Round 11 – Under 19’s
Aquinas 18.13 – 121 def. Peninsula OB 4.6 – 30
- J. Abed 4, H. Dwyer 4, J. Williams 3, H. Kerr 2, O. Philipson, L. Cellante, L. Brown, M. Di Donato, G. O”Malley
- Z. Jones, J. Williams, J. Abed, G. O”Malley, H. Dwyer, T. Love
The young Bloods took on the 11th placed Peninsula on what was a very frosty and dewy winters morning at home. However, the cold conditions couldn’t freeze over this group of Bloods enthusiasm, as they hit the first bounce with a vast display of energy and intensity.
Despite Peninsula kicking the first goal of the game, Aquinas were dominating right across the ground and were rewarded by their hard work by booting the next 6 goals of the quarter, going into the first break with a 32-point lead.
Campbell Grech continuously gave his on-ball brigade first look of the footy in the ruck, with the midfield taking complete control over the second quarter. Last year’s best and fairest winner John Kerr along with young gun Zac Jones in his return from injury were instrumental in the midfield, which provided the forward line with ample opportunity to score.
And score they did. The Bloods booted another 6 goals to the Peninsula’s none, thanks to the brilliant efforts of the tall-timbered Aquinas forwards. Joey Abed in his best game in the red, black and green, accompanied by the crowd favourite Jack ‘Fridge’ Williams were unstoppable up forward as they managed to kick 4 and 3 goals respectively for the day.
The Under 19’s went into the major break with an attractive 72-point lead on the back of a dominant first half performance.
However, all good things must come to an end, with the third quarter following that trend. Peninsula came down from the winded labyrinth of the club room ramps, possessing signs of a more spirited and determined outfit.
The pirates completely shifted the momentum towards their advantage and managed to slow down the pace of the game by chipping the ball across their backline. This slow, control of possession didn’t suit Aquinas who prefer a run and gun style of play, which was evident by Peninsula winning the quarter as they kicked 3 goals to 2.
Coach Craig ‘Ox’ Glennie was frustrated by his team who visibly went into their shells and stopped playing the Bloods brand of footy. The 3-quarter time spray must have hit home as his young troops came out fired up. This was evident as they managed to boot an early goal thanks to a Barry Plant goal of the day contender from Oliver Philipson who snapped truly over his head from the water tanks.
Eventually the Bloods sunk the Pirates with a 91-point smashing as they managed to wrestle momentum back into their favour.
Harry Dwyer put together a monstrous performance across half forward, providing a constant target up the ground whilst also managing to boot 4 majors as a reward for his efforts. Gavin O’Malley was also important in his return game from injury as he imposed himself throughout the ruck and across the forward line.
It wasn’t just the forwards who helped the young bloods to victory, with the backline putting together a solid performance all game. With linchpins Kieran Hummel and Micah Veith out for the game, a large hole was left in the Aquinas backline. However, first-gamer Toby Love and the intercept maestro in Jacob Costello were brilliant in defence, not giving an inch to their opponents all day. Captain and backman for the day Michael Di Dinato was pivotal in keeping Peninsula to just the 4 majors for the entire game.
This win keeps the Bloods in finals contention as they move on to a very important game against 3rd placed Oakleigh at Aquinas College next weekend.
By Phil Jurkovsky