Aquinas 22.25 157 def. North Brunswick 9.10 64
S. Williams 5, H. Judge 5, J. Perrett 4, J. Butcher 2, B. O”Loughlin 2, J. Miles, P. Dyck, R. Foster, S. Ragozzini
S. Williams, P. Dyck, J. Perrett, N. Morrison-Storey, D. D”Angelo, H. Judge
Aquinas took on old rivals Elsternwick in the comfort of Bloods Stadium and were looking to make it 12 straight victories.
Despite a tight affair back in round 2, The Bloods have had the measure over ‘The Wickers’ in recent years and were looking to continue this trend.
With many key players returning to the senior line-up, Aquinas fielded one of their strongest teams for the season. Russell Foster joined the likes of skipper Lachlan Barnes, Sam Williams and Jai Perrett who have been at the fore-front of recent finals campaigns.
Regardless of the strong Bloods outfit, it was known Elsternwick would not roll over easily. Aquinas knew they’d have to bring a high intensity mindset to the game, and that’s exactly how the home team started.
The Bloods managed to control the play from the opening bounce and kicked the opening two majors through Jason Miles and Jai Perrett.
Elsternwick however, returned the favour with two very impressive set shots from full forward Jason Hunter, tying up proceedings.
Three more goals from Hayden Judge, Sam Williams and Jesse Butcher moments before the quarter time siren gave the Bloods a 39-19 lead heading into the first break.
In what could be seen as a mirrored image of how the first quarter concluded, Jesse Butcher kicked his second major moments into the second term to help extend the Bloods’ margin out to 4-goals.
Another goal to the threatening Jason Hunter brought the lead back to 3 kicks for Elsternwick. However, Jai Perrett and Hayden Judge both slotted through their second goals for the half to give Aquinas a 6-goal buffer heading into the main break.
Despite a respectable lead at the half, coach Ash Naulty still demanded improvement from his troops, which would come through 2-way running and limiting turnovers which were allowing Elsternwick into the game.
The third term started in ferocious fashion with James McMahon and Jason Miles leading the way through the midfield, allowing Hayden Judge to help himself to three third-quarter goals, providing him with a personal best 5-goals in a Bloods uniform.
Nick Morrison-Story was at his outstanding best, racking up possession after possession in his new on-ball role. Morrie was supported by the in-form ruckman of the comp – Philip Dyck, who continued to dominate in the ruck as well as around the ground.
A strong quarter saw the Bloods head into the final term with a 10-goal margin.
The last quarter saw no signs of Aquinas stopping, with recent results showing this to be the Bloods’ strongest term. And today was no exception.
The Sam Williams show was in full force as he managed to do everything and anything with ball in hand, including booting 3-majors for the term, finishing with 5 in total.
Jai Perrett put together his best performance for the year, helping himself to 4-goals and finishing with double-figure marks for the day.
Aquinas proved far too strong for the spirited Elsternwick line-up, running out 93-point winners.
The Bloods remain a game clear on top with a healthy percentage and take on 8th placed Masala at Bloods Stadium this Saturday.
By Phil. Jurkovsky