Almost the perfect start to season 2021 with 4 out of 5 teams tasting success to kick of the year.
There was a real buzz and excitement among the playing group after so long without football.
First quarter started well with all the play by 2.7 hurt us on the scoreboard.
Fisher was winning a lot of his own footy on the inside and the tall forwards were looking dangerous.
Second quarter was much the same in terms of Aquinas inaccuracy, compounded by the high inside 50 to goal ratio for the opposition at the other end.
Captain McMahon started finding plenty of the ball as well as Foster off half back.
Grech and Burke were well on top in the ruck.
Third quarter saw Yarra take more of their opportunities but much of the play was between the arcs.
Christou, O’Malley and Sund were limiting the damage down back and O’Loughlin and Robertson were lively up forward with the latter kicking our only goal for the term.
Last quarter got a bit messy as Yarra kicked with the breeze, Christou and Barnes again super reliable down back.
Barnes showing glimpses of his 2019 form which excited the crowd on the bottom oval.
Best players – Fisher, McMahon, Christou, Robertson (4) and Foster
Score – Aquinas 6.17.53 Yarra Valley 15.5.95
Same story at Ivanhoe with the buzz about the squad after the longest preseason in local sporting history.
It was apparent from the first bounce that Aquinas were there to win with the hunt on the ball and ball carrier clearly superior than the opposition.
Cerolini with a terrific mark and goal in her last game for the season a real highlight as the team went bananas.
Run through the middle of the ground was superb as was rebound from half back from the likes of Tucker and Hickleton.
Heading into the 2nd quarter with a 2 goal buffer it was apparent the opposition were more worried about limiting the damage than winning the game as they instigated a flood that even Terry Wallace would be proud of.
From this point of the game, scoring became more difficult with the Ivanhoe players permanently parked behind the footy.
McLean in her first game of football was impressive, providing 2 goals as were the skipper Elliott and Spicer who continued to crash packs all day.
The game was won in the midfield through the ascendancy of Derksen in the ruck, Winters and Dargan were also impressive over the footy all day and playing really smart football when required.
Best players – Tucker, Winters, Elliot, Dargan, Derksen
Score – Ivanhoe 1.2.8 – Aquinas 5.6.36
The first game of senior football for more than 75% of the Aquinas squad meant a few nerves leading into the game and a big sense of the unknown.
The inclement weather certainly didn’t help the girls from Ringwood who rely on quick ball movement and run and carry.
Despite dominating the play for much of the half we just couldn’t convert it into a score, Costello in the ruck and the midfield brigade of McDonald, Williams and Cook were impressive.
A couple of frustrating goals out the back for the opposition meant the half time deficit was 8 points and there was work to do.
Mackwell was a focal point up forward in the first half and will be much better for the run after her debut.
Second half saw Aquinas turn on the jets and start to run and carry a lot more.
Ella Smith with the first goal of the season gave the team some confidence that they were on the right track.
Cook started to dominate in the middle and a goal from 40m on the run put us in the lead and from there they looked the team to beat.
An early last quarter goal from Winters meant a 2 point lead and if we played it smartly a win.
That’s exactly what we did as we successfully kept the ball in our half for much of the remaining 10 minutes and despite a couple of scares, the win was ours and the song was sung loud and proud.
Best players – Cook, McDonald, Jones, Cridland, Furniss, Fabris
Score – Ivanhoe 3.1.19 – Aquinas 3.4.22
A tight start to the contest on the bottom oval had many buckling up for a see sawing affair.
A tidying up of skills and the superior running capacity of the boys from Great Ryrie Street saw the game open up after the first 15 minutes.
The midfield were exceptional all day allowing the forwards time and space to get creative.
The backline was as cohesive as you’re likely to see on The Vein.
Best players – Connolly (2), Miles (1), Morris, O’Loughlin, Kinghorn (4), Malvaso (5), backline efficiency
Score – Aquinas 18.13.121 – Yarra Valley 5.4.34
A thumping win over arch rivals De La Salle.
Led superbly by skipper Asciak and leaders O’Brien, Dunne and Steiniger and with Thorsen kicking 5 it was a great start to the campaign.
Best players – Dunne (2), Asciak (2), Thorsen (5), Barnfield, Steiniger, Cooper