Round 6 v Blackburn
Vermont 10-12-72 defeated by Blackburn 11-11-77
Ins: Tim Johnson, Patrick Lawlor, Alex Bull, Kyle Emley, Nick Mendes Outs: Kris Barlow, Lachlan Tindal, David Edgcumbe Aaron Nummy (inj), Luke Johnson (omitted)
Goalkickers: Greig 4, Kelly 2, Black 1, Mullett 1, Bonuda 1, Dalton 1.
Best Players: Lawlor, Greig, Ross, T. Johnson, Wilson, Mullett.
Coach’s Comment: Some things are best left unsaid, the disappointment on the players faces after the game says it all.
Summary: On a day where we had a chance to put a bona fide case for a position in the top 5, turned into an agonising defeat.
The opening minutes of the 1st quarter saw us kick the opening 2 goals after some good passages of play with Blackburn surviving the initial onslaught and slowly work their way back into the game.
For most of the quarter we controlled the game but yet again were unable to put any scoreboard pressure. To Blackburn’s credit their backline tightened up and repelled many of our forward forays and in the process started to set up their run and spread which was starting to cause much concern. After a late goal to Blackburn we went into the first break with an 8 point buffer.
The 2nd quarter belonged to Blackburn who in the opening 20 minutes put 6 unanswered goals on the board. Our midfield was getting beaten and the backline was under extreme pressure as Blackburn started to run the lines and their half back line was running amok with no accountability.
Under pressure our hand and foot skills were such that we could not hit targets and our unwillingness to work for each other was very evident.
After a late goal in the quarter we went into the main break 24 points down with a mountain of work to do to get back in the contest.
Whatever was said in the rooms to the playing group at the half time break had the desired effect as the players came out and slowly worked their way back into the game in the 3rd quarter.
All of a sudden we started to take control of the middle winning the clearances as well as the stoppages around the ground and with some positional changes were made and we started to play more direct football with our forward line starting to get their hands on the ball.
Whilst our goals weren’t coming in a flurry the game was starting to tighten up and it look evident that Blackburn was starting to tire.
However once again just as we look like imposing ourselves on the contest a couple of costly turnovers gave Blackburn two crucial goals and at the last break we were trailing by 8 points with game on.
In the opening minutes of the 4th quarter Vermont started well and positively, yet again poor kicking in front of goal cost us dearly and when we kicked the first goal of the quarter the game was there for the taking.
Blackburn yet again hung in there and weren’t going to be denied and continued to run and create scoring opportunities but our backline was holding tight. In fact the backlines of both clubs were holding up and with only a goal between the two sides we were heading for a grandstand finish.
It came down to the last minute with Vermont kicking a goal to go 1 point up and seemingly it looked like victory was ours.
In an extraordinary last ½ min Blackburn won the centre clearance and kicked the ball to the half forward line where a free kick was paid. The ball was kicked into the pocket where inexplicably our backline were unable to kill the contest as a Blackburn player picked the ball up and virtually with the last kick of the day scored the winning goal. The ball went back to the centre and after the bounce the siren rang and Blackburn had won the game.
Unfortunately today we were on the losing end and congratulations to Blackburn on their victory.
Even in defeat today there were some positives that came out of the game.
Matty Greig found some form with 4 goals in the third quarter. Pat Lawlor took the game on and provided the run and intensity for the contest as well as Ryan Wilson and Tim Johnson playing their best games for the year.
Nick Mendes who played his first Senior game and will be all the better for the experience and I’m sure now understands what the expectations are to play at this level.
The measure of a football team is how they respond and what they are prepared to do in adversity after a loss like this. Next week we take on Knox at home so we need to get back to winning ways.
Vermont: 17-17-119 defeated Blackburn 4-5-29
Goalkickers: Sonsie 4, Dore 3, McCarthy 3, Johns 3, T. Daniher 1, Davidson 1, Ellis 1, Pretto 1.
Best Players: Dore, Griffiths, Sonsie, Youssef, Ellis, J. Bird.
Coach’s Comment: Well done a good win. The coach once again quotes from the holy book of the Eagletonians “A beautiful symphony is not played by one instrument alone”. Yes Ruddy I see the analogy let’s talk in football vernacular in which we all understand.
Summary: After a sluggish and somewhat inaccurate first quarter the boys got into their stride from the second quarter and dominated possession and the game. At times throughout our disposal was not as good as it had been in previous games, we were still able to keep to our structures and maintain pressure around the ground. Once again as it has been so far this season we took over again in the second half running the game right out and gave no Blackburn no opportunity to get back in the game. Well done boys on another job well done and next week your assignment that comes your way is against Knox where you have a big chance to go 7-0 and possibly 2 games clear on top going into the break.
Vermont 7-9-51 defeated by Blackburn 9-8-62
Goalkickers: Smith 3, J. Fisher 1, Walters 1, McCafferty 1, McCluskey 1.
Best Players: McCafferty, Smith, White, Burns, Hackett, Hemmings.
Coach’s Comment: Our attitude all week was poor. As a side we will go nowhere until we sacrifice for our team mates. I am extremely disappointed for the players who busted themselves right throughout the game.
Summary: This was always going to be a danger game and it proved to be. Our players looked lethargic for most of the game bar for a few patches where they actually showed what they were capable off. For most of the game Blackburn led us to the ball and were far more committed to the contest. The forward line refused to play in front and looked dysfunctional and overall disposal by hand and foot was poor. On the plus side our second half was much better and when we took the lead in the last quarter it looked like we were going to win but we could not go on with it. The performances of Connor McCafferty and Paul White in a losing side were the only highlights from the game. It’s back to the drawing board and hopefully the boys can redeem themselves against Knox next week.