Round 4 saw a win, a draw and 2 losses for our 4 sides. The men drew the early game, whilst the seniors took away the 4 points. The women battled hard away at Mentone but ultimately came home empty handed.
Senior Men 14.15.99 defeated Old Paradians 12.17.89
An evenly matched first quarter in the senior game saw both teams kick 4 goals and trade blows for much of the opening 30 minutes.
The game then swung more to the visiting sides favour as both teams were inaccurate in front of goals, despite many forward forays. Old Parade seemed to always be just a kick or two in front through the middle quarters.
Toby Box was a lone hand in the ruck and at the age of 19 played a super important role all day, in tough conditions on the bottom oval. His last 10 minutes in particular were inspirational.
By 5 minutes into the last quarter Parade had kicked 2 early goals, opened up a 17 point margin and were celebrating as if they’d just won the game despite their being plenty of time left on the clock.
Seemingly judging that Old Parade thought they had it won, Aquinas stepped up a notch and started working harder all over the ground. Gavin O’Malley kicked 2 crucial goals to bring his tally to 3 for the day and by the 33 minute mark of the quarter Liam Choucri kicked the sealer and it was all smiles for the red, black and green army.
It was truly a stirring victory for Aquinas, with such a young side these are the wins that are remembered and help to build the team camaraderie that is needed across a season. Coming from behind, in the manner that they did and in the horrible conditions was admirable and shouldn’t be understated.
Reserves Men 7.4.46 drew Old Paradians 7.4.46
In a thrilling encounter, Aquinas managed to salvage a draw against Old Parade with a final score of 46 apiece. Despite Old Parade’s early dominance, Aquinas displayed impressive resilience and fought back to secure a hard-fought 2 points.
Old Parade started the match with a bang, racing to a 26-point lead at the end of the first quarter. The Bloods looked shell-shocked, struggling to contain Old Parade’s rampant attack. However, Aquinas managed to regroup and mount a comeback in the second quarter. They slowly chipped away at the deficit, with David Malvaso leading the charge with four goals to his name.
The second half was a closely contested affair, with both teams trading blows and neither side able to pull away. Ben Akaruru was the standout player for Aquinas, showcasing his skills in the midfield and providing crucial support to his teammates.
As the match entered the final minutes, it appeared as though Aquinas were searching for victory whilst Old Parade were happy with the draw, in the end Old Parade achieved their desired result.
Overall, it was a highly entertaining match that showcased the best of both teams. Aquinas will be pleased with their ability to fight back from a big early deficit.
Senior Women 4.2.26 lost to St Bedes Mentone 6.3.39
A great first quarter against a highly fancied opponent saw the Aquinas women head to the first break with both teams having scored 1.1.7 and a game on their hands.
Unfortunately the 2nd quarter didn’t got to plans as the Tigers got on top for a 15 minute period in which they kicked 4 unanswered goals and Aquinas had a lot of work to do after half time.
Whatever Coach Kogelman spoke about at half time seemed to work as the Bloods came out fired up and playing great team footy. Tash Derksen in the ruck was immense against a very high quality opponent.
The ball movement was electric and by the time Abby Guerin kicked a fantastic goal the Bloods were back within a kick.
An early goal to the home side in the last quarter saw the wind out of the Aquinas sails and the final score was probably a fair indication of the game that had been played.
Laura McHugh turned back the clock and played her best game in years, showing the best of her decision making and skill execution as she kicked 2 goals.
The visiting team showed that at their best they are a force to be reckoned with and will keep searching for more consistency in coming weeks.
Reserves Women 1.0.6 lost to St Bedes Mentone 5.11.41
3 late goals in the final quarter unfairly inflated the margin as Aquinas took it up to the Tigers all day.
Despite a very inexperienced side, the Bloods were having a crack all day and if not for some easy mistakes the match could have turned out very differently.
Gilli McKenna was dynamic in the first half before getting the call up at half time for her senior debut. Izzy Sharma was also a standout off half back as she took her confidence to new levels.
Special mention to Bella Flack who kicked a goal with her first kick in football.