Bullant Banter Round 3 2018

Presidents Message

Wag has been busy with all presidential commitments.  No report this week.

Whitlam Malkoun
President
Preston Bullants JFC

Under 9's WHITE Match Report

Another beautiful morning greeted the intrepid Bullants White down at Zwar as they prepared to take on Fitzroy. We’d licked our wounds after a bruising encounter against St Marys and backed up with an out of control training session. Perfect preparation for the enigmatic Whites and expectations were high. 

The game started well with the Whites working hard in the centre. Fitzroy were pushing the ball into their forward line despite some terrific efforts from our centre 6 and the early arm wrestle started to go in Fitzroy’s favour. I tell you what, if an U9 visited us from outer space and wanted to know where the action is, I’d say down in the Whites backline! The boys really improved from last week in their attention to picking up their players and their kicking out from full back. Coen ‘my left foot’ Wallace and Percy was delivering lovely drop punts to the pockets and flanks where Sammy Heffernan, Mitch, Zach H and Louis were the happy recipients. No kicks across goals which put a smile on the coaches faces.

The second term saw the backline successfully pumping it into the midfield, but it was coming back with interest! Fitzroy’s number 18 pranced around their forward line, bouncing and scoring at will. Coach Dan could simply take no more and instructed Louis to implement a hard tag or there would be no dinner. The results were immediate, with 18’s next touch met with a crunching tackle and a cry of ‘BALL!’ from the excited Preston crowd.

The third term continued in a similar vein with a super midfield battling on determinedly. Joe Wood was terrific, Asher kept on going, Spencer continues to improve, Jamie Wilson is the player every coach wants on their team and Jayden ‘the lumberjack’ Wong was simply superb with his front-on tackling and relentless tenacity.

What we did learn is that when the opposition has the ball, you must get on a player…wherever you are. Help the coach’s parents and whisper that to the kids while they sleep. It’s doesn’t feel weird after you do it for a while.

Come the third term break, we were yet to score which made it 7 quarters without troubling our goal umpire. Totally acceptable given the team is at the beginning of a build, but every team, every kid wants to kick a goal. In the final quarter the clouds parted and the sun shone down on a ball that rose from the midfield for a rare excursion into our forward line. Luca was in best position, and with hands above his head, partially to mark the ball, partially to shield his eyes from the sun, the ball lodged between his hands and face to the applause of Fitzroy and Preston fans alike. No doubt about it Luca….mark of the year so far! A decisive Luca played on quickly with a wormburner that was held by Zach Borg right in front. The crowd held their breath, while Zach ‘the cucumber’ Borg slotted Preston’s first. Like a lot of goals it started in the backline and was reward for a great team effort. Well done Bullants.

Once again the song was sung with gusto. I reckon Mitch grows a foot when we sing that song and he bounces home afterwards.

This week the coach will work on keeping his cool, while it’s back to basics with the kids working on their kicking, handballing and marking skills.

See you over in Brunswick on Sunday.

Under 9's RED Match Report

A fantastic training session on the Friday night had the team up and going with lots of focus on effective kicking; running with the ball and disposing it to a team mate cleanly. The players were told that after 2 rounds of football they would be moved into different positions for round 3’s game against Fitzroy. 

A great Sunday morning for football as we were at Home at Zwar Park for our Round 3 clash against Fitzroy. It’s always great seeing the Fitzroy jumper and the team were all ready to go.

This week we would be without both Patrick and Ned and we would miss their hardness and endeavour at the ball. 

The team looked sharp in the pre-game warm up and after reciting the team rules the team got behind Captain Liam for the coin toss and we started kicking to the St Georges Road / Polytechnic End against the wind.

Backline duties this week went to Dylan, Daniel, Alberto, Kirk, Eduardo, Oscar and Jack.

Our centres comprised Eddy in the ruck, Michael, Lucas, Leon, Matilda and William. 

Forwards included Adam, Ellery, Ella, Liam, Leroy and Lachlan.

At the bounce of the ball, Eddy was clean with a tap out and our centres were hard at it. Fitzroy were able to move the ball forward on a number of occasions putting the backline under extreme pressure, but our backline was up to the task. Alberto and Daniel took some telling marks in the last line of defence, clearing the ball well to the leading Dylan, Eduardo, Kirk, Oscar and Jack throughout the first half. It was great hearing these boys calling loud and leading to space and being first to the ball.

Eddy was working hard in the middle, chasing down his opponents. His intensity was amazing; it was like watching a young champion Jim Stynes making it to each contest. Michael and Lucas battling hard under the packs and Leon, Matilda and William in there too, but also making space to push the ball forward.

Up forward, Liam was pushing hard from the square assisted by Ella and her intensity, Ellery making great leads and Leroy and Lachlan making space in the pockets -  but we just weren’t getting the rewards for our hard work.

After a torrid first and second quarters where we reinforced the team rules at quarter and half time, the Brains Trust of Assistant Coach Shane, Team Manager Dave H, Trainer Lorenzo and Coach Dave discussed some positional changes for the second half to help us get some drive and bring some of our players into the game. 

Assistant Coach Shane was moving the magnets around on the board with speed and precision and we made some positional changes, namely Liam, Alberto and Oscar coming into the centre, Michael and Lucas shifting to the backline in a tagging role with Kirk to the forward line.

We started better in the second half, with Matilda getting a couple of great kicks to the forward line and our kicking began to improve and we are hitting our targets across the ground. Liam continued his hard work, and Oscar was hard at it again with his tackling (the flowing hair and the number 47 is surely not going to do his Copeland / Brownlow chances any harm!). William was getting the ball out Josh Kennedy style and Leon was constantly creating space.

Jack, Eduardo, Lucas, Dylan, Michael and Daniel patrol the backline with military precision.

At three quarter time the coach asked for something special. In particular Coach Dave asked Kirk and Leroy to produce some magic and asked Lachlan, Adam and Ellery to break free and lead from the square.

After a ring-a-ding-ding first couple of minutes the ball comes out of the backline along the line, to the centres and straight into the forward line, a leading Ellery takes the ball and goals.

Over the course of the final quarter, the ball starts to fly into the forward line and Lachlan moves hard, shrugging off his opponents and scores. It’s raining goals as Adam gets into the act and in one of the plays of the day, the ball comes into our forward line, both Kirk and Leroy pounce, and on hands and knees they fight off their Fitzroy opponents for the footy, get it out to Lachlan who goals.

A fantastic team effort. Everyone got involved, and 4 medals are awarded this week. The effort of Alberto and Daniel in the backline was outstanding, Eddy’s chasing in the centre was inspirational and Liam’s 4 quarter captain’s effort in both the forward line and centre was fantastic.

The song was sung loudly and proudly at the end of the game with the team setting up a circle and our captain and medal winners in the middle of the circle. 

Fantastic umpiring Jason and thanks to everyone who assisted on the day its much appreciated by all.  

Cheers

Coach Dave 

Under 10's WHITE Match Report
Bullants Ashburton

The boys came out firing in the first quarter... Lucas, in his first game of the season, kicked an amazing goal to start followed by Darcy and Christian. The defence was perfect, holding Ashburton to a mere 3 behinds. The second quarter didn't pan out quite the same way, unfortunately we let them peg back the 3 goals to nil. 

Darcy and Adam led the second half with some excellent tackling and defending backed up with a great ruck performance by Yusuf. Consistent pressure by Boodie, Barnaby, Sid and Louie saw the team come back in the 3rd quarter.

Archie got a quick goal to start the fourth, but that's where it ended. Despite some amazing tackles by Sam and Luca, we were unable to hold on and recorded another loss. Not that we score in Under 10s!!! 

Yusuf got Best on Ground for his 'Greatest game ever', Goal of the week went to Lucas for his first qtr goal and Archie won the Hard Nut award.

Under 10's RED Match Report
Bullants Beverley Hills

Because of Anzac Day the boys had the Wednesday off training so turning up to Zwar Park on game day we took the opportunity to warm up for 20 minutes before the match and switch on -  focusing on the task at hand to tackle the team from “Beverly Hills”.

In the club rooms we were short on a coach and a couple of players. Paul whilst lapping it up in sunny Phillip Island asked if I could lead the boys for the day - we needed more than a coach, we needed a few players as well so we asked Oscar, Dylan, Eddy and Daniel to pitch in from the U9s.

I asked the boys to start the game with some real hunger!

As soon as the ball bounced we had the strongest start I’ve seen the boys deliver so far. With the ball locked in the forward line Shep, Archie, Josh, Roman, Sonny and Leon started the scoring - at the end of the first quarter we had 6 goals and few behinds to go with it!!

The Parents and I were so impressed with the boys, showing all the skills they’ve learnt at training. Highlighting skills like the “3-man weave” -super impressive to see 9&10-year-old boys play out skills like that in a game.

By three quarter time Thomas was a little lonely at Full Back so we put him in the forward line to stretch his legs and he too started to get on board kicking a goal.

I know we don't really keep score but the result was 14 goals and 13 behinds to us and 1 goal 3 behinds to Beverley Hills. I know a few AFL teams that would be very happy with those stats!

All round the boys played their best game and we had so many stars on the day it was hard to pick one that stood out, but Leon with his new hair cut continued his form from last year and was awarded the best on ground medal.

Thanks to Stuart also for stepping in as sub Team Manager and to all the parents that contribute to ensure our boys are so well supported and strengthen their joy in playing for the mighty Preston Bullants.

Regards,

Steve Ferraro

Under 11's Match Report
Bulleen Templestowe Bullants
5.12.42 3.7.25

After a close loss last week and yet to sing our song, we were keen to turn the tide against Bulleen-Templestowe at their home ground.

Callum and Jake were nominated Captains for the day and reported that Bulleen had won the toss and elected to kick to the northern end, into the slightest of breezes. So began the “Battle of the Bullants!”

Renowned for their slow starts, OUR Bullants mixed things up and looked the better side from the outset. Tamer played one of the quarters of his life in the ruck. Winning almost every tap, he used his body to advantage and gave us first use of the ball. The mercurial Tommy G was everywhere as usual through the middle, well supported by Steve and Sam. Within minutes the ball was locked in our forward 50 and Marcus, Kes and Azza all had opportunities in front of goal….unfortunately all behinds. Following the first few minutes of frenzied attack however,  the Bullants lost their way. For the last 2 weeks we had worked on holding our positions, manning up and running to defend. The well drilled Bulleen side had held their positions and once clear of our 50, exposed us “out the back”, too many Bullants had pushed up the ground, loose opposition in the square and Bulleen made us pay.

Despite great work out of the middle, ferocious tackles by Azza and the usual 3rd & 4th efforts from Marcus we went into Qtr. time trailing 1:2:8 to 0:3:3.

At the qtr. time huddle there were plenty of positives however the 2 simple mistakes. The ones we had tried to work on. Had let us down again!

Second quarter and we hoped to turn things around. Once again the Preston Bullants came out firing, this time it was Wato in the ruck with a deft tap to Tom. Tom showed some of his old form (and his opponent a clean pair of heels) as he sprinted out of the middle, had a bounce and then hit Tommy G “lace out” at CHF. Tommy G in turn hitting Marcus up who snapped truly! Preston Bullants up by a point! Plenty of examples of what our team can do with the ball but it was our work off it that was lacking. Time and again Bullants were caught flat footed and out of position. “Ball chasing” and not watching our opponents was our Achilles heel and the more disciplined Bulleen side held us to account using their loose forwards to goal again. With a lack of defensive running we went into the long break 12 points down. 3:4:22 to 1:4:10

Half time again saw coaching staff pleading for some defensive run & spread. Defenders to man up goal side, everyone to attack the footy in the air as well as on the ground. We were being out marked and out positioned, the two sides evenly matched, the game entirely winnable…. It was our discipline and run that was lacking. In the background, Simon and Carlo quietly worked some magic on the board….

Into the third and the football genius worked by Simon & Carlo paid immediate dividends! Hamish who has been doing his time at Full Back was unleashed into attack with deadly results. Quick work out of the middle by Tom and Ned saw the strong leading Hamish hit with a pass at high LHF. A blistering run and 3 bounces had Hamish lining up on the run….seemingly still out of range and on an ever tightening angle…the bench erupted as he launched from 40m and split the middle! Bulleen responded quickly with a goal of their own  before another quick break from the middle found Hamish again. Kicking truly again Bullants were still in the game trailing by 6. Bulleen scrambled a behind before Azza took on all comers. Selling more candy than Willy Wonka, Azza made a mockery of the Bulleen defence but was unlucky from a tight angle and secured a behind. Despite lots of positives and fantastic individual efforts, Preston were often out marked in the air and looked shaky when Bulleen got a quick break. 3 qtr. time and it was Bulleen by 5 points. 

Last break and the messages were the same as they’d been for the last 2 weeks. Man up when they have the ball, hold your positions, attack the footy in the air. We had been out marked all game and exposed with quick breaks. This game was entirely winnable if we did those few things with discipline.

It was not to be. Bulleen was relentless in their attack and despite desperate last line efforts managed 7 scoring shots to 1. Ned Reid played a lone hand with his defensive running and smart reading of the play. Time and again he dropped back from the wing to fill the vacant goal square or pick up the inevitable loose man, helping out a defence under siege his efforts prevented a complete blowout. To their credit, Bulleen were well disciplined and very strong overhead. Overall the game seemed tighter than the 17 point margin and the two teams well matched. The Preston side praised by the Bulleen coach for their tackling and run, both coaches looking forward to the next “Battle of the Bullants”.

Disappointment again for our boys and another tough lesson learnt. Plenty to be happy about & plenty to work on.

Best afield for this game includes Ned, Hamish, Marcus, Tommy G, Darby Watson, Tamer, Azza, Browny. Great efforts boys!

Under 12's Match Report
Bullants Ashburton B
10.4.64 6.4.40

After travelling for the first two rounds, the boys finally found themselves playing in front of a home crowd at Zwar Park. Our opponents were Ashburton, who are a strong club and the boys have had some tight matches against them in the past. Due to demonstrating a strong work ethic at training, and showing good leadership on match day, Anthony and Thomas H were appointed captain and vice captain, respectively. In keeping with prior weeks, the message from Pat was to play in front, and work as a team by tackling and shepherding regularly.

The boys started off the match well, working together as a team, and moving the ball quickly by hand and foot into the forward line. This resulted in the boys kicking four straight goals in the first quarter and Ashburton failing to score. Ayden showed great skill as an elusive goal sneak by following the coach's advice of standing close to Robbie and 'crumbing' the ball and kicking three of those goals.

In the second quarter, Ashburton proved to be more competitive and brought the ball into their forward line more often than the first quarter. Our backline worked well together to keep Ashburton to only two goals for the quarter. Up forward, the boys created a number of scoring opportunities, with Samuel working hard to deliver the ball into, and then keep the ball in, the forward line. By half time the score was 4-2-26 to 2-0-12.

The half time message was Pat was consistent with those of prior weeks, including when the boys get the ball to give their teammates options by running into space and creating options. In the third quarter, the boys continued their strong performance. Rhylan was excellent in the ruck, Will continued to get the ball in the midfield, and Caspian played his best game for the club to date and kicked his first goal for the club. Well done Caspian! Up forward, Thomas C showed great skill as a leading forward pocket and kicked three goals for the quarter. At three quarter time the lead had increased to 45 points. Ashburton again proved to be very competitive in the last quarter, kicking four goals to one. Ayden finished off an excellent day with his fourth goal, which came about due to his hard work and willingness to follow up with second and third efforts. Definitely a contender for "Goal of the Year"! The boys ran out 24 point winners, with our new recruits Robbie and Nathan also kicking goals during the match.

Overall, it was a great team effort with all boys contributing to the team win and playing an important role. The match gave the boys the opportunity to experience playing in different positions, which is important in their development as footballers. The only downside to the day was the injury to one of our on-field leaders, Lucas, who has fractured a finger and will be out of action for a little while. He'll be missed, but it was great to see him support the boys and come down to training on Tuesday night.

 

Under 13's GIRLS Match Report
Doncaster Cats Bullants
5.8.38 0.2.2

This match v Doncaster was always going to be our biggest test to date. They had beaten their two previous opponents by 20 goals plus to zero. We were up for a challenge and I could tell that our girls were switched on before the game. With our customary music blaring in the change rooms to rev us up before taking to the arena I knew we were in for an almighty contest. Our girls were brilliant in the first quarter, holding Doncaster to just 1 solitary goal—something they are not used to I am sure. Again our hard-nut midfield of Marianne, Freya, Caitlin and Olivia set the tone for the rest of the team. Erin and Victoria were pillars in defence and Charlotte, although ill, was providing us with a mobile target up forward. The scoreboard was Doncaster 1.1.7 to Preston 0.0.0 at the first change.

With our usual tackling game put on ice temporarily, Doncaster played a great quarter of football. They outscored us convincingly for the term and it looked like they were going to blow us out of the water as they had done to their previous opponents. We fought hard for the term but we couldn’t get our hands on the footy. The play for the quarter was all in the Doncaster forward line. Our backline led by Sian and Libby was solid but fighting an uphill battle. The scores at half time saw Doncaster leading Preston 3.5.22 to 0.0.0.

After a few changes and tweaks to positions I made it clear that I wanted the girls to be first to the football in the second half. We moved Victoria into the middle and Lily to fullback to take on the important role of kicking in, and she delivered perfectly. Erin took on the ruck to inject some speed, while the twins, Lucy and Gabby, continued to work hard up the ground. Both Avas lifted their respective work rates and got themselves involved in the game. We were definitely on the improve, though the scoreboard did not reflect the way in which we were playing. The scores at the last change were Doncaster 5.6.36 to Preston 0.0.0.

The girls put in a solid performance in the last quarter and we took the game right up to Doncaster, with the extra fitness work we had done over the Summer in evidence. We had the chance to score goals for the quarter but unfortunately missed both, equalling Doncaster for the quarter kicking 2 behinds apiece. Not a bad result for a grading game really. What it showed me is we can easily match it with the best sides in the competition and our fitness is among the best in the league. At the end of the match the opposition coach praised our efforts and said the scoreboard did not reflect the fierce contest. Erin and Victoria were our best on the day with special mentions to Caitlin, Olivia, Freya and Marianne. We have a lot to work with and I am super excited about where this year may take us. Dare to dream. Final scores Doncaster 5.8.38 to Preston 0.2.2.

Thanks to Emma, Mish, Leanne, Bek, Jamie, Pauline, Sofie, Marc and Suki for taking on the match day roles. 

George Cotsonis

Under 13's Match Report
Bullants Surrey Park
1.4.10 8.7.55
Goal Kickers  Caspian aka Capper

Despite the scoreboard, the boys were competitive all day against a very impressive Surrey Park, with lots of positives for the team and a number of great individual efforts.

Surrey Park’s quick ball movement, pace and marking forwards created a mountain of work for the Bullants backline, however they performed magnificently. Harry, Brodie and Lauchie were fantastic all day, frequently beating their direct opponents and taking numerous intercept marks. Midfielders Capper, Liam, Josh and Phoenix also worked hard to push back in to the defensive 50 and shut down space. 

Oscar was great on a wing and down back, winning a lot of his own ball and setting up teammates. Capper continued his great form, using his pace and smarts to kick the Bullants only goal of the game with only seconds remaining in the third quarter.  Rufus, Lucas and Jordy were all given shut down roles at various points and stuck to their tasks.  Josh’s attack on the ball and tackling was great, Liam ran relentlessly from contest to contest and Phoenix dominated the centre corridor, particularly after half time. Makaio’s third quarter Jeremy Howe style hanger would have won a car if there was one on offer. Regardless, fair to say we witnessed the Under 13’s mark of the year.

Full credit to Surrey Park, who were simply too good on the day, however the Bullants fought the game out and really got better the longer the game went on.

Under 14's Match Report
Bullants Warrandyte
21.10.136 0.1.1

This week the U14’s boy’s faced Warrandyte at Zwar Park on what was a lovely Sunday afternoon. The guys had a great win 21.10.136 to 0.1.1 defeating Warrandyte by a staggering 135 points. 

However the game started off quite differently to usual, with Warrandyte having 15 players, requiring us to hand them 3 players off our list being Marcus Chan, Xavier Giuliano and Toby Hallebone who showed great sportsmanship in putting the opposition jumper on. 

The boys were frustrated to begin with which showed in there game as they didn’t hold structure and were lost following the ball or ball watching. Many lacked endeavour early in the game, however after the half time break and towards the end of the third term they began to fall in line and show the game we’ve been looking to play. 

On to the next round we face Greythorn, away, looking to prove ourselves worthy of promotion to Brown as the grading period closes. 

Up the Bullants!

Under 15's Match Report
Bullants Boroondara Hawks 2
10.2.62 6.10.46
Goal Kickers  
Best Players  

No Report Submitted

Youth GIRLS Match Report
Banyule Bullants
14.11.95 0.1.1

Our round three clash saw us take on Banyule at AJ Burkitt Oval. Skipper Mia Beki led the side out as we fielded a team of twelve and so did Banyule. Twelve v Twelve. Bullants v Bears.

The siren sounded for the first bounce. Amelia provided a challenge for their ruck player, rucking for majority of the game. Mia Beki went in hard at every contest. Banyule kicked a couple of goals and were on a roll. Mia Haas didn’t stop working all day and tried to bring her team mates into the contest.

The second quarter was very much like the first with Banyule kicking away again. Darci tried her best to create something and give our forwards a chance of scoring. Angelique continued to move up and down the ground but found her best form when going to full back and taking upon the responsibility. Zoe was under the pump all day in the backline but performed admirally!

Half time gave us a chance to settle, restart and work our way back being five goals down.

The third quarter began and Ruby played exceptionally well, taking a number of big marks and making Usain Bolt look slow in the process, taking the game on, on numerous occasions. Isabella also worked hard in the backline and continued to help her team mates out. Her day was cut short with a hamstring strain.

Sabrije and Oceane combined like Dangerfield and Selwood, always trying to link up and provide run on the wings. Banyule kept our backline under pressure and the margin started to get bigger.

Although our entries into our forward fifty dried up, Esther and Helena willed themselves to every contest but were unable to get on the scoresheet. Banyule were too good and won convincingly.

Thanks again to Sofie for being team manager and to the parents who helped out. Please make sure we are able to help Sofie and the team out with match day roles. Thanks to Ange for being assistant/runner. For our girls, it’s a requirement that we arrive with the right attitude, positivity and team first mentality!

GO BULLANTS!

Simon O’Connell

Colts 1 Match Report
Glen Iris Bullants
5.9.39 10.6.66

Kicking into a slight wind in the first quarter, the Colts started strongly with quick movement out of the centre through Jimmy Manias and Brodie Lacey.  Strong marking and kicking by Jackson Sbrissa and Jack Nicolo with two goals apiece, to setup a 4 goal lead at quarter time. 

True to form the Colts eased off the intensity, stopped running and providing options which opened the door to Glen Iris finding tempo and edged back into the game.  Mark Chamberlain in his first game for the season intercepted, carried and used the ball well. Zac Ray scored and nice goal along with Rory Howard to keep Preston 4 goals ahead at half time.  

Marty was measured pre-empting the team that in the past this is where a coach spray was due to get a response.  He expressed his disappointment with some poor discipline which had cost the team and given Glen Iris belief, and was not shy in identifying team members whose work rate needed to lift.   

The team struggled to shake its lethargy in the third, with Glen Iris getting on top and were unlucky not to get out to a lead.  Angus Green competed hard in the ruck and around the ground. The backline came under increased pressure with Matt Maiolo, Josh Di Natalie and Henry Vear working well to hold off the repeated balls coming inside 50.  

With the game on the line, the team dug deep.  A settling goal by Mark Chamberlain followed by a nice snap to Rhett Aminde and finish by Anthony Johnson put the game beyond Glen Iris.  Max Mills goaled and returned the score line to where the teams were at quarter time.

The game provides insight that the game is won by playing and competing for 4 quarters.  Effort needs to be sustained. A solid win and a win we can learn from.

Colts 2 Match Report
Bullants Parade / St Damians
9.9.63 7.9.51
Goal Kickers  Jackson K (4), Stevie (3), Jon, Henry

Thanks to all parents who helped out on the day. We need volunteers every week!

Heavy clouds had hung around through the morning and into early afternoon but by 2.30pm they had decided to go rain on someone else’s parade. The Bullants pregame drills were conducted under a blue sky with the kinda puffy white clouds you’d see in the ‘The Simpson’s’ opening credits. It was, not to put it to finely, a striking sunny autumnal day with hardly enough juice in the sun to make it hot but just enough to leave the jumper in the bag. A slight wind (maybe a goal or two in it) swirled towards the Cramer St end. 

While there had been a noticeable change in personnel (at least five players called up to Colts 1 for a run) the Colts 2 side still bonded based on the coach, David’s inspirational instructions and statements. What do I want from you he asked? 100% was the team’s response. What else? Run and keep on running.

Parade had the wind advantage in the First and they took to it with abandon. For 10 minutes it looked like they might win the game in this quarter alone. Thankfully they didn’t kick straight. We had some good players from the start. Jack B and Stevie were getting their hands on the Sherrin. Anton did a great smother. And his second efforts were excellent. The backline (Ethan and co) was starting to play like the wall it needed to be. Stevie was the lynch-pin, working the ball through the centre. One play saw Daniel get it to Stevie who saw Jackson lead out with plenty of space up forward. The mark was good but he didn’t convert. Parade stole a goal in junk time even though by now Bullants had the run.

Simple message from the coach at quarter time. Mids need to run back when the ball turns over. We need to start winning the 50/50 contests. Go down the guts with the wind and lock the ball in our forward line.

More players started to rise to the occasion. Jack B down back saved a certain goal. Jakeb’s smart thinking executed a great switch across the ground. He had a game and half, didn’t he? Somewhere in a scrimmage close to goal Jackson K put boot to ball and we had our first six pointer for the game. 

The players had lifted, this was clear. A couple of good team runs up the field showed this lift. Matty B took a good defensive mark. Henry got a free and kicked to another lead from Jackson K, who took a strong mark and kicked true. To continue the damage Jackson K, just before the half time siren snapped a goal across his body. It’s a two point game! Ethan C played a great half as did Fraser. Henry was commitment personified. Ted was in the game. Stevie was giving the team the confidence they needed to play to their ability.

The Third was where the Bullants stood tall. Against the wind and with Stevie off the ground (winded) for a good part of the quarter they did not back down. And we kicked two goals to the city end. Jonny, as the last link in another team run down the ground, split the big sticks. Daniel was getting his mojo going. 

But the going was not going to get easier. The wind got stronger. Parade were pushing hard. Against that wind, another coast to coast play was inspiring. Stevie returned to the field and found himself with a mark inside 50. On the siren he kept us in the hunt. It was a two goal game and we had the wind in the last. Did we have the legs?

The Bullants forced the ball forward, Anton got it to Stevie. The ball turns over but Jonny (never say die!) marks it and sends it to the top of the square. In the thick of it Stevie finds a goal! Soon after Jackson is on the right end of a free and he goals. The Bullants have the lead for the first time in the match. As they say, sh*t just got real. 

Meanwhile, Parade forward entries were met with strong marking by our CHB Jack K or even deeper by Jack B, first to the contest, who would then bolt through the guts of a pack and deliver the ball from evil. Parade broke the deadlock with a goal and took the lead. 5 mins maximum. Jonny was doing his best (and definitely more than 100%); notably with a brilliant run up the wing.

Matty B took another strong mark. Bull just whacked the damn pigskin forward and Stevie is under it for a mark. His goals gets us the lead again. With 2.30 on the clock and we’re six points to the good. Then, almost out of thin air Henry turns a loose ball into a six pointer and seals the win! The team is pumped when the siren ends this character building match. It was a fantastic win. The Bullants they seized the moment – they backed themselves and their team-mates. This was literally a team effort. Three cheers all round.

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