NAB League Boys: Round 16 Review
Oakleigh Chargers 2.2-14 4.3-27 10.5-65 12.8-80
Western Jets 1.2-8 5.3-33 5.3-33 9.4-58
Goal Kickers: A. Manton 5, B. Cootee 2, S. El-Hawli, D. Andrews
Best Players: J. Honey, A. Manton, L. Conway, B. Cootee, S. El-Hawli, K. Crimmins
A test of strength and skill began from the opening bounce as no team could reach the scoreboard for the first five minutes. Saad El-Hawli broke the ice with a beautiful snap around the corner to open proceedings. Oakleigh was to respond as finals footy had come early for these two heavyweights.
The Chargers began to press and although the Jets' defence held up well, Oakleigh eventually wore Western down to kick their second. The Jets had their chances late but failed to capitalise in the first quarter.
The second term had the Jets kick off with a bang, debutant Billy Cootee kicked his first goal with a quick play out the back to get Western started. An arm-wrestle would follow until the Chargers hit back. Archie Manton was next to step up as a gift landed in his lap and into an open goal. Manton struck again after a great pack mark had him slot his second from 40 meters out.
The Chargers came back again as the seesawing affair continued. Luckily, Cootee managed to edge back the margin late after some great forward pressure by El-Hawlli ended the half. El-Hawlli had been busy all day as his pressure acts were making a real difference around the ground.
The third term saw the Chargers get off to the races. Oakleigh kicked six unanswered goals as the Jets failed to kick a major in the quarter.
With nothing to lose in the final act, the Jets needed to respond. Unfortunately, it was the Chargers who extended their lead early as Western was on the back foot. Manton finally broke the drought by booting his third. Manton would then pop up again for his fourth major as the big man had his kicking boots on at Box Hill City Oval.
Momentum was heading in Western's direction and Jonah Horo and Josh Honey were working hard in the guts. Daly Andrews was next to line up at goal as a free-kick kept the Jets in the game. Hope was quickly snuffed out with the Chargers kicking another goal as time became the enemy for Western. The game was out of reach but Manton kicked his first bag of the season before the siren sounded.
Hero of the day: Archie Manton
After some harsh criticism on his goal kicking, the big forward stood up with a bag of confidence. Manton looked like he was going to kick every goal from every opportunity and he almost did. He finished the game with 5.1 goals, 7disposals, and 3 marks. Manton now leads the goal-kicking in the NAB League with 25 goals to his name.