Speed Field Days Mallee Football League Round 4 Review
by Jim Gordon
Hopetoun v Jeparit Rainbow
A disappointed and dispirited Jeparit Rainbow came back to earth with a thud after a crushing 100 point loss to the Devils at Hopetoun on Saturday. This was a tough day all round for Jeparit Rainbow as they were completely out gunned by a very classy Hopetoun team that was too big and strong for the Lakers; their size and strength meant that they out muscled Jeparit Rainbow all day. To the Lakers’ credit they fought the game out to the end.
Jeparit Rainbow simply could not control Kain Robins wherever he roamed across the half forward line and whoever they tried on him. Robins absolutely dominated at centre half forward. He was bigger and stronger than anyone the Lakers could find and even Andrew Watson, who did was well as anyone on when placed on Robins, was outsized. Robins’ nine goal haul and best on ground performance were tangible rewards for his domination.
Prized recruit Anthony Baker showed why he is such a valuable acquisition for Hopetoun. For such a big man he is surprisingly quick and yesterday he dominated on the ball.
Kyle Gainsford and Jake Roberts were solid in defense while Liam Price’s rebound and pace off the half back line gives the Devils a lot of drive. Luke Carr is another who is in good form, he does a lot of hard work up forward and provides another great option, if needed, to Kain Robins.
This was once again another very good team effort by Hopetoun with many fine individual performances. Simon Cook will probably miss a couple of weeks with a bad ankle injury, but the Devils should regain Bryce Wellington, Reid, Antony Kelly and Tom Prideon who all missed yesterday.
For the Lakers Sean Bayzand showed his class, he ran all day and was his side’s chief possession winner. Ashley Clugston also played well, although he was not as dominant as in recent games.
Justin Chilver tried hard in the ruck and around the ground, Aaron Beer played an important role all over the ground for Jeparit Rainbow as they tried to plug holes and Andrew Watson played a similar role.
Several of Jeparit Rainbow’s younger players continue to improve. Nathan Cocks was named among the Lakers’ best and with Brett Jenz out injured; another young player Rod McKenzie was given his first senior game. McKenzie showed promise; he tried hard all day and won several possessions. Another young player, Zac Webb also came under notice.
The Jeparit Rainbow forward line was impotent with only James Phillip looking at all dangerous, but he was starved of opportunity and in the end was limited to two goals.
Jeparit Rainbow will use the bye next week to regroup. They will need all the time they can get to enable one or two injured players to regain fitness to face Beulah the week after.
Ouyen United v Beulah
A far more determined and intense Ouyen United outfit nearly caused a major upset against the more fancied Beulah at Blackburn Park on Saturday. After big losses to early flag favourite Hopetoun and then to Jeparit Rainbow last week, United was not expected to put up much of a show against their recent rivals and bogey side, Beulah, but it was a completely different Demon side that ran out onto the ground this week.
United’s seven goal first quarter was a stunning reversal of recent form and was due to the intensity and skill of their younger players, much better attack at the ball all over the field, plus the fact that they made the most of their chances. Not only were the Blues slow to get going, when they did start to fire their inaccuracy was costly. In fact, so wayward were they in front of goal (their number of posters must have been frustrating for the coach and supporters) that at one stage it looked doubtful that they would score any majors at all.
In their previous two matches, the Demons have been with the opposition at half time and even well into the third term only to fall away and lose by big margins. It proved to be the same story this week as once Beulah absorbed the best that United could throw at them, they seemed to regroup, maintain their team structure and get on top almost all over the ground.
Ouyen United could not match the height or strength of big man Stephen Saunders. He controlled the ruck all day making it easy for the Blues’ running players such as Jarred Combe in a brilliant display on one wing, Gareth Hose and Bradley Shannon to repeatedly push the ball forward in the second half.
If ever there was a time when Ouyen United needed their younger players to stand up, this was it and they certainly weren’t let down. Given a specific task to do, Benjamin Mole lined up at centre half back and made an immediate impression with his athleticism, high marking and run out of defence. If he can tighten up his delivery, he looks like he will be a star of the future for the Dees. Joshua Langdon was another who is improving all of the time and Bradley Summerhayes is having a very good year. They are skilful, they run hard and yesterday in particular, they played their role very well.
Troy Moncur was valuable for Ouyen United up forward, Glenn Joyce played his best game for the season and Ryan O’Callaghan was his usual focused and hard working self. Adam O’Callaghan was another to improve this week, he seems to relish the opportunity to play on David King and this terrific contest resulted in a win for O’Callaghan, but two goals to King.
Both of these sides have tough games next week. Bottom of the ladder Ouyen United take on traditional rivals Walpeup Underbool at Blackburn Park and Beulah have the unenviable task of taking on the rampant Hopetoun.
Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers v Walpeup Underbool
Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers bounced out of the blocks against Walpeup Underbool at Sea Lake on Saturday scoring five goals to one in the first quarter and leading by fourteen points at half time. It was a great match, tight, tough and exciting with hard running, high marking and some great goals.
It was the Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers’ attack on the ball in the first quarter that set up their great play and the lead that they took into the first break. Injuries to Roos Jeremy Rowe and Travis Latta had Walpeup Underbool on the back foot early in that term. Jarrod Arentz was the Tigers’ focal point up forward and Col Durie was everywhere proving to be a real hand full.
When the Tigers maintained their half time lead in the third term, supporters knew that they were in for a torrid final quarter and they certainly weren’t let down. It was the experience and talent that won it in the end for Walpeup Underbool. They dominated the scoreboard in the final term kicking six goals to two and ran out twelve point winners against a Sea Lake Nandaly Tiger outfit that had given everything, but ran out of legs in that gruelling final term.
The Tigers great start came about because they were winning the stoppages and creating run through the midfield. They were delivering the ball into the forwards well and their crumbing pockets and flankers kept the pressure up on the Roos’ defense. It was halfway through the second term when things started to change, the Roos lifted their intensity and turnovers for the Tigers began to increase and were costly.
New recruits David Piasente and speed demon Ryan Anderson came out after halftime all guns firing and quickly proved to be a real handful for Tigers. Their countless possessions through the midfield went a long way to getting the Roos back into the game and once they had their tails up, they proved too good for the Tigers.
Walpeup Underbool showed great metal and strength to stay in touch with the Tigers in the second quarter and managed to outscore them. Josh Charles was dominating the ruck contests feeding the ball to the Walpeup Underbool on ballers.
A game highlight was in the third term when Ryan Anderson took the ball from the centre bounce, dodged around four Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers, took a bounce, steadied and then steered the ball through the centre of the goals to lift what was by this time and injury-depleted Roos.
The Tigers were struggling to convert chances with Jarrod Arentz well held in the second half. David Piasente stepped up when the game needed to be won with a classy performance and in the end, it was a stirring win for the Roos, who with an ever-increasing list of injuries, dug deep to get the points.
For Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers, their defense was once again a highlight. The Tigers were by no means disgraced; they fought hard in what was a good hard game of footy overall.