So grading’s have been finalised and it’s fair to say that our coaches appear to be happy with the final outcome handed to us by the league.
A really solid outcome for the club with 9 out of the possible 11 teams graded in Green division or higher, and with that we have 5 in Brown alone with 4 of the 5 being from U14’s down which we are starting to see a flow on effect from the time, effort and expense that the club has invested into our wonderful coaches who so very generously give their time up to not just volunteer their services to coach and nurture all our children, but to also get the best out of their individual abilities to bring together a team effort week in, week out.
Only a fortnight ago, did the club put on a Masterclass kicking/coaching course run by Craig Winter of The Modern Game (You Tube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9REyIPIfpfDq1blg1qANtA ) which saw a solid representation from our coaches/assistant coaches that brought in new ideas to keep up with the ever changing pace of the game and some of the latest coaching techniques/equipment (which the club has since purchased) to give a real game time sense to all involved and to run it across the club through training to benefit the individuals skill set and mind set of believing that they can, that they can achieve anything they put their mind too. Education is key to all learnings both old and new and we should always be learning how to do things in a better and more efficient way and be open to all ideas irrespective of our own learnings growing up.
With the torrential rain late last week, a lot of teams cancelled training and fair enough too. The U15’s took to the track for what turned out to be a fantastic session in very trying conditions. Full of smiles and laughter, they came off the ground to enjoy a mini-team bonding event being a pasta night which u15’s coach Marc Botoulos organised earlier, and with the help of all families the team and other family members present enjoyed a meal together in the Zwar Park function centre! (ha-ha) well, planned function centre one day… here are a couple of snaps from the event which was a great night to chat and catch up on both on and off the field events...
Through The Darebin Leisure Services, we received an invitation to partake in a free St John Ambulance run course on Defibrillator training which was a fun night of learning how to use the defibrillator machine itself along with practising saving lives on test dummies provided and was attended by myself our Vice President Suki Styant-Browne, club secretary Stuart Horton and club treasurer Mark Giuliano.
A very informative night as we got talking to St John representatives as well as other wonderful sporting clubs within the Darebin area. A good night to chat, ask questions and certainly position as many people as we can at the club to be involved on all levels of understanding. Check out these pics, heads down and system a go!!
Off the back of very positive feedback and the expansion of the courses run by SALT, we as a club have signed onto a membership that will help build a very strong culture over the coming months and years that will help us all be better people both on and off the field.
With both the feedback and community grant received from our friends at the Preston Connected Communities, we have been able to reinvest the $2000 grant straight back into this wonderful program which I am sure will open up a lot of eyes and thoughts for good discussions with your children as well as within your family groups. Education on this level about issues that we all come across each and every day including very important items that will covered off over a range of courses to be run include topics like Wellbeing & Mental Health, Respect for women, Drugs and Alcohol, Time to man up and Positive Coaching just to name a few being run.
Different topics are aimed different aged groups and gender and are aimed at covering as many player’s form U12’s up pretty much. There is also a course being run for all coaching staff, team managers as well. A very positive strategy implemented by the committee that will see multiple benefits for years to come and to aim at really cementing a positive culture around the club.
A MASSIVE shout out to these 2 legends!! Both Mia Haas and Mia Beki have been selected in the YJFL under 15 Girls Championship side!! WOW!! Talk about going from strength to strength and in such a short time! Goes to show, dedication, hard work, and a belief in one’s self can lead to and open many doors and opportunities. To you both, on behalf of the entire Preston Bullants Community, congratulations and good luck!! Be the best you can and above all, enjoy the experience!
Have a wonderful week, thank you to all our volunteers for your assistance throughout Round 5 action, Go the Mighty Preston Bullants!!
Preston Bullants JFC
Under 9s White had a bye this week.
A short and sweet Banter this week.
Unfortunately, no training on Friday due to the weather so we were raring to go on Sunday morning at Zwar against Fitzroy 2. A fantastic morning and happy mother’s day to all the mums and nannas.
This week we welcomed back Oscar, but we were without Jack, Lucas and Lachlan (courtesy to a finger in the car door).
The team looked sharp in the pre-game warm up and after reciting the team rules the team got behind Captain Matilda and we started kicking to the Northcote end with the wind.
We again started off well, moving the ball well out of both the centre. Our centres of William, Alberto, Kirk, Matilda, Leroy, Michael & Adam were playing an attacking style of footy both moving forward when we were in possession of the ball and delivering to our forwards with “centre metre – perfect” precision.
Our forwards Leon, Ned, Daniel, Dylan and Oscar were leading well, following instructions by making space and not all chasing the footy. Importantly our defensive pressure when Fitzroy had the ball was fantastic. We were playing on our players, but as soon as a turnover occurred we pushed for space. When the goals came, the celebrations were fantastic to see.
Our Backline of Eddy, Liam, Patrick, Ellery, Ella & Eduardo, were playing great team footy. The ball was being pushed around across the ground and a number of players running past taking the handballs. The final quarter saw Fitzroy push forward hard, but were up for it, with the backline standing strong, moving the ball to our centres who then pushed the footy up to the forward line.
A fantastic team effort. Everyone got involved again. The medal was given to Eduardo for a fine 4 quarter effort. The Brains Trust was really impressed with his defensive initiative to guard the goal square taking some great marks and clearing the ball well.
The song was sung loudly and proudly at the end of the game with the team setting up a circle and our captain Matilda and medal winner Eduardo in the middle of the circle.
Fantastic umpiring by Craig in his umpiring debut and thanks to everyone who assisted on the day its much appreciated by all.
We hope the mums (got and) enjoyed their chocolates.
|Gken Iris H
We ventured down to Glen Iris today... We had a fantastic first quarter, the boys all worked well together. We were actually on fire, kicking 4 goals!!
But we let Glen Iris back in in the second quarter and the rest of the game was neck and neck. Unfortunately we went down by a measly 2 points. Omar kicked 3 goals, with his trademark bullocking style. Darcy was a handy sidekick with 2. Yusuf again rucked tremendously and also kicked his very first career goal winning the Ben Brown Goal of the week, Well done Yusuf. Christian and Louie were getting pushed around by their opponents, but held their own and didn't get sucked in, well done boys. Owen had his best game of the season, taking big marks and laying some great tackles, he was awarded the Wayne Carey BOG award. And our Glenn Archer (if you haven't noticed... North Melbourne play a BIG part of the U10 white's!!) Hard Nut award went to Darcy.
I hope all our mums had a fantastic Mothers Day...
Another glorious morning at Bulleen this week and we were lucky to be supported by lots of family members for Mother’s Day. Rufus and Makaio from the Under 13's, brothers of Archie and Brock, were our water carriers and with a much less muddy pitch than we were expecting, the Under 10 Reds were ready to roll.
There was a quick first goal to Bulleen and it was clear from the start our opposition was well skilled and drilled and it was going to be a hard contest. Shep managed to get us on the scoreboard with a goal and there was some strong marking, tackling and hand passing from Edwin the birthday boy, Noah R who had just had his birthday and Arch and Sonny combined well to keep up our attack.
The second quarter produced a lot of effort and Bulleen had a strong attacking forward line. Noah R kept tackling, Alex and Roman worked hard defending; Edwin enjoyed a run and couple of bounces; Arch had a nice run down the wing and was assisted by Jakob, Zac and Leon. We just couldn't convert and Bulleen were up by a couple of goals at half time.
Last week we wondered what was in the snakes but this week the half time oranges must have had some good Vitamin C in them because we again managed to not let our heads lower - Noah R, Leon, Jack, Archie, Tom and Jakob seemed to be at the ball constantly. Kade was running hard and Jakob was determined and menacing. The pressure was fabulous but we were being hurt on the scoreboard.
Going into the last quarter one mother asked her son to please get a goal for her for Mother’s Day - no pressure!!! By the start of the fourth quarter, the vitamin C had really kicked in and Sonny made a dominant figure kicking to Tom for a quick goal in the opening minutes. Suddenly it seemed like there was hardly a player on the Bulleen side - our attacking pressure was magnificent. Sonny, Stoj, Archie, Shep, Jack, Zac and Tom were all making it hard for Bulleen to have any impact. Finally, Arch got a goal and was then taken to ground - it looked like he might be really hurt but he was soon up and assessed by the fabulously capable Deanne. Sonny and Archie added further goals and Bulleen had been stopped in their tracks. It was nail biting and exciting football. Whilst we weren't able to catch up completely we gave Bulleen a big fright.
For the next game, Paul and George are asking the boys to "switch on" from the beginning of the match. It is great to see everyone getting involved and working hard together - keep up the excellent work boys and I already can't wait for next week’s game!
|Bullants||St Marys B
Round 5 saw as drop to Brown division as a result of 4 losses in Gold. Despite not singing our song yet, there had been steady improvement with our intensity at the footy and ball carrier. We hoped to turn the tide with another home game at Zwar.
After 4 weeks in fairly set positions, this was also the week where many of the boys would rotate to new positions for the benefit of their development. I hoped it would not confuse them and be to our detriment.
Fun Fact – This side had never lost a “Mother’s Day match” in 3 years.
After a solid warm up and the mandatory “Who’s Ground is it?”/ “Who’s ball is it?” our captains for the day Woody & Joe led us onto the ground.
From the outset, the Bullants were in hard. Every ball was a contest and Ned, Sam, Thomas Venuto and Joe set about racking up their tackle count. Joe mopped up every ball across half back & St Marys never looked like scoring. The entire first quarter was an arm wrestle between two evenly matched sides, slugged out predominantly between the 50m arcs. With neither side able to gain ascendancy, the quarter ended without score and the Bullants jogged to their huddle to very pleased coaches.
In the huddle, the Bullants were praised for their attack on the footy and their opponent. A nil all opening term one of their best opening quarters and now we were able to reset and get into it. We still had loose opposition players off the ball & needed to address that…again. If left unattended these players would make us pay.
Early in the second term we saw one of the plays of the day and a great example of giving 100% and never giving up the chase. A long ball into our forward 50 saw too many Bullants up the ground and 3 St Marys players left in the square to mop up, switch play and get away. From about 30m out, Tom M launched himself toward the St Marys players. Seemingly in slow motion (maybe because it was Dad / Coach watching), Tom made impressive ground. A fumble by St Marys and still Tom was closing. Another fumble and the St Marys player finally got control of the ball only to find himself wrapped up in the Tom tackle! With a resounding “Ball!” from the Bullants bench (read Dad / Coach). The umpire duly rewarded Tom for his efforts. 10m out and directly in front, Tom slotted the goal to put the Bullants into unfamiliar territory…. In front! The Bullants continued to lift and up the tackle count. Ned continued to take on all comers and win more often than not. Tom laid more tackles that he has all season and Joe continued to be an impenetrable wall across half back. St Marys continued to mark well overhead and hit their targets, spending plenty of time in their attacking 50 as well. On a few occasions, Bullant defenders were caught “goal keeping” in the square rather than applying frontal pressure or tagging their opponent. St Marys made us pay….1:1:7 for the quarter and the Bullant lead short lived. A point down at half time but the better side for much of the first half.
Praise again from the coaches as oranges & drinks were consumed. Great attack on the footy and opponent. Fantastic running, second and third efforts, tackles and spoils. Everyone was asked to put their hand up if they had a tackle. More than 1 tackle? A spoil? A contested mark? Hands were up everywhere. Pride on their faces as we acknowledged their hard work. Yes, it was tough out there but we were matching our opponent and more.
The third quarter was another arm wrestle. With the combination of Tamer, Hamish, Tom and Venuto in the middle and Kes, Andre and Woody providing targets forward we looked likely on several occasions. Tom burst out of the ball-up to hit Andre who marked strongly. Azza led hard from the wing and found himself within range from Andre’s pass. One of the few solid link ups sadly resulted in Azza’s snap drifting wide for a behind. Marcus, Joe and Browny all had massive impacts on the term. Strong tackles, second and third efforts and relentless running had the Bullants looking like they wanted it more. Our frenetic attack and run matched by St Mary’s accurate passing and marking. The term ended with the scoreboard telling the story…all tied up at 1:2:8 apiece.
At 3 qtr. time the mood was still positive. We were well in the game, playing very well and had 15 minutes to show even more! We were still letting St Marys players sit unattended “out the back”, our midfield largely to blame. All well and good to try and win the ball, but in the middle, they had to be accounted for. Let’s play the quarter of our lives to bring this one home for our Mums!
The Bullants came out hard and did all the attacking early. Venuto marked strongly, Ned continued on his way to an all-time high tackle count and Marcus Carelli fought on and worked hard as ever….yet it was not to be. St Marys used their strong marking and accurate passing to effect. With their possession rate up, they attacked relentlessly. Despite great defensive marking and last ditch efforts by Wato on the last line and Joe enormous across half back, it was inevitable that St Marys would score. Kept to 1:4: 10 for the quarter…it was enough. Too much. Once again, the scoreboard didn’t necessarily tell the full story and in a game that was deadlocked for the most part, 10 points seemed an injustice.
High praise from both coaches at the end of an epic battle. A tough, even contest was what we were after and indeed what both teams delivered. Our Bullants worked hard and played well. They deserve a win soon and will get one, as long as the effort and intensity we saw today persists.
Heads high boys. Effort brings reward eventually.
Proud Coach as always!
Special thanks to the Mums who are there week in week out, filling roles on game day and supporting their boys. Happy Mother’s Day! Sorry we couldn’t sing the song for you today.
Preston Bullants Under 12’s moved up to Green Division after a stellar three wins in previous weeks. We played host to Balwyn on Sunday. The Zwar Park surface was in pristine condition given the rain we had in the preceding two days. Balwyn have also had a successful start to the season and are potentially a finals team. This opportunity for our boys to test themselves against quality opposition was very important in terms of their development.
The Bullants kicked to the Cramer Street end favoured by a strong wind. The first quarter was an example of the game as a whole. Low scoring, manic pressure on the ball and the body, and, very good team defence applied by both teams. The look of the game remained the same throughout the remaining three quarters with neither team raising the white flag.
The positive is we continued to persist with our defensive work against a good opposition with the majority of our players well below their best form. The pressure applied by the opposition contributed to our inability to display our offensive brand of football. Balwyn was cleaner in the area of overhead marking and its surer hands were a significant advantage as opposed to our double handling and dropped marks.
At the final siren the scoreboard showed us 7 points down in a tough contest, a testament to our persistence and that we are up to the level of this Division.
The team needs to focus on its work around the footy to release the pressure, skills to maintain possession, transition to goal and care not to undo the body of work around the ball with poor decision making.
The majority of our team, albeit that they had a real crack all day, have room for growth in performance – this is exciting for the Coaching Team. Will was the exception to the majority of our team getting to many contests, executing his clean skills, winning the contested ball and putting tackling pressure on the opposition to turn the ball over. Max and Patty lead a defence that was under pressure all game and maintained a straight line attack on the ball and the man.
The next challenge is Bulleen Templestowe away on Sunday 20th May 2018 @ 10:00am. Let’s get behind our Bullants to instil confidence and encourage them to enjoy the challenge.
A late start at 3:00pm on Mother’s Day saw us take on the undefeated Beverley Hills team at Doncaster. After a bit of cat and mouse from the opposing coach we settled on 14 v 14 players. This meant we had 6 players on the bench – not an ideal situation and one we haven’t had to navigate before. With Emma in Perth to see her family and Jamie in Bali resting up, Leanne was elevated to assistant coach and Lesley debuted as runner. We started the game well with plenty of tackling and movement of the ball resulting in a quick behind to Lucy early on in the term. Beverley Hills responded with a couple of goals late and we knew we had our hands full. The opposition was a good marking and tackling team. We were in the game but we knew we needed to hit the scoreboard early in the next term. Scores at the first break were BH 2.2.14 to Preston 0.1.1.
The second quarter saw us again start well with a fast forward entry resulting in a great running goal to Zara. With Victoria down back repelling every second forward entry we were in with a chance. Caitlin did her best Heath Shaw impersonation smothering a certain goal to the opposition. Maybe the training videos on Friday night worked! As in the first quarter Beverley Hills responded with another goal and started peppering the scoreboard. Libby and Freya were fighting hard and despite Erin’s customary runs, the game was slowly slipping out of our grasp. The scores at half time saw BH 3.2.20 to Preston 1.1.7.
The third quarter saw us lose our structure and focus just a little and the opposition took full advantage. There were still some solid Bullant performers in the third quarter with Ella and little Olivia lifting, along with Tyler, Lucy and Gaby. Victoria was trying her best to stop the opposition attacking and played a great captain’s game. Hayley and Ava M. also gave their all. At the last change the scores were BH 4.4.28 to Preston 1.1.7.
It is not often that my address at three quarter time is more of a plea. I really asked the girls to dig deep and work for their teammates and the pride of the club. We came to life in the last quarter, none more so than Ava B. She had one of the best individual quarters of the year. Her ferocity at the ball saw her gather many possessions and marks and lay bone crunching tackle after tackle. She took her game to another level and is one of the biggest improvers from last year. Bek had her work cut out as our girls went in like battering rams, seeing Caitlin and Zara both injured in the last quarter. Beverley Hills scored a goal late but we really deserved the scoreboard to be closer at the end of the day. I was proud of the girls for their endeavour and for giving their all when asked.
I hope all the mothers had a great day supporting the Bullants, and you can all rest assured that we will be working hard on the track this week to bounce back at home next week. Well done to Ava B. for taking the best afield medal.
Thanks to Leanne, Bek, Pauline, Suki, Marc and Mish for taking on the match day roles. Special thanks go out to Dean for helping out with the board rotations, Phil behind the goals and Lesley with the running duties.
Under 13s had a bye this week.
This week the boys had the chance to face their first real opposition as they have now moved up into the brown division and they couldn’t have fit in any better. They worked excellently in the first quarter moving the ball with class and working well together to get to the quarter break up by 20 points.
The structure became an issue late in the second quarter as we tended to follow the opposition, ultimately finding ourselves out of position and chasing tail. Our defenders got their first test this week really having to bind together in order to keep them from scoring which was done really well by; Mitch, Henry and Felix.
Our forwards worked well however still found themselves over congested and struggling to create options. Our inside 50 pressure was great as usual however we still had trouble in conversion.
Overall the boys made great progress as they now assert themselves as a real threat in the brown division. As a team, they have improved from last year with a 100 point turn around having lost to the cobras the last time they met in the 2017 season by 40 points to have won by 60 points this year speaks volumes about their ability to adapt to the changes we as coaches have made to the way they play their football.
We are excited to see what else the boys are able to produce this year and can’t wait till we go up against our rivals Parkside away this weekend.
|Boroondara Hawks 2||Bullants|
For the second time in three weeks we came up against Boroondara Hawks.
The first quarter was very competitive and we were only in the lead by two points. Much of our play was built from the backline as Terence attacked the ball well with an ability to win the 50/50 ball every time. We did, however, struggle to get the ball forward effectively, as our forwards needed to present and make sure we had a plenty of options in the forward half. Nonetheless, the lead was ours and we took that as a positive.
We began to find our feet a lot more in the second term. Lucas gave his teammates some great inspiration, as always, by applying some excellent tackling pressure. The entire backline was resolute and strong when put under pressure. Every backman continued to do his job by playing tight, allowing no score for the quarter. Our forward ball movement still let us down ever so slightly; we needed to take the first option in attack and not over use the ball. Aidan had a breakout performance and was leading with purpose, creating great forward pressure and making himself a great target inside 50.
Our third quarter was an improvement on the first half with Aidan and Ethan leading by example; they attacked the ball hard and got plenty of ball in doing so. Once again, the collective performance from the backline was a life line and stopped Boroondara from scoring for a second consecutive quarter. We could have perhaps switch the ball more out of defence because we did play in their hands a few times by rushing kicks to their defensive set up. Our forwards made use of their opportunities to enhance our lead to 30 points at three-quarter time.
The fourth quarter made me proud. We played the game out and continued to be a disciplined team. Patrick was exceptional out of the wing who linked up well with Josh multiple times. Whilst Angus and Terence continued to work hard. Lucas again had an influence in the forward line and was dangerous when it counted. For the first time, we played four quarters and played well – it showed with a 50-point winning margin being the end result.
A cold but sunny day at Zwar had us facing Asburton on Mother’s Day.
The girls were raring to go and ready to confront their next challenge.
The game got going and Georgia Barry started off in the ruck. Georgia worked hard to get to every contest and covered plenty of ground all day. Her support in the midfield was helped by non-stop worker Sabrije who continues to improve each week and thrives playing in the middle. With Ashburton having three extra players on the field it was evident it was making a big difference as the ball was mostly played in our back half. This didn’t stop the girls being competitive with Angelique playing as a really tough defender despite being under plenty of pressure
The second quarter we reduced their scoring and we were able to score a goal with a clean and slick finish from Mia B. The side made Ashburton earn every contest as Mia H laid some bone-crunching tackles and was able to clear the ball on a number of occasions trying to get us going forward. Oceane was really solid in the backline again always looking to take the ball and run. We went into the main break down by six goals but still ran in positive and still up for the fight.
The second half got underway and Amelia went into ruck and was awesome at providing a contest as well as producing really good tap outs to team mates. Ashburton were starting to get on a roll but it didn’t stop Darci chasing down players, still determined to make sure they got nothing easy. The backline still maintained their composure, with Isabella smothering the ball-saving the goal yet still able to go and hunt for the football. Zoe was superb in the backline, never getting beaten and taking a really good grab deep in the goal square.
At three quarter time, with a big margin on the scoreboard the girls still maintained their positivity. With one quarter to go, the girls wanted to make it their best quarter for the day. Helena worked up the ground continuously and her fitness continues to improve each game. Helena even managed to give a big bump to someone which would’ve made Shane Mumford jealous. Our backline targeted Esther on the wing so we could link up to the forward line. Esther got involved in plenty of contests and took a super mark which shows how much she’s improved. Despite it not being our day it didn’t stop Ruby from being a tackling machine fuelled by her pregame meal of a snag, dim sims and a can of coke.
A really tough day but the side should be proud of the way it went about the performance as we still made them earn the win despite the circumstances. Big thanks to Sofie, Danette, Louise, Brendan, Marina, David, Anna, Jodie, Suzi, Monique and Miles for all your help, it’s much appreciated and can’t thank you enough!
To my girls, make sure you come to training and match day focused and smiling!
This was always going to be a tough assignment. The game was played at Gordon Barnard Reserve, Boroondara’s home ground, deep in the borough of Balwyn. It is one big wide oval, with wings seemingly equidistant to the goal posts that you could mistakenly think it a circle. The sort of ground that the more you play it, the better you know how to play it, with its contours and acres of wings, its deep pockets and ranging flanks. This was a ground where the wind advantage was second to the ground knowledge.
The Bullants came into this game with an impressive 3-1 win ratio in the first four grading games. The league decided to keep them in Div 3 but this game would test their reserve. They were up against a team that started the year in Div 1, dropped to Div 2 for a couple of games before being reviewed as a Div 3 team. So, a real contest. And a chance to see what the Bullants are made of.
To say this game was played in two halves sums up what I have described in the previous paragraphs. At half time the Hawks led, 7.7 to our 3.3. Fourteen shots to six. They had the momentum, largely because of their home ground advantage, higher Division experience and a confidence bordering on arrogance. In the second half the shots on goal count was nine to eight. The Bullants found their mojo, started to play the ground with more footy smarts and at times controlled the momentum. In fact, save for three Hawks players, the Bullants matched and in some match-ups, bettered their more recognized opponents. This is why we should remember the old adage, the scoreboard doesn’t lie but it doesn’t tell the story.
The first two minutes saw both teams testing their mettle. Then we caught a glimpse of the Hawks best, two strong marks down the field and a goal. Tierney’s tough tackle stopped a Hawks run. We made a forward entry but Hawks have the numbers around the ball. Tierney again, forced a stoppage. Chilli working overtime across the backline. A lot of hard work by the Bullants just to stay in the contest but the Hawks are dominating the clearances. Out of good solid teamwork the Bullants get on the board through EJ.
There was a moment when the Hawks stumbled under Bullants pressure. I was reminded of Leigh Matthews saying about if it bleeds, coaching the Lions against the Bombers in 2001. There were moments in this game when you could feel the Bullants just needed one more adrenaline shot of belief in their own ability. Jimmy’s play, hard against the boundary clearing it to Sbrissa was such a moment. Then we saw a top shelf play as the ball moved swiftly downfield through Chilli, Antho, Sbrissa, Tierney to Cain who spotted Rhett in the square. This goal was as good as we played. EJ put in a great tackle and Green was our midfield leader, while Matty B had a great quarter. It was a 13 point game.
Rhett had worked his way into the game and that’s good for the Bullants. We were working hard up forward and in defence but the Hawks just seemed more composed. It’s a small point but it’s important and will become more so as we go deeper into the season. Composure, especially under pressure, serves a team well. Howard took a strong mark and Sbrissa had a shot on goal.
Closing in on half time you could tell that there were two distinct ways in which this game was being played. For a fair bit of the game it was a dynamic arm-wrestle, with intense pressure from both sides. This was an even contest, the Bullants maybe slightly better. But the Hawks were winning the running game, hands down, with loose men fanning out as the ball was sprinted down field.
The Bullants took the game on in the Third. In a congested forward line, Green, our best player kicked true. Finally we started winning the centre clearances. Howard took another strong mark. EJ does a great spoil on the boundary line. Jack N sets up another forward entry, and to steal the coach, Marty’s line, it’s a Kane to Cain play and goal. Sass, Jack N and Chilli (hard as) are terrific on the wing as they work it forward into the pocket where EJ, from tight in the pocket splits the big sticks. The team is rising now. The game’s momentum has swung back and forth but we need to control the momentum if we are to win this one.
A four goal to one last quarter snuffs out that hope. In fading light, as thick clouds create a false horizon and the sun exits slowly stage left the Bullants give it one more shot. Howard is terrific. As is Jimmy and Sbrissa. Matty’s strong out of defence. The Bullants had control of the game for about 8 minutes but couldn’t score. Then the Hawks kicked three in less than three minutes. It was that sort of day. Jack N goaled late and Howard just refused to surrender.
Marty and Nick to their charges in the change-rooms: we cannot question your endeavour and commitment. That is high praise. They did add that we need to improve decision making and ball use. That is the challenge and this team will rise to meet it.
Thanks to all parents who helped out on the day. We need volunteers every week!
The Bullants looked keen to make a statement against Ashburton at Zwar Park or maybe it was to impress their mum’s on Mother Day. With a few last-minute withdrawals, it was down to 17 players who kicked with the wind in the first quarter.
Dave’s instructions were to go long and long they did with Jackie V booting three goals and taking a spectacular one-handed mark. Sonza and Stevie dominated around the stoppages with handy contributions from the two Henry’s as well as Zac and Max in an exciting first term that saw the Bullants lead at the break.
However, Ashburton with the wind decided that it would not be all the Bullants way and came back strongly to lead at half time by 1 point.
Looking to use the wind to our advantage in the third the Bullants started well but suffered a major blow when Stevie had to leave the ground with concussion. With his day done and dusted the 16 remaining players dug deep. Tony and Nick were terrific in defence and Brandon ‘Bull’ Johnson goaled with a monster torp from outside 50 and then a snap to give the Bullants a narrow lead going into the last.
The last quarter was an arm wrestle and with injuries mounting to the Bullants, Ashburton looked fresher and with a couple of goals late, ran out winners by 20 points.
Despite a winnable game getting away from us, the game was played in great spirit and was highly enjoyable to watch.
A big thanks to all the parent volunteers on the day and to Dave and Miles for coaching the boys!