on Tuesday…..

 

John Webb

Senior player




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Ladder

Division 3 Men 2018
POS TEAM PTS
1 Eltham 64
2 Williamstown 60
3 Malvern 56
4 Footscray 52
5 Melbourne University 44
6 Surrey Park 24
7 Caulfield 20
8 Chadstone 20
9 Bendigo 16
10 Altona/Wyndham 4
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