Round 2 vs BALWYN
A terrific contest as expected, but Balwyn controlled the footy better both around the field and shooting for goal.
Here is David Watson's Match Report
Balwyn stretched their unbeaten record over Vermont to eight matches after recording a 17 point win over the Eagles in the rematch of last season’s First Division Grand Final.
After an absorbing tussle in the first half, the Eagles were left to rue after the main break some inept decision making and execution coupled with limited forward line power which would prove the recipe of eventual defeat.
Despite the loss some positives did emerge. Ash Froud proved he is still a major forward line threat with five opportunist goals in what was a lone hand.
Also winning a tick in the positive box were skipper Ryan Mullett and high profiled recruit Tom Schneider who both put in solid shifts after rather quite first outings in round one. After an initial tentative start by both teams, Balwyn kicked the opening goal of the match with seven minutes gone when Shane Tregear swooped on a defensive error. The Eagles hit back ten minutes in when some clever led up play from Ryan Wilson allowed Schneider an easy goal on the run.
This seemed to spark the Eagles and three more goals quickly followed with two coming from the boot of full forward Justin van Unen while Daniel Mendes also brought up six points. The Tigers pegged back the deficit in time on to 12 points when Jayden Hoegel strolled in to an open goal.
Vermont 4-1-(25) Balwyn 2-1-(13)
Two goals from Froud in the opening four of the quarter blew out the lead to 24 points. The first being a delightful leg break methodically rolled in from a tight angle with the second a clinical shot from 40 metres.
Having seized control Balwyn struggled to get any real forward momentum with star centre half forward Jeff Gobbels simply being out muscled and manoeuvred by Ben Crowe.
Taylor Gilchrist sparked the Tigers to life 12 minutes in to the quarter with a fine running goal from 45 metres out. Within the space of nine minutes the visitors piled on four more unanswered goals to turn the deficit into a five point lead.
Froud’s third goal of the quarter after a great tackle from Daniel Mendes levelled proceedings at the 23rd minute mark. Balwyn quickly regained the lead when Gobbels finally found a rare opportunity to snap truly from close range.
But not to be outdone two goals to Lachie Johns within a minute sent the Eagles into the main break six points ahead.
Vermont 9-5-(59) Balwyn 8-5-(53)
Two minutes after the restart Froud grabbed his fourth goal of the afternoon and extended the lead to 13 points.
In a space of four minutes Gobbels changed the course of the contest to give the Tigers some real ascendancy.
Having had his colours lowered to Ben Crowe, Gobbels suddenly utilised the acres of space he was allowed to operate in, kicking three telling goals to win back the lead.
Once again Froud kept the Eagles in the contest grabbing his fifth goal with a clever snap to regain the lead at the 9 minute mark.
This lead would last just two minutes as goals in quick succession to Ed McCutchen and Alan Murray gave the Tigers an eleven point buffer. That lead was cut back to four points when Robbie Ross marked strongly and converted from 20 metres out.
But Gobbels once again caused the Eagles defence all sorts of headaches when he slotted his fourth for the quarter and fifth of the match to put the lead back out to ten points.
Three Qtr Time
Vermont 12-8-(80) Balwyn 14-6-(90)
While the Eagles tried in vain in the final quarter they simply struggled to break down the Tigers defence as options up forward dried up.
Goals to McCutchen and Gobbels (his 6th) ten minutes in to the final quarter stretched the lead out to 21 points.
Balwyn extended that lead to 23 points late into the last quarter when Chris Hoegel strolled into an open goal.
The Eagles sole and only goal for the quarter coming from the boot of Schneider who kicked his second with the help of a 25 metre penalty from the umpire.
Vermont 13-14-(92) Balwyn 17-7-(109)
A.Froud 5, J.Van Unen 2, T.Schneider 2, L.Johns 2, R.Ross 1, D.Mendes 1.
J.Gobbels 6, E.McCutchen 3, T.Gilchrist 2, C.Hoegel 2, S.Tregear 1, R.Gilchrist 1, A.Murray 1, J.Hoegel 1.
Vermont Best: (watson's choice)
A.Froud, R.Mullett, T.Schneider, G.McCarthy, D.Mendes, R.Wilson.
R.McMahon, R.Gilchrist, J.Gobbels, R.Crowe, E.McCutchen, J.Goldsack.
Next Saturday Vermont host Norwood at Terrara Road in the Eagles 1000th match in First Division of the EDFL / EFL competition.