SYDNEY AFL ROUND 3 2011
Everyone in Sydney footy dreads the sight of rain on Friday. Overnight rain forced a string of last-minute ground closures; games being relocated or postponed with just a few hours notice, the league and club volunteers scrambling to phone, SMS and email everyone at their club to advise of the new arrangements. It’s not a satisfactory situation, but it’s one we’re stuck with.
Sunday’s match between Balmain and UNSW-ES was shifted from Drummoyne Oval to Mahoney Park. The match pitted the two teams that had won their opening two games against each other, and top spot on the ladder was on the line. As usually seems to be the case at Mahoney Park, the area around the clubhouse was a quagmire; but the boundary line, although not particularly well marked, is a boundary of surface quality, with the actual playing surface in reasonable condition.
The Bulldogs started brightly, with three goals in the first 10 minutes. Both sides had plenty of numbers around the ball in the early stages, in which there were plenty of ball-ups and boundary throw-ins; and all three early UNSW-ES goals came with the ball being snapped out of packs.
The Dockers needed something to spark them into action, and it came when Luke Freemantle gave congestion the old heave-ho with a run and three bounces down the wing. Two goals within a minute cut the margin back to within a kick before the Bulldogs again tightened the game up and the scoreboard would not tick over again until deep in time-on.
It took a clanger from Hayden Nicholls to open the scoring again. Nicholls had taken a strong defensive mark, but then kicked into the man on the mark. The Dockers grabbed the ball and centred Rohan Bates; who marked and was collected late to receive a 50 metre penalty. His goal gave the Dockers the lead for the only time in the first half, by a point. It was a rare lapse for Nicholls, who otherwise had an excellent game and kept teen sensation Tom Head quiet for much of the afternoon.
A behind to the Bulldogs levelled the scores, before Peter Kefalas intercepted a poor kick-in to snap truly as the quarter time siren sounded.
The second term was a low-scoring affair, with only one goal apiece. Ben Haberley, who was denied a goal earlier in the quarter when he was tackled from behind by Ben Taggart when running into an open goal, again found space and this time eluded the Docker chasers. And late in the quarter, Saddington landed a 50 metre bomb that just cleared the outstretched Docker hands on the goal-line by millimetres. But for most of the quarter it was a scramble for possession and neither side was able to create any superiority.
It was a 7-point lead to UNSW-ES at the long break, but within four minutes of the restart the Dockers were in front. Nick Todd presented himself as a target to mark and goal from 25 metres out, and James Howard then grubbered a goal through to see the lead change hands. By now the Dockers were growing in confidence and getting more of the footy, Taggart making an attempt at grabbing the speckie of the season but was unable to hold it. But former Swans Nic Fosdike and Jason Saddington both added another goal to the Balmain tally, and as the clock moved towards time-on they were looking set.
But suddenly, out of nowhere, the Bulldogs staged a mini-revival. An attempted checkside by Oscar Sidlo-Jones just sailed wide. But the first Bulldog goal for the quarter wasn’t far away, with Kefalas going long for Leigh Lavery to grab a chest-mark and goal. An infringement in the centre bounce gave Tom Heath a generous 50 metre penalty, a long goal cutting further into the deficit. The Bulldogs again got the centre break, the ball being pumped long to a slips-catch mark by Richard Troon as the three-quarter time siren sounded. It was a chance to cut the margin back to a point and finish the quarter with the momentum, but the shot went out on the full and the chance was lost.
The Dockers started the last term strongly, Rohan Lilly marking and goaling in the opening minute. Jason Saddington on the lead added another, and the Dockers were home. Another Docker goal and two late consolation goals for the Bulldogs would follow, but it was Balmain’s day.
A three-game winning streak to start the season will warm the heart of the most battle-hardened Balmain diehard. Ben Taggert, Daniel Turner and Travis Stevens were named among Balmain’s best, but it was a solid team effort by Balmain, and they retain top spot on the ladder. For the Bulldogs, Hayden Nicholls, Max Collett and Oscar Sidlo-Jones were key contributors.
Gore Hill was closed, with the Premier Division match between North Shore and East Coast moved to Bruce Purser. And, helped along by the unexpected home ground advantage and kicking with the wind in the first quarter, the Eagles got off to a flying start. They could have made more of their first quarter dominance, in which they achieved 10 scoring shots to one, but held a 24-point lead at quarter time.
After an even second quarter, an early goal to the Bombers in the third term saw the margin cut back to within three goals. But the Bombers could match it with the Eagles no further, and East Coast dominated the rest of the match. Three goals to the Eagles late in the quarter stretched the margin to 36 points at the last change; and seven unanswered goals in the last turned the game into a blowout.
Daniel Spiteri again underlined his class with a best-on-ground performance, while Stephen O’Connor and Michael Johnston were also prominent performers for the Eagles. On a disappointing day for the Bombers, Lachy Pryor, David Martin and Dale Fitzgerald continued to work hard all day.
The early games at Sydney Uni No 1 were called off, but the Premier Division match between Sydney Uni and Wests went ahead. And the Students, fresh from their bye last week, had the better of proceedings all day to complete a 33-point win to maintain their unbeaten record for 2011.
The Magpies led by 6 points at quarter time, but the Students wasted little time in taking the lead in the second term. At half time the Students were 14 points ahead, and with the Magpies held to just one goal in the second half, the Students were able to gradually ease further ahead. But a combination of a wet ball, a blustery wind and some poor execution saw the Students’ goal-kicking radar desert them, the Students scoring 3.11 in the second half.
On a day when scores were hard to come by, Adam Campbell’s three goals was worth their weight in gold. Campbell, along with Jack Caspersonn and Anton Turco, were among the Students’ best. For the Magpies, Jeffrey Morgan, David Cusick and Robert Bamford toiled hard in difficult conditions.
Australian Football was played on Waverley Oval for the first time as UTS hosted Illawarra on Saturday. The old grandstand is gone, and the game was played on a heavy track with the teams using demountable rooms and the western wing was a construction site. But the Bats have high hopes for the ground when it is completed, and its location on a major road on a busy commercial and tourist area provides a great opportunity for exposure of footy.
Heavy rain and a stiff southerly buster made conditions difficult, and every goal was kicked to the northern end. The Lions had first use of the wind and led by 20 points at the first change, but UTS made better use of their turn with the breeze at their backs to take the lead and hold a 19-point advantage at the long break. The Lions worked hard in the third term, but scoring was difficult. The Lions would eventually take the lead; but with an advantage of just 7 points at the final break and the Bats coming home with the wind, it didn’t look to be enough.
But, like a cricket team bowled out cheaply when chasing a small total for an outright, the Bats were unable to make any impact on the deficit. Wollongong were magnificent, standing up under pressure, getting to the bottom of every pack and denying the Bats possession. The tide began to flow Illawarra’s way, and the Bats were unable to get the ball into their forward 50. Against all odds, and against all expectations, the Lions held UTS scoreless in the final term to complete a remarkable victory.
Troy Bartlett scored 4 goals for the Lions in a best on ground effort, while Ryan Woodward and Barron Hanson were also prominent performers. For the Bats, Chris Tolj, Hamish Turner and Andrew Morley were among their best.
An explosive start by Pennant Hills propelled them to a 53-point win over Campbelltown at Blacktown Olympic Park on Sunday. The Demons raced out of the blocks with seven goals in the first quarter to lead by 36 points at the first change. The second quarter was more evenly contested, but the Blues were never a chance to get back into the contest; and when the Demons kicked another seven-goal haul in the third quarter the margin at the last change was 64 points. Although the Blues won the final quarter, it was of academic and percentage interest only, as the Demons had already done enough to cruise to victory.
Jonathan Gourlay, Brant Jack and Tim Scoular were among Pennant Hills’ best; while the Blues were well served by a 5-goal haul from Owen Love, who along with Marcus Linsen and Scott Hardy were among the best for Campbelltown.
Balmain 3.2 4.3 8.8 11.13 (79)
UNSW-ES 4.2 5.5 7.7 9.9 (63)
Goals : Balmain -
J Saddington 3, M Edwins 2, N Fosdike 2, R Lilly, N Todd, J Bates,
J Howard. UNSW-ES -
B Woods 2, R Troon, P Kefalas, T Heath, E Kiel, L Lavery,B Haberley, A Duthie.
Best : Balmain -
B Taggart, D Turner, T Stevens, J Saddington, J Coulloupas, J Ryder. UNSW-ES -
H Nichols, M Collett, O Sidlo-Jones, A Henderson, N Tsindos, A Rodrigues.
At Mahoney Park, Sunday 17th April 2011.
East Coast Eagles 4.6 6.9 9.10 16.12 (108)
North Shore 1.0 3.1 4.4 4.7 (31)
Goals : East Coast –
Jon Vlatko 3, S Doyle 3, A Moeller 2, M Goodey 2, D Spiteri 2, B Rogers, S O’Connor, D Charleston, J Dwyer. North Shore –
L Clancy 2, P Codling, T Weston.
Best : East Coast –
D Spiteri, S O’Connor, M Johnston, T Baker, R Bilkey, Jon Vlatko. North Shore –
L Pryor, D Martin, D Fitzgerald, A Harry, P Bourne, S Paynter.
At Bruce Purser Reserve, Saturday 16th April 2011.
Sydney University 1.2 4.7 5.12 7.18 (60)
Western Suburbs 2.2 2.3 3.7 3.9 (27)
Goals : Sydney Uni –
A Campbell 3, A Turco, J Cole, M Carter, T Elkington. Wests –
C Lees 2, J Morgan.
Best : Sydney Uni –
A Campbell, J Caspersonn, A Turco, C Kendrick, J Cole, C Clarebrough. Wests –
J Morgan, D Cusick, R Bamford, S Lear, R Barrett, F McFarlane.
At Sydney Uni No 1 Oval, Saturday 16th April 2011.
Illawarra 3.3 3.4 7.6 7.14 (56)
UTS 0.1 6.5 6.5 6.5 (41)
Goals : Illawarra –
T Bartlett 4, M Toussis, M Daly, R Woodward. UTS –
M Trewhella 2, H Turner, A Davis, S Silver, J Spragg.
Best : Illawarra –
T Bartlett, R Woodward, B Hanson, D Goodley, M Daly. UTS –
C Tolj, H Turner, A Morley, F Purcell, D Williams, M Trewhella.
At Waverley Oval, Saturday 16th April 2011.
Pennant Hills 7.3 10.3 17.8 19.13 (127)
Campbelltown 1.3 3.6 6.10 10.14 (74)
Goals : Pennant Hills -
N Campbell 3, J Gourlay 3, M Thomas 2, J Keen 2, L Bilbe 2, B Jack 2, J Lewis 2, R Watts, K. Wright, D. Maunsell. Campbelltown -
O Love 5, B Sommerville 2, K Clark 2, M Moore.
Best : Pennant Hills -
J Gourlay, B Jack, T Scoular, K Wright, J Mobbs, J Lewis. Campbelltown -
M Linsen, O Love, S Hardy, B Wharton, N Williams, S Kershaw.
At Blacktown Olympic Park, Saturday 16th April 2011.
Macquarie University 11.10 (76) d UNSW/ES 7.2 (44)
Manly Warringah 11.15 (81) d Pennant Hills 5.4 (34)
North Shore v East Coast Eagles - Postponed
Sydney University v Western Suburbs – Postponed
UTS v Illawarra – Postponed
Ladder (Match Ratio) –
Manly-Warringah (100, 446.81%), Macquarie Uni (100, 367.86%), Southern Power (100, 180.00%), East Coast (50, 171.25%), North Shore (50, 100.81%), UTS (50, 76.47%), Western Suburbs (50, 67.09%), Pennant Hills (33.33, 55.10%), Illawarra (0, 63.70%), UNSW-ES (0, 30.17%), Sydney Uni (0, 25.29%).
Holroyd Parramatta 11.6 (72) d Moorebank 8.6 (54)
Penrith 16.13 (109) d Manly Warringah 4.14 (38)
Balmain Dockers 14.16 (100)) d Nor West 5.6 (36)
St George 13.8 (86) d Camden 11.8 (74)
Auburn v Sydney University – Postponed
Ladder (Match Ratio) –
Balmain (100, 262.07%), Sydney Uni (100, 146.46%), Penrith (66.67, 167.32%), St George (66.67, 104.67%), Manly-Warringah (66.67, 98.07%), Auburn (50, 82.71%), Holroyd-Parramatta (33.33, 85.92%), NorWest (33.33, 79.15%), Moorebank (0, 60.57%), Camden (0, 48.03%).
Southern Power 13.8 (86) d North Shore 4.2 (26)
UNSW-ES 7.14 (56) d Macquarie Uni 4.9 (33)
Sydney Uni v Western Suburbs – postponed
UTS v East Coast – postponed
Saints AFC v Campbelltown – postponed
UNSW-ES (12, 389.66%), Southern Power (8, 158.80%), Sydney Uni (8, 109.77%), Saints AFC (4, 223.81%), Wests (4, 114.17%), East Coast (4, 104.35%), UTS (4, 85.48%), Campbelltown (4, 24.59%), Macquarie Uni (0, 70.24%), North Shore (0, 24.92%).
Penrith 15.21 (111) d Manly-Warringah 3.2 (20)
Moorebank 5.8 (38) d Holroyd-Parramatta 5.6 (36)
Macquarie Uni 8.12 (60) d UNSW-ES 2.9 (21)
UTS v NorWest – postponed.
Ladder (Match Ratio) –
Penrith (100, 300.00%), Macquarie Uni (100, 227.97%), Moorebank (66.67, 154.70%), Manly-Warringah (50, 74.36%), Holroyd-Parramatta (33.33, 88.27%), UNSW-ES (33.33, 50.85%), NorWest (0, 85.09%), UTS (0, 37.69%), Auburn (0, 21.47%).
Moorebank 17.16 (118) d Holroyd-Parramatta 6.8 (44)
Southern Power 13.19 (97) d Manly-Warringah 2.2 (14)
Saints AFC 17.8 (110) d Camden 5.3 (33)
Sydney Uni 7.17 (59) d Macquarie Uni 2.10 (22)
Southern Power (12, 310.20%), Macquarie Uni (8, 160.63%), Sydney Uni (8, 154.81%), Saints AFC (8, 149.42%), Manly-Warringah (8, 107.41%), Moorebank (4, 84.75%), Camden (0, 37.76%), Holroyd-Parramatta (0, 29.28%).
Under 18s Premier:
Sydney University 15.14 (104) d Western Suburbs 2.13 (25)
St George 11.6 (72) d Illawarra 5.14.(44)
Penrith 10.9 (69) d UNSW/ES 8.7 (55)
St Ignatius Riverview 10.14 (74) d Pennant Hills 7.7 (49)
North Shore v East Coast Eagles – Postponed
Ladder (Match Ratio) –
North Shore (100, 317.98%), East Coast (100, 192.93%), St Ignatius Riverview (100, 128.24%), Wests (66.67, 78.60%), Sydney Uni (33.33, 104.81%), St George (33.33, 90.23%), Pennant Hills (33.33, 76.53%), Illawarra (33.33, 68.10%), Penrith (33.33, 59.50%), UNSW-ES (0, 80.00%).
Under 18s Challenge:
Macquarie Uni Warriors 14.18 (102) d East Coast Eagles 7.4 (46)
Holroyd Parramatta 17.11 (113) d Moorebank 3.11 (29)
Southern Power 9.6 (60) d Manly Warringah 4.11 (35)
Campbelltown 16.15 (111) d Mac Uni Kookas 2.2 (14)
Ladder (Match Ratio) –
Campbelltown (100, 1003.57%), Southern Power (100, 281.31%), Mac Uni Warriors (100, 228.23%), Manly-Warringah (66.67, 151.72%), Holroyd-Parramatta (50, 163.92%), East Coast (33.33, 43.16%), Balmain (0, 76.74%), Moorebank (0, 28.77%), Mac Uni Kookas (0, 17.43%).
NEXT WEEK’S FIXTURES:
Premier Division (Lurker’s Kiss of Death in bold)
Monday 25th April
Campbelltown v St George
(Blacktown Olympic Park, 2:10pm)
East Coast Eagles
v UNSW-ES (Bruce Purser Reserve, 2:10pm)
Western Suburbs v Balmain
(Picken Oval, 2:10pm)
Illawarra v Sydney University
(North Dalton Oval, 2:10pm)
BYE – UTS, Pennant Hills, North Shore
Monday 25th April
Manly-Warringah v Southern Power (Blacktown Olympic Park, 12pm)
East Coast Eagles v UNSW-ES (Bruce Purser Reserve, 12pm)
Western Suburbs v Macquarie Uni (Picken Oval, 12pm)
Illawarra v Sydney Uni (North Dalton Oval, 12pm)
BYE – UTS, Pennant Hills, North Shore
GENERAL BYE –
Divisions 2-5, Under 18s Premier, Under 18s Challenge.