What an awesome effort put on by all 4 teams in week one of the finals, as was the effort of our strong supporter base who followed a few of the games around and created that wonderful "sea of red”. So much so, that 2 league officials I was conversing with actually commented on how strong our supporters are of our teams that represent the club throughout the finals series and it represented something like and I quote “An Army!” Love it, with all due respect of course.So, a big thank you one and all for your continued support of our finals participants and this week we are treated with back to back games on the same ground!! You beauty! The action starts with the U12’s at 12.30PM, followed straight on by our U15s, both at the home of the Bundoora Bulls being N J Telfar Reserve in Bundoora (Off Greenwood Drive, Bundoora). Below is a google maps link for those who may not be sure:
A mixed bag of results last week in week one of the finals, where the day started for me at Bulleen Park watching the Mighty U11’s take on Hawthorn Citizens for a chance to advance themselves into a preliminary final, and prouder of this group of kids I couldn’t be. Effort, run and attack on the footy was there but in the end, they fell short of what they were chasing down to get over the line. A great season by all involved led by Pattie, Jodi and Dean. Congratulations to you all on a wonderful year all round.
Off to Brunswick I went to catch the last QTR and a half of what was a match not for the faint hearted! U12’s action was on and it was Bullants Red Hot! WOW! The attack and tenacity at the footy was something else, as was the intensity of the match as the team took the challenge right up to Ivanhoe, who snuck ahead on the scoreboard literally with the last shot of the day and with about 20 seconds left in the match. The U12’s were leading right up to that point. A fantastic effort, very well handled by Coaches Phil, John and Fab. Again, this team is in for another hot contest against Richmond. Get down there this Sunday and get vocal, a very enjoyable one coming up.
Roll onto Heidelberg to watch Ang and his troopers go around for an elimination final to remember! With 2 of the boys playing their 100th games, the boys were jumped early by a very enthusiastic Beverley Hills side who had no less than 7 scoring shots to 2 in the first QTR. The second QTR commenced and while it was an even contest all round, it was the thumping of the second half that was dominated by the Mighty Red jumpers of the Bullants who left nothing to chance and ran, ran and then ran some more, while coach Ang leant up against the coaches’ box and enjoyed watching the fruits of the hard work put in all season come together. Well done U15’s on a mighty effort, which took guts, determination and never die attitude to the extreme. Another cracking match coming up for the team this Sunday.
Finally, we headed over to Koonung Reserve in Bulleen to watch the Colts 1 team go around. What started out to be a solid contest where every possession was a well-earned one, almost became a match of attrition where the stronger team on the day finished ahead on the scoreboard. Make no mistake this was a very good contest that saw some superb efforts around the ground, and in the end the boys just couldn’t string it enough together to get the desired result. Again, a wonderful year the Colts 1 and 2 teams have had and watching this group of young men has been a privilege as they are guided week in, week out by the forever entertaining Marty Fitz, Dave V, Josh B and Callum C, who have moulded a very good group of young men. Very encouraging signs both on and off field. Well done again to you all.
Bring on preliminary final week!!! Love to see you all there!
Go the Mighty Preston Bullants!!
Preston Bullants JFC
|Hawthorn Citizens B||Preston Bullants|
No report, however good try Under 11s - hope you're all back next season - watch out Under 12s!
Firstly, big congratulations to Seb R who played his 50th game for the mighty Bullants – in the team’s first ever final. Great work Sebo!
After a fantastic home and away season, the Under 12’s were rewarded with 2nd spot, the double chance, and a free hit against ladder leader Ivanhoe B, in a semi-final match up at Gillon Oval in Brunswick.
Finals time and the sun was out, however both teams had to contend with a tricky and persistent wind throughout the day. Ivanhoe started strongly and it took a few minutes before the Bullants found their feet. Liam, Phoenix, Nathan and Josh started to get their hands on the ball through the midfield, and then the trademark Bullants pressure kicked in. Any nerves were settled and it was just the way the Under 12’s like it - contested footy all over the ground. Ivanhoe caught us once on the break to kick the game’s opening goal, however it was against the run of play – with the Bullants continually pressuring a taller and talented Ivanhoe into rushed kicks and stifling their ball movement. The Bullants half back line of Lauchie, Rufus and Harry were outstanding early (and throughout the game) and with the midfield also folding back quickly, made sure Ivanhoe couldn’t take full advantage of their pace and open space in transition. Quarter time score: Ivanhoe 1.1.7 – Bullants 0.2.2.
The second term saw an already tight contest go up another gear. Taking into account the quality of the opposition, it was the performance of the year to date (source: quick poll of parents).The Bullant’s smothering and tackle pressure was elite and the boys were rewarded when Oscar marked an errant Ivanhoe clearance and kicked deep to Mo. Mo took a strong pack mark in the goal square, played on and snapped truly. The scores were level at half-time – 1 goal 2 behinds, 8 points each. Credit to both clubs – it was a ripping game to half time and fitting of a final featuring the comp’s top two teams.The Bullants had the best of the cross breeze in third quarter and took advantage. Coen, Jack and Seb were finding space up forward and we looked dangerous. The stage was set for the “Mo show” – and he delivered! Two goals in quick succession by Mo gave the Bullants a handy lead. Nathan closed out the quarter with consecutive, crunching tackles and a smother on the half-back line to prevent Ivanhoe from scoring late. Three quarter time score: Preston 3.3.21 leading Ivanhoe 1.3.9.
The final quarter was a nail biter. The Bullants defence was working overtime to contain Ivanhoe, who now had the wind and were able to lock the ball in their 50 for the most of the quarter. It was a matter of hanging on. Ivanhoe peppered the goals, and kicked 5 behinds before finally kicking their second goal for the game. With approximately 4 minutes to play there was a solitary point in it – the Bullants way.
We nearly hung on. With about 20 seconds left in the game, Ivanhoe converted a free kick to take the lead and win their way through to the Grand Final. Full credit to Ivanhoe, who were relentless in the last quarter. Final scores Ivanhoe 3.8.26 defeated Preston Bullants 3.3.21.To all our boys – what a game! They give such an honest, spirited team effort every time they pull on the jumper, but this was a stellar performance. A lot to be proud of, and a Prelim final to look forward to next Sunday.
|Beverley Hills||Preston Bullants|
|Goal Kickers||Jesse (2), Sam (2), Jack B, Jye, Rhett, Jackson, Daniel, Brodie|
Thanks to all parents helpers/volunteers.
It’s finals time when everything is reset to zero. Teams playing today deserve to be here but that is all. Both teams enter the game knowing full well elimination is four quarters away. Last time these teams faced each other the Bullants, save for one quarter, were the dominant side. Today, who can tell? As Ange and Rob noted in a magnificent pre-game pep talk, the opposition was not going to take this easy. The Bullants must be accountable. They said forward entries are critical. You can’t win defending. We must score. Then they gave the boys a great instruction: celebrate every goal. Get around the goal scorer.
Then the coaches got sombre. If we lose there is no next week. Don’t leave your hunger in the change room. Give everything you’ve got. Shepard, harass, tackle, run hard, and create overlaps. I want all 22 players to come off the ground spent. Play like there’s no tomorrow. Ange and Rob were so matter of fact, so clear, so passionate I wanted to put on boots and prove my worth. The game was the thing and the Bullants’ had to make it theirs.
This game was played at Heidelberg Park in Rosanna in as good a conditions as you could hope for in early August. A light breeze and an almost sunny day. The park is cut like a quarry into a sloping hill running down from Rosanna Road. A thicket of overgrowth and mid height trees masquerading as a forest provided a backdrop behind the main stand. Supporters with old school cups of tea and coffee gathered in the stand and near the fence, geed up for a decent battle. On the other side of the footy field (looking larger than your average ground) fallen timber created an outback feel as well as rudimentary seating. For most of the game fans and family of both sides were standing.
Bullants supporters would have been surprised by the first quarter. Beverley Hills had the run (and first use of the wind) and for the best part of the quarter, control of the game. As we know this game is fickle. Beverley Hills kicked 1.5 but it could have been a lot different. The Bullants started nervously and took longer than they should to settle into a team unit. We had good players in Brodie, Jordan and Jack B but it was Jordan’s tackle late in the quarter that was the metaphorical inspiration the team needed. That spoke to his team-mates in the way the coaches’ speech fired them up before the game.
We had the wind in the Second and with that more of the ball than the First. The ball was mainly in our front half but congestion was our enemy. More players were coming into the game. Jakeb’s sprint from centre, to cover the last line of defence when Beverley Hill, on a turn-over, raced the ball down the wing and flank was what coaches want to see.
This was a low scoring game as both teams adopted the “defend at all cost” strategy. It was a right old scrap of a game; congested, the ball coughing and stuttering, shunted back and forth between half back and half forward. And it didn’t feel like one team or the other would cut through. Jordan, Chilly and Rhett were fantastic, Brodie doing his best to ignite the game. The Bullants lifted the intensity when Chilly ran through the pack and kicked long to Jesse who marked and kicked true. Just before the siren the Bullants hit the lead with a point.
A brilliant piece of no surrender play by Antho early in the Third saw the ball find Jesse for a goal. The Bullants were on their way. Finn and Jackson found their way into the game. Jordan just kept on impressing. And what about Jack B? Roving from a boundary throw-in he steadied and snapped a goal. Rhett was having a terrific game. A Bullant special saw Rhett, Perry and Jackson work together to hit the ball on Jye’s chest. Then Chilly found Sam and anotherie! The Bullants had taken the game by the scruff of the neck. Daniel was imposing himself on the game and started a run to Jesse to Rhett for another goal.
Jack B was playing a blinder. Jye, Jesse, Jakeb and Jordan were giving it their all as was Antho but I had to mention him last because his name didn’t start with J! The Bullants were 32 points ahead and with the wind in the last.
Daniel and Jackson it should be noted played their 100th game for the Bullants on this day. I make this point now because at three quarter time, with a good lead, Ange reminded the team that Beverley Hills would come hard in the last. He said we need to get the first two goals in the Last to cement our lead. Jackson kicked the first goal (with his customary find space out of nowhere and mark) and Daniel the second (with his customary take the game on sprint into the forward line).
Brodie was killing it (I love his attitude). Sam, who looked crook as at half time scored a second goal and the Bullants were pretty much home. When Brodie found gold (goal) out of scraps it cemented a fantastic win.
The Bullants second half was about the best they have played this year. Max and Ben and their men defended the back half. The midfield with terrific ruck work and second efforts from Jack K found repeated ways forward and the forward line stepped up. If Ted had been given a free for his tenacious effort to win the ball we may well have had another goal kicker.
This game mattered. It proved, again, that the way this team wins is through many contributors. It took them almost a half of the game to sync (and next week’s opponent won’t allow them that much time) but when they did they could not be stopped. It was a 9.8 to 0.3 second half. The Bullants must take that drive into the Preliminary. If they do they will be unstoppable!
|Preston Bullants 1||Camberwell|