Match Lacrosse report: Division 3, Bendigo vs Chadstone at Maiden Gully, 12/5/18.

As the Warhawks arrived at Maiden Gully last Saturday, the foul weather seen earlier in the week had now largely passed through, leaving the ground nicely watered and excellent for lacrosse. The sun even shone for some of the afternoon.

The Chadstone team turned up in stages, but eventually fielded 12 players, while Bendigo lined up 13.

Now, as I mentioned last week, we have often felt somewhat ill-treated by Chadstone in the past, with our games against them always seeming to fall on days when their Division 1 team has a weekend off. So we felt like we had something to prove this time, with both their upper divisions being kept busy at Williamstown.

 And so we began, with Russell Crofts and Brett Ruiz doing well for Bendigo at centre draws from the start. Possession was pretty even and both teams felt out their respective goalies with speculative shots, but score-wise, it was an uneventful first quarter, with only Chadstone able to put a single mark on the scoresheet. Chadstone were frustrated by a close-checking Bendigo backline and for most of the day their better scoring attempts came from mainly one player.

 The second quarter saw the Bendigo forward line start to move the ball much better and threaten much more effectively, and there were lots of cuts and shots from lots of players and the score-keepers were soon finding themselves with work to do.

Ian Lock found the back of the net twice; Mason Matheson beat the goalie when he unleashed a characteristically hard bounce shot from a drive from the front of goal; Brett Ruiz sweetly took a good pass from Alex Orr and then neatly slotted a ball just below the top railing of the goal. Finally Jordan O’Meara brought the modest crowd to its feet with his maiden goal in lacrosse, with a beautifully handled low pass, that he quick-sticked neatly past the goalie; thus condemning the O’Meara household to a week of discussion about which of their kids’ first ever goals was the best.

Chadstone threatened at the other end, but the Warhawk defence maintained huge pressure, with Gino Iuliano (set free from his usual caged condition by Tim Davis needing to rest a hamstring), Jarrod Topp-Lowe, Mike Bell and Ty Griffin directing middies and keeping the Chadstone attack at bay and with their scoring limited to one further goal for the quarter. At half time, the score stood at 5-2.

 Bendigo took the figurative foot off Chadstone’s neck in the third term and the latter was able to narrow the margin and level the score with four goals, while the Warhawks could only manage one goal through the agency of Mason Matheson, and the game was balanced at 6 all going into the last.

 Feeling ran high in the final quarter and one Chadstone player was put out of the game on 5 fouls, while another also very nearly did the same on four. The Bendigo backline kept its head and held the Chaddy attack to 2 goals, while at the other end, Bendigo gave their all and scored three more times through Ian Lock. Two of Ian’s goals I remember clearly: the first was an individual drive; twisting and turning through a couple of defenders from the right side of goal, and I was on the left thinking, “He’ll never through all that traffic” but suddenly, there he was; surprising both me and the goalie with a successful shot. The second was on a man-up, and with the ball in play, the Chaddy backs politely waited while the Warhawks discussed what manner of man-up play we were going to play. Ian lost patience with the debate and strolled around from behind goal onto the crease and Alex Orr just passed him the ball and he chucked it in. It was quite surreal.

With the Warhawks a goal up with a minute or so to go, Gino called to the Bendigo forwards to hold the ball, protect our lead and run the clock down. Unfortunately, the request fell on at least two pairs of deaf ears. Alex Orr hadn’t thrown a goal all day and I reckon he wasn’t about to start playing it safe. I also know for sure, that there was one very old forward, who had spent the day hitting the goalie and missing the goal, and who has also watched in wonder as the even-older forward amasses good weekly totals with relative ease, while his own ledger remains unmarked. Yeah, well, that fellow would sell his own Grandmother for a goal at the moment and he wasn’t going to “Hold It Out!” either. The result was a last few minutes of sheer Bendigo assault on the goal, with great backing up of shots and passes. Sadly, it came to nothing on the scoresheet, but it was good all the same.

Sorry Gino, but we just hate going scoreless….

 And so Bendigo had another win 9-8 and it was sweet. Votes were awarded to Alex Orr (3 Club and 3 Association) for another great show and despite a clean goal sheet, 5 assists of 6 that were given were his (the other was Mason Matheson). Ian Lock got 2 Club votes and one Association, doing the lion’s share of the scoring, and Tim Davis put in a really great effort in goals and got a club vote for that.

 I should draw attention to our great defence this week. They played hard, but were also much cleaner than Chadstone with their checking and with a good referee in charge; Bendigo had only 3 minute fouls for the day, while Chadstone had 18!

 Thanks again to Lester Young for reffing and Tracey O’Meara for being our scorer and bringing half-time oranges.

 Next week we take on Malvern at Malvern. This club has been flogging bottom-half Division 3 teams this year, all while their Division 1 team was giving walkovers. I notice that the latter are now fixtured to play Altona in Division 2 this week, after that team moved down from Division 1. So that means things look up for us ….. until I notice with sadness that the Malvern State League team has a bye this week. Alas, such is the lot of the single-team club. So we need to get to training and we need everyone to be there next Saturday. I’ll be up on Tuesday, let’s get there and get good.

 Stop press:

Gino has added in some news about a few of our juniors from the weekend:

In U17s, Will Kenny scored one goal as his Brunswick team defeated Malvern/Caulfield 11 to 9.
In U15s, Christian Iuliano and Matt Saxon played for Brunswick but lost to Surrey Park 6 to 15
In U13s, Christian and Matt played again, with Matt scoring two goals and Christian one goal and an assist to lose to Surrey park 3 to 10.

Well done to the boys who stepped up to playing with boys who were a foot taller than them.

John Webb

Senior Player.


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Division 3 Men 2018
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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