Seniors Round 1 Versus Craigieburn on 13th April 2014





Won  4-5-29 to 3-10-28 Eddie, Thornie, Rowdy, Neil, Moddy, Sammy Dave, Eddie, McGoo, Sam



After a long trek, and a few loop the loops, we all ended up in the right place, Craigieburn FC.  Even Mitch made it out, with his twice broken finger care of Wednesday night’s training in the rain.  I tell a lie, Lamby told me he was a possibility to play, then he high tailed it out of the country.  I understand his panic when he found out he had to play with group of old buggers like us!  I nearly left the country too…. Just before half time… 

There was big talk before the match of improving our basic skills etc. etc.  We then ran out & proceeded to butcher the ball.  Craigieburn took advantage of our disarray by kicking a couple of good goals.  They had loose men everywhere and the boys were getting frustrated.  I couldn’t fault our effort, just our execution let us down.  Then injuries started with Pogsy limping off the ground.  I think he was a little frustrated, judging by the burst of abuse that insued.  I liked his pre-game Bear joke better!  Perhaps he may need to go into hibernation for a while?

We were lucky our backline saved us so many times.  Mark Strange, Rowdy & Vinny (new backman??) did the basics & kept clearing the ball.  It showed how important the “one percenters” are in our footy.  The boundary line was found many times, unfortunately on one occasion the “stand in” umpire ruled it deliberate & gave the opposition the kick.  It was deliberate… but as far as I know that rule is not used in 45’s footy. 

All was not lost though.  I called Paigey out of the forward line to pick up the Craigieburn loosey’s, I had heard he had a reputation for such things.  He came out & showed a bit of aggression, culminating in a gang tackle (threesome) on the boundary line, as the rest of the team took a leaf out of his book.  Coming off the ground at half time you could feel a change was at hand.  We had turned the corner in the last couple of minutes, with a goal from Fitzy, that had us only 6 points down.

In the second half it was the usual suspects instigating some great team play.  The Captain Sammy lead by example, Eddie was everywhere (due to a short rest on the pine before half time) and Motty (now playing on the wing) set up some attacking moves.  We had a fantastic passage of play down the far wing, handballs & precision kicking and then a mammoth goal from Magoo.    Tony Thorne was close to best on ground & the Rev revved up his game (which had been a bit scratchy up until then) running the ball & kicking it deep into our forward line.  Gazza had a great game out of the back pocket & in the forward line Ange seem to get a free kick every time he went for the ball (the new Selwood!).  Talking about free kicks, Geoffa drew an “in the back” free early in the last quarter.  He got back off the mark fast, kicking a millimetre perfect pass to Big Dave Stephens at centre half forward.  Dave turned & banged it through.  We still had a chance!

I was impressed that we looked for the jumper, not the player, in the second half.  It was best option all the time.  It meant that all our players were able to impact on the big comeback.  Late in the last we were still 4 points down.  A pack formed at full forward as Craigieburn killed another of our attacks.  The “ball up” saw our, eventual B.O.G. Eddie, calling the opposition ruckman’s name and he dutifully knocked the ball straight down Eddie’s throat (maybe that will shut him up?).  The execution of that left foot goal will have Eddie talking for weeks to come!

2 points up and Craigieburn attacked & attacked again.  They were relentless.  It was only through the great efforts of the Bear himself, that saved our skin.  Even Bear found it impossible to stop them drawing even.  On the bench we were all checking our watches and thinking there was still some time.  Little did we know that Craigieburn were playing shorter quarters in the second half.  Once again our kicking to position had us streaming into our forward fifty.  Magoo was on the lead again and marked strongly, but looked too far out to score.  Going back Magoo belted the ball up into the wind, as it headed towards the far point post the wind took hold & bent it back till we all thought it would clear the full back & bounce through.  It didn’t…. not quite… the full back was lucky he didn’t cut his finger nails before the match, as the ball nicked the top of his nail, rolling through for the match winning point (Eddie says he kicked the match winning goal).

Great effort boys, it was a great way to start the season and I hope we can look back at the game & play more like we did in the second half, against Bayside next game.

Reporter: Dermie