SYDNEY AFL ROUND 9 2010
Article and Photos by Michael Shillito
The weather was unkind to Sydney football in the leadup to this weekend, a weekend that was due to be the half way point of the season. Access to grounds in wet conditions has for so long been the bane of Sydney football’s existence, and so it was to be again. Heavy rain and an over-protective approach to closing grounds played havoc with the fixturing; with just 8 out of 27 open-age games going ahead and both under-18s competitions being postponed in their entirety.

But the entire Premier Division round went ahead, and Henson Park played host to a double-header on Sunday; the first game between Campbelltown and Sydney Uni shaping as one of the pivotal games that potentially could shape the season. When the two sides played at Monarch last season, the Blues won by a point, a result got Campbelltown into the finals at the expense of Sydney Uni. But this time round the game was considerably more one-sided; but the result could end up being one that shapes the finals destiny of both teams.

It started well enough for Campbelltown, with Mark Edwins sharking the crumbs from a marking contest to goal in the opening minute. But that early score was a rare highlight for the Blues in the first term, as the Students were soon in control of the match. On 7 minutes, Alex Lee pounced on a loose ball and snapped truly. A minute later, David Mitchell had a set shot on a tight angle. He didn’t make the distance but the ball spilled free for Alex Lee to pass off to Mark Egan and the Students were in front.
Anton Turco intercepted a kick-in to add another. Egan converted a set shot from 40 metres, and then another after leading out and marking 25 out. It was all too easily, and even though the Blues got one back against the run of play the Students led by 21 points at the first change.
The second quarter was the Mark Egan show. The Students kicked five unanswered goals for the quarter, four of them coming from the boot of the number 5 to give him a total of 7 for the first half. And in every case it was a similar story, finding it far too easy to shake off the attention of the defender and lead out into space for an uncontested grab. It was good football from Sydney Uni, the opportunist forward receiving perfect delivery from a switched-on midfield. But for the Blues, too few chances were created and none were taken. The Blues would score just 5 points for the quarter, including a shocker from Blake McCrossen who somehow managed to miss a shot from the edge of the goalsquare after receiving a 50m penalty.

The Students led by 49 points at half time, and if Campbelltown were to have any hope of getting back into the contest they needed to get a run on in the third term. And early on, they played their best football of the game. The opening centre break found Matthew Keys and the Blues had a goal on the board within 30 seconds. The next centre break made its way to Nick Hudson, who attempted a repeat but narrowly missed. Two minutes later, Hudson was on the board after playing on to run in and score. Two quick-fire points to the Blues cut the margin to 33 points.
But the Blues’ revival was to be short-lived, as the Students tightened the screws and allowed the Blues to get no closer. A clever snap by Clint Wells broke the Blues’ momentum, before Egan led out to mark and kick goal number 8. A running double to Andrew Kraefft and a clever grubber kick goal by Ben Mankarious ensured that, for all Campbelltown’s hard work in the early stages, the Students would still win the quarter.
By the last change the game was safe for Sydney Uni. The last quarter was mainly going through the motions, but Campbelltown stuck to their guns to kick 5 goals and at least win the final quarter. But this was emphatically Sydney Uni’s game.
The final margin was 64 points, a comprehensive win for the Students. Mark Egan finished with 8 goals in a dominant best-on-ground performance, with Andrew Kraefft contributing 3. The Students were also well served around the ground by Nick Barton and Adam McConnochie. For Campbelltown, Matthew Keys and Dale Chivas were among their best.

The Students’ result saw them move into the top 3 double-chance zone and the Blues now are a game outside the top 5 after the second game of the double header. Pennant Hills caused a minor upset with a 28-point win over North Shore.
While the early game was played in sunshine, the dark clouds began to gather as the Demons v Bombers game got under way, and by half time the rain was falling heavily. And the metaphorical cloud of doom and gloom was gathering over the Bombers, who created plenty of early chances but were pressured out of taking any advantage of them by a committed Pennant Hills side. The Demons would kick the first 5 goals of the game, the Bombers unable to register a major score until late in the second term; and at the long break the Demons led by 22 points.
A Bomber revival in the third term saw them register 4 goals in the first 15 minutes and the margin was cut to 3 points. But just as it looked like the pendulum was swinging the Bombers’ way the Demons steadied and three late goals restored the half time margin. The last quarter saw just a single goal scored, as the Demons took out their best victory of the season to date.
Over the years Pennant Hills has developed a reputation as a production line of local talent, and the Demons have again churned out some young guns in 2010. Nick Bills, playing his first full season of Australian football, again showed he has what it takes in the game with a bag of 5 goals. And in the ruck, the Demons welcomed back Alex Fraunfelter to senior ranks for the first time since the memorable 2006 grand final. Kieran Wright and Seb Parker were also among the best for Pennant Hills. For North Shore, Lachlan Pryor scored 3 while Cameron Holmes and Lachlan Clancy worked hard all day.

On Saturday at the Village Green, Wests ensured they would keep a share of the competition lead when the Magpies recorded a 31-point win over UNSW-ES. The Magpies wasted chances early, but tightened the screws in the second quarter to take a 20-point lead into the half time break. The heavy conditions made it tricky for either side to get any form of running game going, and goals were hard to come by; but the Magpies scored 2 goals to 1 in the third term to put the game out of UNSW-ES’s reach, and winning the last quarter to put the issue beyond doubt.
In a low-scoring game, Matt Eurell was a shining light up forward with 4 goals for Wests. The Magpies were also well served by Rohan Lilly, Brenton Mumme and Kris Cochrane; in a game that keeps the Magpies in equal top spot. But for UNSW-ES, the result was their 5th straight defeat, despite the efforts of Peter Kefalas and Max Collett who kept having a dip all day.


East Coast Eagles maintained their hold on top spot with a convincing 104-point win over Wollongong at North Dalton Oval on Saturday. The Eagles started well to lead by 16 points at the first change, but it was in the second term that the damage was done. The defending champions suffered a shock loss to the Lions at North Dalton last year, but ensured there would be no repeat this time round when they ran through 8 goals to 1 in the second quarter.
By half time the margin was 60 points, and despite the heavy conditions the Eagles would score another 11 goals in the second half to get the final winning margin into 3 figures. Jamie Vlatko was an imposing presence up forward for the Eagles with 8 goals in a best-on-ground performance, while Kristian Pearson with 4 and Peter Vlatko with 3 also made key goalkicking contributions. Around the ground, Rowan Bilkey and Mike Beardsley were also prominent performers. For Wollongong, Barron Hanson and Mitchell Daly worked hard all day; but it was one of those days for the Lions when nothing was going right.

With Olds Park closed, the St George v Balmain game was moved to Mahoney Park. The match saw Balmain move off the bottom when the Dockers turned on their best football so far this season to defeat the Dragons by 46 points.
The Dockers led by 8 points after a high-scoring shootout in the opening term, but extended their advantage with four unanswered goals in the second quarter. And although the Dragons would challenge Balmain, the Dockers had the answers to anything that St George could throw at them, and there would be no comeback for the Dragons.
Nick Davis and James Howard scored 4 goals for the Dockers, while Rohan Bates and Janis Blums were key contributors around the ground. After copping some thumpings earlier in the season, the Dockers have won 2 in a row and are showing some signs of having turned the corner. David Ryan and Jon Shineberg were among St George’s best. The Dragons, a team of mainly home-grown juniors, are rebuilding their list and had a winning streak going a few weeks ago, but now find themselves a win outside the top 5 and with a poor percentage are at risk of falling out of finals calculations.


Sydney University 5.6 10.9 15.10 19.18 (132)
Campbelltown 2.3 2.8 4.13 9.14 (68)
Goals : Sydney Uni –
M Egan 8, A Kraefft 3, A Lee 2, B Mankarious 2, G Stevens, A Turco, A McConnochie, C Wells. Campbelltown – M Edwins 2, L Coughlan 2, N Hudson, C Fretwell, G Webb, H Wells, M Keys.
Best : Sydney Uni – M Egan, N Barton, A McConnochie, A Turco, A Lee, T Barton. Campbelltown – M Keys, D Chivas, R Moller, M Edwins, S Doherty, R Bottin-Noonan.
At Henson Park, Sunday 6th June 2010.

Pennant Hills 2.2 5.5 9.8 10.10 (70)
North Shore 0.5 1.8 5.10 5.12 (42)
Goals : Pennant Hills –
N Bills 5, L Bilbe 2, B Jack, A Fraunfelter, J McInerney. North Shore – L Pryor 3, A Harry, E Davis.
Best : Pennant Hills – K Wright, S Parker, J Clarke, N Bills, J Low. North Shore – C Holmes, L Clancy, L Pryor, R Grigg, B Fitzgerald, B Youlten.
At Henson Park, Sunday 6th June 2010.

Western Suburbs 2.5 5.6 7.10 9.14 (68)
UNSW-ES 1.1 2.4 3.6 5.7 (37)
Goals : Wests –
M Eurell 4, D Creswell 2, B Mumme, E Kassem, R Lilly. UNSW-ES – B Abbott 2, P Kefalas, A Rodrigues, B Woods.
Best : Wests – R Lilly, B Mumme, K Cochrane, D Cusick, T Lambert, S Hudson. UNSW-ES – P Kefalas, M Collett, J Kiel, A Rodrigues, J Robbie, A Pech.
At Village Green, Saturday 5th June 2010.

East Coast Eagles 3.6 11.9 16.13 22.16 (148)
Wollongong 1.2 2.3 5.5 6.8 (44)
Goals : East Coast –
J Vlatko 8, K Pearson 4, P Vlatko 3, T Baker 2, R Silvester, B Rogers, D Bowles, M Clinch, S O’Connor. Wollongong – B Black 2, T Bartlett, J McInnes, R Woodward, T Bell.
Best : East Coast – J Vlatko, R Bilkey, M Beardsley, S Ryan, T Baker, J Steer. Wollongong – B Hanson, M Daly, J Lewis, B Black, K Ewen-Chappell, T Bell.
At North Dalton Oval, Saturday 5th June 2010.

Balmain Dockers 6.2 10.6 14.6 19.10 (124)
St George 5.0 5.3 10.5 12.6 (78)
Goals : Balmain –
N Davis 4, J Howard 4, A Azhar 2, D Brian 2, N Todd 2, C Fletcher 2, K Underwood, T Schmidt, J Britton. St George – B Addison 2, D Ryan 2, D Rixon 2, P McBride, S Wilsen, T Cole, S Bowen, L Perris, S Klein.
Best : Balmain – R Bates, J Blums, J Howard, C Fletcher, J Farrell, N Davis. St George – D Ryan, J Shineberg, L Perris, R Lombardo, D Donohue, S Bowen.
At Mahoney Park, Saturday 5th June 2010.

 Played
Won
Draw
Lost
For
Agnst
Pts
%age
Strk
East Coast Eagles
9
7
0
2
1,102
548
28
201.09
W3
Western Suburbs
9
7
0
2
888
609
28
145.81
W2
Sydney University
9
7
0
2
977
711
28
137.41
W5
North Shore
9
6
0
3
1,015
604
24
168.05
L1
Pennant Hills
9
5
0
4
765
660
20
115.91
W1
Campbelltown
9
4
0
5
749
931
16
80.45
L3
St George
9
4
0
5
633
833
16
79.59
L2
UNSW-ES
9
2
0
7
651
910
8
71.54
L5
Balmain
9
2
0
7
608
1,286
8
47.28
W2
Wollongong
9
1
0
8
613
939
4
65.28
L2



First Division:
Sydney Uni 7.6 (48) d UTS 4.8 (32)

Second Division:
UTS 9.15 (69) d Sydney Uni 2.6 (18)

Third Division:
UTS 11.10 (76) d Sydney Uni 7.5 (47)

Fourth Division:
No matches played.

Under 18s Premier:
No matches played.

Under 18s Challenge:
No matches played.

NEXT ROUND MATCHES:
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th June
Catch-up matches. Fixtures to be confirmed. Refer to Sydney AFL website and RedAndWhiteOnline forum for further details.

Premier Division Round 10 (Lurker’s Kiss of Death in bold):
Saturday 19th June
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Pennant Hills (2:10pm)
Olds Park – St George v Western Suburbs (2:10pm)
Village Green – UNSW-ES v East Coast Eagles (2:10pm)
Sunday 20th June
Blacktown Olympic Park – Sydney University v Balmain Dockers (2:10pm)
North Dalton Oval – Wollongong v North Shore (2:10pm)

First Division:
Saturday 19th June
Village Green – UNSW-ES v East Coast Eagles (12pm)
Trumper Park – UTS v Pennant Hills (2:30pm)
University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Western Suburbs (2:30pm)
Sunday 20th June
Blacktown Olympic Park – Sydney Uni v Manly-Warringah (12pm)
North Dalton Oval – Wollongong v North Shore (12pm)

Second Division:
Saturday 19th June
Olds Park – St George v Manly-Warringah (12pm)
Trumper Park – UTS v Balmain Dockers (12:30pm)
Harrington Park – Camden v NorWest Jets (2:10pm)
Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney University v Holroyd-Parramatta (2:10pm)
Sunday 20th June
Village Green – UNSW-ES v Southern Power (2:10pm)

Third Division:
Saturday 19th June
Trumper Park – UTS v Moorebank Sports (10:30am)
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Pennant Hills (12pm)
Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney University v Holroyd-Parramatta (12pm)
University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Southern Power (12:30pm)
Sunday 20th June
Bruce Purser Oval – East Coast Eagles v Penrith (2:10pm)

Fourth Division:
Saturday 19th June
Trumper Park – UTS v Saints AFC (8:30am)
Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney Uni v Holroyd-Parramatta (10am)
University Oval – Mac Uni Warriors v Southern Power (10:30am)
Harrington Park – Camden v NorWest Jets (12pm)
Rosedale Oval – Moorebank Sports v Mac Uni Kookas (2pm)
Pittwater No 6 – Manly-Warringah v Penrith (2:10pm)
Sunday 20th June
Village Green – UNSW-ES v Auburn (12pm)

Under 18s Premier:
Friday 18th June
Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney Uni v St Ignatius Riverview (7:30pm)
Saturday 19th June
Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Pennant Hills (10am)
Olds Park – St George v Western Suburbs (10am)
Village Green – UNSW-ES v East Coast Eagles (10am)
Sunday 20th June
North Dalton Oval – Wollongong v North Shore (10am)

Under 18s Challenge:
Saturday 19th June
University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Southern Power (8:30am)
Bruce Purser Oval – East Coast v Moorebank Sports (12pm)
Pittwater No 6 – Manly-Warringah v Penrith (12pm)
Holroyd-Parramatta has the bye.