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SYDNEY AFL ROUND 4 - Students Pass With Distinction
Article and Photos by Michael ShillitoBounce on the half-forward line

Sydney University were re-admitted to Premier Division in 2007. Their early experiences back in the top flight were a steep learning curve for the young side, but they learned their lessons well and showed substantial improvement as the year unfolded. A well-targetted recruitment campaign over the off-season further strengthened their lineup; and after round 3 the Students were the only undefeated side in the competition. But a tough away trip against a more highly-rated team would be the true test to gauge where the Sydney Uni side was at in 2008.
A fortnight of rain in the leadup to the Anzac Day weekend again caused headaches for the league schedulers, with ground closures forcing a series of venue and date changes and postponements for some matches. But Monarch Oval remained open and in good condition, so the Campbelltown v Sydney Uni match went ahead on Saturday afternoon as scheduled.

Winning the toss and electing to kick to the school end, the Students got off to a flying start; with the centre break being kicked inside the 50 for Aaron Everitt to dribble it between the big sticks. Alex Lee found some space on the run to create another, and when Jack Lawson led, marked 30 out and kicked truly, Sydney Uni had raced to a 20-point lead within the first 10 minutes. The Blues opened their account when Luke Coughlan outmarked the pack and ran into an open goal, but an instant reply to Joel Carr regained the 3-goal margin for the Students at the first change.Boundary throw-in

The second quarter opened dramatically when Sydney Uni forward Andrew Kraefft flew for what would have been the Sydney football speckie of the year had he been able to hold it, but the ball spilled to ground. But there was no error when Kraefft gave his opponent the slip and marked 20 metres out to score at the 5 minute mark. But, when the game threatened to blow out, it wasn't going to happen just yet. The Blues had plenty of pace and fight in the second term; a highlight of the quarter being a run with multiple bounces from Matthew Edwins. And late in the quarter some scoreboard pressure began to be applied when ruckman Ashley Condon marked in the square and goaled, then Sommerville ran into space and snapped truly to cut the margin to 2 goals at the long break. And when Kershaw twice goaled early in the third, there was only a kick in it.

But, while the Sydney Uni side of last year may have been unable to hang on, or at best got up in a close contest, the 2008 Sydney Uni side has the ability to step up when under pressure; and a devastating burst late in the premiership quarter put the contest beyond doubt. At 16 minutes, Lee roved the pack and snapped truly. At 20 metres, Lee was paid a mark that only just travelled 15 metres and made no mistake. At 23 minutes, Kraefft outpositioned his opponent to mark in the square. At 25 minutes, Carr caught his opposition unawares by playing on. Kraefft played on when the crumbs of a marking contest spilled to him. Then at 28 minutes, moments before the siren, big Matt Wakelin was far too strong for his much smaller opponent in a one-out marking contest; and when was looking a close contest midway through the quarter had blown out to a 44-point margin by three quarter time.Andrew Kraefft shoots and scores

The sting had gone out of the game in the last term, but the Students continued to press home their advantage by running through 5 goals to 1 to cruise to a 69-point win. It was a triumph for Sydney Uni, remaining undefeated at outright top of the ladder and sending a shudder through the rest of the competition. For Campbelltown it was a disappointing performance, the only time they have been badly beaten so far this season - but a 2-2 record at this stage of the season gives them something to build on if they have the ability to bounce back from this performance.

 

The remaining games of the round were played on Sunday. With Drummoyne Oval closed, the Balmain v Wests game was moved to Monarch; and a 9-goal haul from Matt Eurell was the difference between the two sides. Wests held a 10-point lead at the last change, but a 6 goals to 1 final quarter extended the final margin to 40 points. As well as Eurell, Wests were also well served by solid contributions from Blizzard and Eid Kassem; while Daniel Napper contributed 4 goals for Balmain.

 Jay Karutz drives Sydney Uni forwardReigning premiers North Shore crashed to their fourth straight defeat when they were defeated by East Coast Eagles by 29 points at Henson Park. The Eagles set up their win with a strong first half to lead by 47 points at the long break, and despite a determined third quarter charge by North Shore that saw the margin cut to just 9 points by early in the last term, the Eagles had enough in reserve to hold on. Shane Ryan and Ben Rogers each scored 4 goals for the Eagles, while Daniel Kulk and Ron Wason scored 4 each for the Bombers.

 

St George raced out of the block at Olds Park against Pennant Hills to hold a 41-point lead at quarter time. But the Demons rallied, working hard to chip away at the Crows' lead; hitting the front late in the third term and completing the job in the final quarter to record a 22-point victory. Nick Campbell scored 6 for Pennant Hills in a best-on-ground performance, while Peter Dugmore scored 7 for the Crows.

 

It was a high-scoring contest when UNSW-ES hosted Wollongong at the Village Green, but the Bulldogs won every quarter to take out a 41-point win. Brad Abbott was again in good form up forward with 6 goals, while Dane Rampe and Ben Sutton were also prominent for the home side. Wollongong were well served by Scott Dennis with 4 goals, while McConnochie and Bartlett each scored 3 for the Lions.

 Matthew Edwins goes for a runFirst Division action saw NorWest Jets record their first win for 2008 with a 42-point win over Camden at Bensons Lane. Manly-Warringah's solid start was enough for them to get up over Holroyd-Parramatta by 22 points at Gipps Rd, while UTS were untroubled in defeating Penrith by 118 points at Greygums. At Gwawley Oval, Southern Sharks continued their unbeaten start to the season when they were 49 points too good for Macquarie Uni.

 

 

Sydney University   4.4   5.6   12.9   17.13 (115)

Campbelltown   1.4   3.6   5.7   6.10 (46)

Goals : Sydney Uni - A Lee 4, A Kraefft 3, M Wakelin 2, J Carr 2, A Everett 2, J Lawson, M Egan, C Clarebrough, B Coles. Campbelltown - S Kershaw 2, L Coughlan 2, B Sommerville, A Condon.

Reserves - Sydney Uni 27.17 (179) d Campbelltown 0.5 (5).

At Monarch Oval, Saturday 26th April.

 

Western Suburbs   3.6   7.10   11.13   17.17 (119)

Balmain   3.1   5.1   11.3    12.7 (79)

Goals : Wests - M Eurell 9, B Bray 2, M Withers, P Chachaty, P Gannon, T Johnston, M Frail, S Hudson. Balmain - D Napper 4, D Turner 2, R Officer 2, J Boyd, N Darvill, B Dixon, K Underwood.

Reserves - Wests 20.13 (133) d Balmain 2.5 (17)

At Monarch Oval, Sunday 27th April.

 Matt Wakelin takes a mark for the Students
East Coast Eagles   6.3   11.4   14.6   17.14 (116)

North Shore   3.2   4.5   11.8   13.9 (87)

Goals : East Coast - B Rogers 4, S Ryan 4, A Stubbs 2, G Seebeck 2, D Spiteri, G Garner, J Vlatko, G Stanford, R Smyth. North Shore - D Kulk 4, R Wason 4, L Pryor 2, A Nicks 2, A Lowes.

Reserves - East Coast 16.13 (109) d North Shore 6.5 (41)

At Henson Park, Sunday 27th April.

 

Pennant Hills   2.3   8.5   13.9   18.13 (121)

St George   9.2   10.3   13.6   15.9 (99)

Goals : Pennant Hills - N Campbell 6, J Duncan 2, B Mill, D De Looze, J Gaggin, R Ediwickrama, S Parker, K Wright, A Goodall, A Richardson, A Low, L Bilbe. St George - P Dugmore 7, D Donohue 2, J Minichiello 2, S Wilsen 2, D Ryan, P McBride.

Reserves - Pennant Hills 23.6 (144) d St George 3.5 (23)

At Olds Park, Sunday 27th April.

 

Uni NSW-Eastern Suburbs   7.4   12.9   18.13   22.14 (146)

Wollongong   5.3   9.4   13.4   16.9 (105)

Goals : UNSW-ES - B Abbott 6, D Rampe 2, M Collett 2, E Kiel 2, M Carey 2, T Luff 2, S Rutland, E Carroll, B Haberley, B Sutton, A Darling, L Jarjoura. Wollongong - S Dennis 4, A McConnochie 3, T Bartlett 3, C Stanton 2, J Philp 2, S Dowling, A Toussis.

Reserves - UNSW-ES 17.13 (115) d Wollongong 12.6 (78)

At Village Green, Sunday 27th April.

 

 PlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstPts%ageStreak
Sydney University440047232016147.50W4
Pennant Hills430146634112136.66W1
Uni NSW-Eastern Suburbs430145235712130.26W1
Western Suburbs430138830212128.48W2
East Coast Eagles42024113778109.02W1
St George4202329332899.10L1
Campbelltown4202286380875.26L1
Wollongong4103350417483.93L1
North Shore4004293435067.36L4
Balmain4004300496060.48L4


 


Alex Lee has another shot
First Division:

NorWest Jets 14.10 (94) d Camden 8.4 (52)

Manly-Warringah 14.16 (100) d Holroyd-Parramatta 11.12 (78)

UTS 19.15 (129) d Penrith 1.5 (11)

Southern Sharks 14.14 (98) d Macquarie Uni 7.7 (49)

Reserve Grade

NorWest Jets 23.22 (160) d Camden 3.3 (21)

Manly-Warringah 16.13 (109) d Holroyd-Parramatta 2.6 (18)

UTS 28.20 (128) d Penrith 1.0 (6)

Macquarie Uni 10.11 (71) d Southern Sharks 7.12 (54)

 

Second Division:

Manly-Warringah 11.11 (77) d Holroyd-Parramatta 6.8 (44)

Pennant Hills v Moorebank Sports - Postponed

UTS v Sydney Uni Blue - Postponed

Macquarie Uni v UNSW-ES Bulldogs - Postponed

Sydney Uni Red 17.16 (118) d UNSW-ES Whales 12.9 (81)

 

Under 18s Premier:

Campbelltown 10.18 (78) d North Shore Bears 7.8 (50)

St Ignatius Riverview v Wollongong - Postponed

Western Suburbs 23.15 (123) d Balmain 4.5 (29)

Pennant Hills 16.13 (109) d St George 6.7 (43)

North Shore Bombers 10.9 (69) d East Coast Eagles 5.7 (37)Shanan Kershaw shoots for the Blues

Under 18s Challenge:

Penrith 7.13 (55) d Pennant Hills 7.10 (52)

Macquarie Uni 11.8 (74) d Southern Sharks 8.11 (59)

Manly-Warringah 10.11 (71) d East Coast Eagles 6.8 (44)

UNSW-ES 24.19 (163) d Moorebank Sports 4.3 (27)

 

NEXT WEEK'S FIXTURES (Lurker's Kiss of Death in bold):

Fixtures subject to change. See SydneyAFL website or RWO message board for any fixture changes.

 

Saturday 3rd May

Monarch Oval - Campbelltown v East Coast Eagles (Seniors 2:10pm, Reserves 12pm)

Picken Oval - Western Suburbs v UNSW-ES (Seniors 2:10pm, Reserves 12pm)

Sydney Uni No 1 - Sydney Uni v Pennant Hills (Seniors 2:10pm, Reserves 12pm)

Gore Hill Oval - North Shore v Balmain (Seniors 2:15pm, Reserves 12:15pm)

North Dalton Oval - Wollongong v St George (Seniors 6:10pm, Reserves 4pm)

 

First Division:

Saturday 3rd May (Seniors 2:10pm, Reserves 12pm)

Fairfax Reserve - Camden v Holroyd-Parramatta

Gwawley Oval - Southern Sharks v Penrith

Trumper Park - UTS v Macquarie University

Weldon Oval - Manly-Warringah v NorWest JetsCentre Bounce

Second Division:

Saturday 3rd May

Sydney Uni No 1 - Sydney Uni Blue v Macquarie Uni (10am)

Village Green - UNSW-ES Whales v Holroyd-Parramatta (10am)

Ern Holmes Oval - Pennant Hills v Sydney Uni Red (12pm)

Village Green - UNSW-ES Bulldogs v UTS (12pm)

Rosedale Oval - Moorebank Sports v Manly-Warringah (5pm)

 

Under 18s Premier:

Saturday 3rd May

Gore Hill Oval - North Shore Bombers v Balmain (8:15am)

Monarch Oval - Campbelltown v East Coast Eagles (10am)

Picken Oval - Western Suburbs v St Ignatius Riverview (10am)

Gore Hill Oval - North Shore Bears v Pennant Hills (10:15am)

North Dalton Oval - Wollongong v St George (2pm)

 

Under 18s Challenge:

Saturday 3rd May

Ern Holmes Oval - Pennant Hills v Macquarie Uni (10am)

Gwawley Oval - Southern Sharks v Penrith (10am)

Weldon Oval - Manly-Warringah v Moorebank Sports (10am)

Sunday 4th May

Village Green - UNSW-ES v East Coast Eagles (9am)Mark Egan finds space for the Students

RWO MATCH OF THE ROUND

The Illawarra lights up for the southern derby, and the stakes are high. Both Wollongong and St George were given reality checks last week, with Wollongong outgunned in a high-scoring shootout while St George were unable to hang on despite a strong start against Pennant Hills. Both teams are within sight of the top 5, but a loss here for either side, especially for Wollongong, sees them at risk of falling well short of finals contention.

It's a crunch game, and it will be played under lights at North Dalton Oval on Saturday night. The reserves commences at 4pm, with the seniors first bounce at 6:10pm.