A-grade overrun by TA’s while lower grades start strong.
After a strong preseason, the 7 men’s sides kicked off their seasons with a mixed bag of results. The A-stream came away with two close defeats and a draw in the Reserves while the C-stream had a perfect start to season 2021. In the inaugural game for the E1 Mutts, the boys came away with a win before enjoying a few glasses of red in the Valley.
With the success of the can-bar during the day, the boys flocked to the AJ for coaches comments. It was great to see the Colters, Pirates and 5ths enjoying a few cold ones at the club, resulting in the bar running out of beer by 9pm.
STEINEPREIS A GRADE
University 9.8-62 def by Trinity Aquinas 10.6-66
The 2021 season officially got underway at the G with Uni taking on old rivals Trinity Aquinas. After recovering from the shock of waking up to see Johnny Prior named in the top 100 notable Amateurs footballers of the century in the centenary lift out in Saturday’s West, we ventured down to the McG for the big round 1 clash. Any chance of a high quality game from a skills and scoring point of view was dashed by a very strong blustery wind compliments of approaching Cyclone Seroja.
There were a number of A Grade debuts lead by coach Macdonald, coaching his first game at the top level after a long and successful apprenticeship with the A Colts and A Reserves. First gamers included WAFL veteran Nathan “Doc” Blakely, the 2021 version of “Rat Pack”, Josh “Tony” Bennet, Jake Conti and Tommy Vellios as well as a recent A Colter Nathan “Fat” Pearce.
We started well and lead 4-2 to 2.1 at quarter time. They were fortunate to score their first two goals from free kicks and 50m penalties. Trombetta, who is too short to be affected by the wind, was in dynamic form and had two of the first four goals with Culloton and Taylor scoring the other two. Murray and Blakely were dominating the ruck duals and providing good ball to “Worm” Ryan Donaldson , veteran Lake, Ben “Reggie” Miller and “Hitman” Harding who were all playing well along with wingmen “Slicer” Gajewski , Seb Bentley and “Rats” Bennet and Vellios.
Trinity Aquinas came back hard in the second quarter with the pressure on, especially in close and scoring getting harder. The backline lead by Colvin, Bertola, T Ferg, Conti, “Nobby” Harris , Pearce and our magnificent skipper O’Hara were holding up well despite some attempts by TA’s to soften up some of our younger players, specifically Pearce and Miller with some rough stuff. Trombetta kicked his third and they scored another from a questionable downfield free kick and we led 5-3 to 4-3 at half time.
The modest (mainly due to a large number of old boys attending the memorial mass for UFC legend Terry ‘Boof” O’Connor held on Saturday afternoon) , but vocal crowd really got involved in third quarter as the game remained a fierce contest. Our forward pressure was exceptional with Trombetta, Taylor and especially Mantaras , whose forward pressure is elite, making life increasing difficult for their defence. Coach Macdonald made a great move by swinging the dangerous Bentley forward and he started to look very dangerous. We took a slim lead into the three quarter time break, however, despite continued ruck dominance by Murray and Blakely, TA’s kept coming and eventually kicked the winning goal with a 90 seconds left and won 10.6-66 to University 9.8-62, a margin of 4 points.
It was a solid effort against a good, tough and experienced opponent. We get a few experienced players back in the team over the next the next couple of weeks when they return from injuries and the debutants will be much better for the run so we are looking forward to a big game at North Fremantle this Saturday (late start; 3pm) and would like to see a big crowd of supporters get around us and hopefully see us record our first win of the year. – Report by Jim Malone
GOALS 4 Trombetta, 2 Culloton, 1 Taylor, Miller, Vellios
BEST VOTES Miller, Gajewski, Blakely, Harris, O’Hara, Trombetta, Dent
4 PINES A RESERVES
University 6.4 drew Trinity Aquinas 5.12
Heartbreak for reserves with draw in round 1
The Ressies kicked off the season in blustery conditions at home against TA’s. The line up had a good mix of old and new faces, and the lads were keen to hit the ground running with a good performance.
Uni kicked with the breeze and jumped out to a 2 goal lead at quarter time. Breadsy Wilson was dominating in the midfield, while the forward line was looking ominous. The second quarter was played mainly in TA’s half, with the backline defending desperately for long periods of time. Captain Ben ‘Poodle’ Culloton and Alex Dykes spoiled everything that came their way, while Lantzke, Nath Stewart and Mussared mopped up the ground balls. Their efforts meant Uni maintained a slim lead at half time. The third was a genuine arm-wrestle, with both sides contending with the cyclonic conditions. TA’s looked to have won the quarter, until Uni kicked two late to maintain the buffer. The last quarter saw an onslaught from the opposition, who used the breeze to their advantage to dominate the inside 50 count. Once again, it was the defenders who stood up, who scrapped and fought off the goal line for much of the quarter. TA’s managed to boot a major with 90 seconds left which evened the scores. Captain Poodle would take an inspiring mark on the goal line with under a minute left to save the game and secure 2 points for Uni, as the game ended in a draw.
It was a hard fought game in challenging conditions, with Uni leading for the whole day despite much of the game being played in TA’s half. Credit has to be given to the backline, who stood up under immense pressure. We look forward to hitting the road next week to take on North Freo.
Best: Culloton, N Stewart, Mussared, Wilson, Mitchell, Dykes, Hopkinson Goals: 2 Wilson, J Stewart, 1 Mitchell, Duff
PHIL SCOTT COLTS
University 2.8 20 def by Trinity Aquinas 6.5 41
A great game to start off the year for the gents with a really contested hit-out against previous finalists Trinity Aquinas.
The boys started well, kicking the first goal of the match however due to the horrible conditions most of the game was a contested mess across the west side of the wing. Most of the first half was dominated by the TA’s boys, with the inside forward 50 count being extremely lopsided in trinity aquinas’ favour. The midfield was outmanned for a lot of the game, especially in the first half as they were dominated around the ball giving TA’s a hefty lead going into half time.
Coming out of the half time break, the boys fought extremely hard to win back momentum and dominate around the ground at the stoppages. Our midfield became completely dominant throughout the third quarter, giving our forwards a multitude of chances at goal, only to be met with extremely poor set-shot skills resulting only in points. Our run in the third quarter was very impressive, with our backline providing a lot of run through the middle of the ground, only to be let down with our inside 50 entries. Given better conditions and more training, in a few weeks’ id expect our team to be lacing out our forwards and a flurry of goals being kicked.
The last quarter started just like the third, with our boys up and raring for the challenge. We couldn’t put our chances on the scoreboard, with 4 behinds and 3 out on the full’s kicked in the last and them not scoring. Moreover, due to the final score if we had of kicked straight, we would have walked away with an extremely impressive first win of the year. Amongst our dominant midfielders, our backline was sturdy as ever, conceding only 6 goals in these conditions and the amount of ball they had to fight off was extremely impressive.
Goal Kickers: 1 Southern, Donaldson
Best On votes: (5) Southern, (4) Upson, (3) Moore, (2) Donaldson, (1) Prosser.
BREWHUB C5 GRADE
University 15.5 91 def Whitfords 4.7 31
Pirates extend win streak to 623 days
The Pirates have commenced season 2021 with a strong victory over Whitfords at McG 2 on Saturday. A whole new host of faces were in for the Pirates after last year’s successful campaign. These faces varied right through from blokes like Jarrod Turner and Pyke Mike (both playing their first games for the club) to the Donovan brothers who were off the back of an “extensive” preseason.
The message to the boys was that this was a new year, and that the past successes needed to be moved on from, with a new opportunity to create history. As we have become accustomed to, it was the Macedonian Marvel who got us going, beautifully judging the breeze and kicking the first goal of the year. We added another couple of goals, but a gritty Warriors responded giving as a 2 goal lead at quarter time.
In the second quarter we slowly started to get on top of them, with the midfield group of Sarge/Pat, Diamo, Bails, JT, Fleabag and “wheels” Harry taking control. “Wheels” was particularly impressive leaving other people behind burning his immediate opponents. Elsewhere across the ground 2019 Frenchy made a stunning return, reflecting more Jeremy, rather than Mitch McGovern, in his play. Also of note up forward the dangerous Haz Dono (kicking 6 on the day) and Jordie Mayo (kicking 4 on the day) were proving far too dangerous for the boys from the North.
The third quarter was more like the first in terms of the arm-wrestle. However, the last quarter the boys kicked away winning by 59 points in a great first victory for the group.
All 3 lines played really solid games, with the forwards seemingly destined to carry on its dangerous nature from last year. The challenge for the boys will be to continue this type of performance against the powerful North Beach team out at Charles Riley, which will be sure to provide an early test of where the group stands. If we play like we did yesterday, we are sure to give ourselves every chance.
Goals – H Dono (6); Mayo (4); Con (2); Wheels, Sarge & Nightmare (1)
Votes – H Dono (5); Wheels & Sarge (4); Mayo (3); Frenchy & Pat Dono (2); Bails, Diamo & Fleabag (1)
BDO C5 RESERVES
University 16.14 110 def Whitfords 2.2 14
The Dingoes started the new season against an overfed and undertrained Whitfords Warriors side on a blustery day at MCG2. The Dingoes led out by captain, Alex White, were an experienced side, with just three debutants; Swanny, Danger and American fan favourite, Alex “The Ocho” Osuchowski. Starting the game like a house on fire, the Dings dominated from the outset, with midfielders Matt-In-A-Hat, Spoons, Big Al, Onesy and Blakey spreading like Richmond from the contest.
The only thing stopping the Dings was their wayward kicking at goal. Fortunately, this improved as the game went on, and a fourth quarter burst of goals from defender-turned-forward Bobby giving the Dings good reward for all their hard work. The Dingoes would have ran out 100 point winners, if not for the goal umpires inexplicably doubling Whitfords goal tally; it seems Morey did not pluck these high school students from the Maths ATAR stream. In any event, a very pleasing first effort for the Dingoes, with a huge matchup against Beach at Beach looming next weekend
Votes: 1- Swanny, 2 – Onesy, Blakey, Big Al, 3 – Harps, 4 – Demon, Spoons, 5 – Matt-In-A-Hat.
BRETT JONES COLTS
University defeated Collegians (Score TBC)
After a big pre-season, with very strong numbers down at the colts, a formidable Gulls line-up took to MCG2 on Saturday. We were up against Collies and given the touch up they handed us last year, everyone was hungry. Tackling has been a huge focus this year and from the first siren, across all lines, there was a huge response. Collies were under pressure with every possession, and nearly every tackle stuck. The first half was an arm wrestle, with the wind playing a factor but both teams bringing the contest and displaying good skills. We went in with a 13 point lead at half time. The Gulls were met with a huge challenge in the third quarter, with most of it played in Collies half of the ground. The backline held firm against the assault and won a number of crucial 1 on 1s. In the final minutes of the quarter, the boys proved they can play with confidence and dare, using the fat side and the pace of our wingmen to open up the game. Two exciting, end to end goals from Uni finished the third term – made even better as they were met by roars from the massive crowd around the Uni bench. With huge numbers comes some stiff boys at selection, but the strength of the group was represented by the fact so many showed up to support and help out so enthusiastically. Our momentum couldn’t be stopped in the last quarter, as the tackling pressure remained right up to the final siren. A very exciting result against last year’s grand finalists. Focus turns to next week v Wanneroo.
Goals – Batty 3, Reid 2, Barbs, Kaney, Bray, JN
Best – Jado, GT, Chun, Batty, Weeksy, Bennett, Barbs, Huddo
SUBI HOTEL E1 GRADE
University 15.9.99 def. Swan Athletic 5.6.36
Mutts record first ever win in the Valley
The Mutts headed up the hill to take on Swan Ath in the inaugural game for the Uni 5s. The boys were promised by weatherman Ben Kalajzic that there would be no wind out in the valley, something about protection and global wind accounting for wind globally? Anyway, this was completely wrong, and we arrived to find gale force winds heavily favouring one end of the ground. Luckily, we kicked this way in the first quarter and Mutts got out of the gates very quickly. Swan Ath were hard in the contest, but our midfield worked hard to get on top through spread and some quality ball movement. The forward line was efficient, snagging 6 in the first term. In the second term Swan Ath wrestled momentum their way, with majority of the quarter played at their end of the ground. The backline held up well and we went in at half time up by 4 goals. There was a clear lift in the third quarter, as the Mutts although solid in the first half, knew we had more to give. We started to pile on the goals, and half back line was cutting off any of their forward movement. It was much of the same in the last, with a 10 goal win giving the group plenty of excitement about the season to come. Big challenge against Coolbellup at home next week.
Goals – Fras 8, Dennis 2, Theo 2, Quince, Kuta, Cummo
Best – Fras, Dennis, Klaz, Sando, Hoff, Daw, Rob Score –