Speed Field Days Mallee Football League Round 2 Review
by Jim Gordon
SEA LAKE NANDALY TIGERS V JEPARIT RAINBOW
Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers bounced back against Jeparit Rainbow at Sea Lake on Saturday winning a one sided affair by 90 points after a disappointing effort last week when they were hammered by ten goals at Hopetoun,
The writing was on the wall in the first quarter when the Tigers came out firing kicking five goals before the Lakers had a score on the board. A late rally by Jeparit Rainbow saw them kick a few quick goals before the first break, but they still went into quarter time over three goals in the red.
It proved to be a tough day at the office for Laker supporters and it’s a long drive home when your club has lost every football and every netball match for the day. This was after a promising start to the season against the Cats the week before.
In a best on ground performance, Sea Lake Nandaly’s Troy Ferrier had five goals by half time, such was his domination and he finished the game with seven. Col Durie and Luke Martin with three goals to his name were others to take control and easily win their positions.
The Lakers struggled for drive. Justin Chilver was winning the majority of the ruck contests, and he worked very hard all around the ground. Unfortunately for Jeparit Rainbow, their midfield could not take advantage of Chilver’s good play.
Aaron Beer tried hard all game whether playing midfield, up forward or in the back half; Ashley Clugston was amongst their best despite being heavily shadowed for the first three quarters and Ben Marra was a solid contributor.
However, too few doing too little meant that the Tigers had it pretty much their own way after quarter time. Their spread and run at the contests caused the Laker mid field a lot of problems and then once the ball got free of the contest, Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers always had someone running free to either collect a handball or an easy kick.
Jeparit Rainbow had very little up forward and they just could not seem to find a target all day. If someone was in position to receive a pass after a lead into space, the resultant kick often went astray as the Lakers were not delivering the ball well into their forward line.
Credit should go to a Tiger defence that got on top early and stayed on top throughout the match. This accounted for the fact that Jeparit Rainbow was limited to only one goal in the second half.
For the Lakers, Tyler Edelsten was very good at fullback. Mostly playing on the talented Jarrod Alderton, time after time Edelsten spoilt his opponent and then backed up by running the ball out of the backline.
In an overall very bleak day for the Lakes, another positive was the form of recruit Sean Bayzand who showed flashes of brilliance and it appears that he will be a good player once he adjusts to the tempo of Mallee League football.
Heath Clugston looked like he received an injury and just when they could have done with a bye next week, the Lakers come up against the Demons who should be smarting after going down to the Devils. The Tigers have a bye and then meet the Roos at home.
OUYEN UNITED V HOPETOUN
In a game of high drama at Blackburn Park on Saturday, Hopetoun ran out 48 point winners over reigning premiers Ouyen United. Following on from a ten goal win against the Tigers the week before, this victory leaves the undefeated Devils sitting firmly on top of the MFL ladder.
It was a game that have everything and will be remembered for some time to come by Devil fans who have not tasted much success since the formation of the Mallee League in the 1990s.
The day started with the unfurling of the 2011 Demon flag by MFL President Alan Malcolm and ended with an emphatic win by the Devils. In between we were entertained by two sides brimming with talent going at it for all they were worth. Not only was the game of a high standard with passages of great running play, spectacular high marking (Demon Ben Mole’s specky was the stuff of legends), tough one on one battles and long goals, but there was also a sending off and just in case we needed something more, a player count when the difference was a mere three points in the final quarter!
The fact that Hopetoun kicked the next eight goals to Ouyen United’s one after the call to count player numbers, was a bit of a let down after what we had witnessed so far. The claim was that United had one too many on the field at the beginning of the final term. Play was halted, heads were counted and when all was found to be above board, sanity prevailed and play continued.
This is a very good Devils’ side. They play a well drilled brand of football that is a combination of hard running, long kicking to position and they have a forward line that takes strong contested marks. Kain Robins is a focal point, but this year the Devils have recruited well and he has support through the likes of Deek Roberts who kicked five goals and Jackson Fisher who dominated at times through the centre and kicked a great long goal in the third quarter when Hopetoun were fighting back.
Hopetoun managed to maintain their game plan even under the pressure of a first half that saw them outplayed for periods of time by United. Straight kicking had the Devils in front at quarter time when United should really have been ahead. Twice the Dees had shots touched on the goal line, Ben Mole marked within range, played on and was caught and Dom Leach missed what he should have nailed running in from 25 metres.
When the Demons did get their game into gear in the second term, a four goal half time lead was whittled down when the Devils scored their only goal for the term just before the half time siren. A 16 point deficit at half time would not have looked out of range for Hopetoun.
The beginning of the third term saw the status quo for at least a short while. When two of Ouyen United’s new recruits scored for the Dees, the talented Jarred Erlandson’s dribble through from an angle was all skill and the brilliant ball magnet John Jackson kicked a behind, United had a seemingly comfortable 23 point buffer.
Hopetoun persisted and were rewarded by their long kicking to position, hard running and carry into the forward line when first Kain Robins marked on a lead and goaled, Jackson Fisher kicked a wonderful long shot from the 50m arc and when Chris Heath grabbed another, all of a sudden, Hopetoun were well back in the contest and it was game on.
Hopetoun were starting to take control at centre bounces and rebounding from half back. Ouyen United had slowed down, their forwards went back to playing from behind and their backs could not contain the strong marking Hopetoun forwards.
With Bryce Wellington now playing on the full back line, the Devils had not lost anything from their forward set up as Wellington was not prominent up forward to this stage. Down back and with his experience, his ability to organise those around him and even more importantly his ability to punch from behind when the ball came forward, he may have found a permanent spot for the year. Whatever happens, Wellington is a valuable ‘get out clause’ down back when the going gets tough and in this match, he helped curb the influence of Troy Moncur.
Ouyen United would have been very pleased with the work of newcomer Alex Erlandson in the ruck. When he was not on the ball, United’s ability to get the ball away suffered. Apart from a great second quarter, Glenn Joyce was not his usual self leaving a lot of the centre work clearances to Ryan O’Callaghan who never lets you down.
In only his second game of Aussie rules, Hopetoun’s Irish experiment Anthony Kelly was a great combatant against Erlandson in the ruck and in the tough Irish tradition, he came back on with very sore shins after limping off in the second term and had some influence on the game.
Ouyen United sorely missed the influence of Moncur when he was sent off. It left the Demon forward line bereft of a focal point as up until that stage, Moncur was doing almost as much damage up his end, as Robins was doing for the Devils. Kale Barker with four goals did well, Leach was a presence and kicked a good goal when it was needed in the third term and Bradley Summerhayes wove some magic with two from the half forward line.
In the end Hopetoun broke too easily from defence, they had brilliant players in Jackson Fisher and Deek Roberts and the mighty Kain Robins up forward.
The Devils have a couple of injury concerns with Ben Reid badly rolling his ankle, Tom Pridgeon has knee soreness and Bryce Wellington may have strained a hamstring in the last couple of minutes. The bye this week may be valuable for the Devils.
Ouyen United is a very different side to the one that won the 2011 flag. It may take a while for their talented recruits to jell. Peter Caldow was missed around packs, Glenn Joyce had a quiet day and their younger players showed promise.
The last quarter blow out did not do justice to this game that for three quarters and a little bit more was a great contest.
WOOMELANG LASCELLES V BEULAH
Beulah had a resounding win at Woomelang in mild conditions on Saturday to recover from their first round loss to Walpeup Underbool. The Blues had far too much skill and talent for the hapless Cats who could be in for a long season with two bad losses to start off the season.
For Beulah, Bradley Shannon was dominant, Thomas Hallam is in great touch and with a rampant forward line, goals came from everywhere. Riley Lehmann kicked seven, David King six and midfielder Gareth Hose got three.
Turnovers proved very costly for Woomelang Lascelles and inaccurate kicking around the ground was a problem. A good last quarter will give the Cats some heart as they outscored the Blues eight goals to four.
Aaron Lonergan was best for Woomalang Lascelles, Tony Mudge tried hard, Christopher Foott did well as did Jackson Quirk. From then on, Woomelang Lascelles really dropped away and they will look forward to getting a few players back for next week when they visit the Roos in an effort to arrest their poor form and get a first win on the board.