R3 vs NORWOOD
Vermont snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by a slender three points in a stunning conclusion to the club’s historical 1000th match in the Eastern Football League. Two goals in the dying minutes of a pulsating final quarter got the Eagles across the line against a resilient opponent in Norwood at Terrara Road.
In any good script their usually is a hero and a villain and for six minutes deep into the final stanza Ash Froud filled both those roles. An unnecessary 25 metre penalty handed the visitors a ten point lead on the stroke of time on being played, but alas Froud would prove the difference in the final analysis with two clinical goals in ninety seconds to record the Eagles first win of the 2013 season.
In front of a bumper crowd and a swirling wind both teams opened up the match at a cracking pace.
The Eagles struck first when Matt Greig back into senior action after being sidelined with a knee reconstruction early into last season fired in a pin point pass to Froud who made no mistake in converting. Goals to Justin van Unen and skipper Ryan Mullett saw the Eagles gain a 16 point buffer just shy of time on.
The lead though was soon cut back to level pegging by the quarter time siren with Norwood kicking three unanswered goals through Brent English, Matt McCormack and Brad Kelleher.
Vermont 3-2-(20) Norwood 3-2-(20)
Having snuck out to a six point lead five minutes into the second quarter through a McCormack goal, Paul Chadwick and van Unen in quick succession fired off goals to open up a nine point lead in the Eagles favour.
Chadwick formerly with Scoresby scored a fine running goal while van Unen sailed home a nice snap shot from 25 metres out. Again the visitors hit back when a David Johnson goal on 16 minutes cut back the lead. But van Unen again kicked truly with a cheeky “banana kick” deep in pocket at the Terrara Road end to bring up this third of the afternoon.
The tug of war continued as Norwood chipped away again through a Rhett Jordan finish on the run only for Froud to deliver the goal umpires two fingers from a set shot twenty five minutes into the term to set up a nine point half time lead.
Vermont 7-7-(49) Norwood 6-4-(40)
The Eagles pushed their lead out to 19 points twelve minutes into the third quarter after goals from van Unen and Froud. But that lead as had been the case in the previous two rounds was eroded away as Norwood raised their intensity and attack on the ball. Unanswered goals to Jordan, Dale Bull, David Trotter and McCormack saw Norwood take a five point lead at the twenty two minute mark of the quarter.
Five minutes into time on Tom Schneider put the Eagles back in front by the slenderest of margins with a clever snap shot from a tight angle at the Primary School side of the ground. But Norwood once again hit back as McCormack slotted his fourth of the afternoon on 27 minutes.
Three Qtr Time
Vermont 10-9-(69) Norwood 11-7-(73)
With the Vermont bench down to just two players having lost both Nathan Henley and Ben Crowe the Eagles were going to have to dig extra deep as the final quarter commenced.
A Kris Bardon centimetre perfect pass found van Unen three minutes in and the forward steered home his fifth goal of the game from 25 metres to again regain the lead by two points. The see-saw effect once again came in to play two minutes later as Norwood went back ahead by four points.
David Trotter once of North Melbourne (7 games) and recruited from the Canadian AFL slotted home a fine set shot from 40 metres. As both teams started to tire a costly rush 25 metre penalty from Froud looked to have given Norwood a real upper hand 18 minutes in. Johnson made Vermont pay as he kicked accurately from 25 metres out to extend the leeway to ten points.
But at the 24 minute mark Froud gave the Eagles a life line of hope when he ran into an open goal after good lead up work from a thumping Robbie Ross kick forward.
Ninety seconds later Froud sent the Vermont faithful into raptures as he pounced upon a defensive mishap to run into an open goal to put the Eagles in front and the perfecting ending albeit a touch late to a special day in the clubs long and proud history.
Vermont 13-11-(89) def Norwood 13-8-(86)
J.Van Unen 5, A.Froud 5, R.Mullett 1, T.Schneider 1,P.Chadwick 1.
M.McCormack 4, D.Johnson 2, D.Trotter 2, R.Jordan 2, B.English 1, B.Kelleher 1, D.Bull 1.
Vermont Best: (Watson’s Choice)
D. Mendes, T.Schneider, R. Mullett, K.Bardon, D. Millhouse, A. Froud,
M. McCormack, E. Johnson, S.Hill, M. Decler, D. Bull, R. Jordon
Next Saturday (Round 4) Vermont are away to Noble Park.
RESERVES Report from Wayne Brasher
VERMONT 17-22-124 defeated NORWOOD 11-4-70
After a very tight first quarter, Vermont set up the victory kicking 5 goals to 1 in the second quarter. Nick Carrodus was playing well in the ruck with Brad Jordan, Nick Johnson and Jarryd Smith provided great run around the midfield and down back. Michael Sonsie and Luke Strachan were on fire kicking multiple goals and were giving the Norwood back line real headaches. The second half saw our boys not relenting in their tackling pressure but on occasions were made to pay by Norwood for poor disposal either by hand and foot and in their decision making.
A really good performance overall to win the game by a comprehensive 54 points.
Most people agreed like myself that Kyle Emley was best on the ground. His run and carry of the half back line to set up team mates down the field as well as his tackling pressure when defending was exceptional as well as his long kicks to position. Kyle has had a great start to the season and should be now pushing for senior selection in the forthcoming weeks.
U19 REPORT from Wayne Brasher
VERMONT 12-8-80 defeated NORWOOD 10-14-74
In viewing many games of U19’s football I rate this game as one of the most enjoyable and sweetest victories I’ve witnessed. Norwood had jumped out of the blocks and in a twinkling of an eye had a 32 point lead early into time on of the first quarter before we had even scored. I was thinking at the time that the side was facing a huge loss but was reminded in coach John Harley’s pre-match speech when he told the players that when things got tough, don’t drop your head, take the game on and believe in yourselves. Well that's exactly what the players did and from the ¼ time break onwards they worked their way back into the game. At times Norwood still threatened to take the game away from the players but they were not to be denied and kept coming.
The standard of play was good and entertaining with both sides playing some good football punctuated by turnovers which kept both sides in the game when capitalised on. At the last break still behind by 13 points and kicking with the wind the boys needed to find more.
In a pulsating last quarter the players ran their heart out and came home with a wet sail kicking 5 goals to 2 to take the victory by 6 points.
A fantastic effort by the side today, you deserved the victory and your families, supporters, coaching staff and club are so proud of you.
It’s always hard to single out players in a performance like this, but a new player to our club this year Luke Molyneux effort was great with his run and his efforts around the ground in clearances and stoppages. Michael Richardson effort in the ruck, Brook Kainey, Tommy Pretto, Andy Hackett and Rory Lehmann all were also good contributors in the game.