Uni Beaten In A-Grade Again, Four Wins On The Road

University’s slow start to the belated 2020 season continued with another A-Grade loss while there were wins for the Reserves, Pirates, Stormers and Peacocks away from home.

Despite the mixed results, there was a good Coaches’ Comments function at the Subiaco Hotel on Saturday night. Thanks to our proud sponsors.

STEINEPREIS A GRADE

Kingsway 9.9 (63) def Steinepreis Uni 4.5 (29)

The Uni A Grade side’s slow start to their 2020 campaign continued on Saturday, with a comprehensive 34 point loss at the hands of Kingsway at Kingsway Reserve.

After meeting a vastly-improved Kingsway side in a practice match two weeks earlier, the Uni side knew they would need to lift on their performance the previous week. Kingsway’s defensive pressure was a feature from the start, rushing the Uni players into making poor decisions and skill errors by both hand and foot. Unlike the round 1 loss, Uni were winning their fair share of the footy around the contest, thanks to the efforts of midfield recruits Ben Miller and Ben Harding in particular. But on the outside, Uni were unable to use the ball effectively enough under pressure to create genuine scoring opportunities. At the other end, Kingsway were more efficient with the ball and capitalised, taking a lead of 2 goals to none into quarter time.

The intensity around the contest didn’t let up in the 2nd term with both sides fighting desperately to gain field position. The Uni midfield held its own but again struggled to maintain possession past half forward, with poor delivery and lack of composure hurting the side. Kingsway’s defensive unit held strong and kept Uni to just a handful of half-chances to score, resulting in a return of just a few behinds for the quarter. Uni tagger Daniel Hug was keeping Kingsway’s most damaging player quiet but Kingsway’s ability to find targets forward of centre was still superior, adding 2 more goals to their tally and giving them a 4 goal to none lead at the main break.

Heavy rain during the half time break made controlling the ball even more challenging in the third term. Despite this, Uni finally hit the scoreboard in the opening minutes with a clean chain of possession landing with diminutive forward Sean Trombetta who kicked truly. The momentum swing was short-lived however and the unrelenting Kingsway side soon found another opening in Uni’s defences and returned the margin to 4 goals. The slippery conditions made scoring difficult and the reminder of the term was played predominantly between the arcs. Uni half backs Matt Goyder and Ben Fitzgerald provided good resistance but at the 3 quarter time siren, a frustrated Uni side was unable to reduce the deficit in a low scoring affair.

Trailing by 27 points at the last change, Uni had no choice but to roll the dice and open the game up. The signs were positive early, with some assertive footy in the middle of the ground resulting in repeated forward 50 entries and the first goal of the term going to the lone-hand Trombetta. But once again, the hard-nosed Kingsway side didn’t give an inch and Uni struggled to maintain an ascendancy for any significant period. A couple of ill-disciplined acts from the frustrated Uni side gifted Kingsway a goal and effectively distinguished a Uni comeback. The Uni players never stopped trying, but the theme of poor ball handling and ball use was evident until the end and the final margin of 34 points in Kingsway’s favour was fitting.

Uni were outplayed and out-hunted for large parts of the game and were unable to generate its trademark running game on the back of Kingsway’s exceptional tackle pressure. The loss leaves Uni with an 0-2 record in the shortened 9 game season and with time running out to find form. Next week, Uni returns to McGillivray to meet Kingsley in what becomes a critical fixture to kick-starting Uni’s premiership defence.

Goals: Trombetta 4

Best: Trombetta, Goyder, Hug, Miller, Fitzgerald, Harding.

4 PINES A RESERVES

Kingsway 1.0 (6) def by 4 Pines Uni Bulls 13.10 (88)

The Uni A Reserves bounced back strongly from a disappointing round 1 result. As a side we did all the hard and tough things well and did it for all four quarters. Our ball movement and pressure was closer to where we wanted it to be and we now look to build on this win going forward.

Best players: Boomy Jnr, Sam Shackles, Lachlan Davis, Tommy C, Champ, Dono

PHIL SCOTT COLTS

Kingsway 4.6 (30) def Steinepreis Uni A-Colts 2.9 (21)

The A Colts missed a prime opportunity to post its first win of the season, going down to big improvers Kingsway by 9 points. Uni led by 5 points at three quarter time, but were unable to hang on as the opponents surged home. The result was particularly disappointing, given that Uni kicked an inaccurate 2.9. As the saying goes, bad kicking is bad footy. In an unusual season, it’s an unusual start for the colts, but we are determined to keep improving.

Best: Messina, Donaldson, Longmire, King, Morfesse, Lowson, Daw

Goals: Messina, Donaldson 

CROSSING LAWYERS A GRADE WOMEN

North Beach 3.2 (20) def by Crossing Lawyers Uni Stormers 4.4 (28)

After a disappointing loss to West Coast Cowan, the Stormers travelled to Charles Reilly Reserve to play table-leaders, North Beach.

The first half saw a strong display of fiercely contested football, a real arm wrestle between the girls. Despite this, the Stormers were unable to capitalise on the forward entries, only managing a couple of points. North Beach were able to apply the pressure with both goals and hard hits, as our bench was reduced to 3 with NJ copping a heavy head knock and Morgs being elbow by the local tattoo enthusiast. Even with a 2-goal deficit, the girls were still in the hunt.

After half time, the match became a tale of two halves. With their relentless pressure, tackling and defensive control, the Stormers came home with a wet sail, kicking 4 goals to 1, to set up a spirited 2 goal win of Beach.

The girls now look forward to back-to-back home games with Rossmoyne this week.

Votes: Chicago 5, Jennay 4, Keisha 3, Garry 2, Pilot 1

BREWHUB C5 GRADE

Curtin Uni Wesley 3.1 (19) def by Brewhub Uni Pirates 10.12 (72)

The Pirates have won their third straight game for season 2020 with a strong 59 point win against Wesley Curtin out at South Oval on Saturday. Curtin have always been a tough outfit in this grade having pushed previous Pirates side right to the end. This, in addition to the weather, was going to make for a tough afternoon.

The news of the day surrounded the inclusions of premiership hero from last year Flemmo and Bomber Harding. Furthermore, the long-awaited debut of Jim ‘Rat…’ Ross created a buzz amongst this Pirates outfit.

Pre-game Coach Day spoke about how the side was coming together and challenged the players to stamp their authority on their spot in the side.

From the outset, Dekkers proved extremely dominant in the ruck, working his Curtin opponent off his feet. He provided first use to the midfielders all day with Diamo capitalising on this throughout the course of the game. Additionally, fellow skipper Matty Bailey proved dangerous around the ground spinning out of every tackle that was coming his way.

The Pirates kicked 5 goals in the first half and then added another 6 in the second half. Whilst not as potent as previous weeks, once again the telepathic connection of Angelkov and Garstone proved dangerous. Between the two they kicked 6 of the teams goal on the day and have resultingly created a two horse race for the Jibba Medal.

Elsewhere the returning Flemmo was fantastic and Ado Pearce proved a difficult match-up winning every one-on-one contest he had.

Bomber had to work his way into the game a bit, but found his way onto the scoresheet in the fourth. Similarly, Rat… also registered a major in the first which certainly created a buzz amongst the players and in particular Coach Day.

Of note from the backline, and as the votes will reflect, Nova had a 15-20 minute patch where he was unstoppable. His positioning, use of the footy and marking was exceptional proving there is not just one Macedonian Marvel in this side.

Ultimately though, it was a physical contest but a good test for our guys. We came away with a solid victory in what was at times difficult conditions.

The challenge for this outfit is to maintain the enthusiasm and challenge itself to get better as the season progresses. The Pirates come back home against an improved Mount Lawley side before having its bye for season 2020.

COYP

Goals – Con & Garstone (3); Blackers, Diamo, Egg, Bomber and Rat… (1)

Votes – Dekkers (5); Diamo (4); Nova & Flemmo (3); Chaps & Bails (2); Chooka, Con & Ado (1)

BDO C5 RESERVES

Curtin Uni Wesley 7.1 (43) def BDO Uni Dingoes 5.4 (34)

Round 3 was a much anticipated game for the Dingoes, with the team heading to South Oval to take on Wesley-Curtin; last year’s Grand Final winners. The stacked Wesley-Curtin team had drawn the attention of the Perth Football League Podcast, with the hosts astounded by just how many former WAFL players their C5 Reserves team boasted, despite their uncompetitive C5 side. The Dingoes were however boosted by a series of huge ins – club legend, Dono and efficient German man ‘Pet’ found themselves in unfamiliar territory, while Twosey and Tony Stark’s butler, Jarvo played their first game for the Dingoes. The team was also celebrating veteran Morey’s 150th game, with ‘The Eel’ single-handedly responsible for keeping the Dingoes financial for many years, regularly ensuring we aren’t fined on a weekly basis.

Despite heading into the game with a talented line-up, the two previous hit-outs against sub-par opposition had not prepared the Dings for the high-intensity first quarter. There was no faulting the workrate or effort of the team, however some costly turnovers when exiting the back 50 saw Wesley-Curtin take full advantage. Despite having their fair share of ball the Dingoes were unable to convert when going forward, and Wesley-Curtin found themselves two goals up at quarter-time. It was a similar affair in the 2nd quarter with Wesley-Curtin getting on top, and despite some excellent play from Morey and Muzza, the Dingoes headed into the main break 25 points down.

Some key line-up changes in the second half and a good old-fashioned coaching talk in the pouring rain saw the Dingoes start the 3rd term reinvigorated. The team ruckman, Demon, was swung to CHB and given the task of nullifying the opposition’s full-forward. Demon proceeded to live rent free inside the ex-WAFL player’s head for the rest of the game, who will no doubt by now have filed a complaint with Curtin’s Vice-Chancellor about being made to play accountable footy. Elsewhere, the midfield stepped up, with the timeless Fido producing some beautiful passages of football, and Jerk providing some much needed grunt around the stoppages. The forwardline started to look dangerous, while the backline kept Wesley-Curtin scoreless, and the Dings went into three-quarter time down by only 8 points. The margin would have been 3 points but for the field umpire overturning the goal umpire’s determination that Fido had kicked an (unbelievable) goal; a strange and almost certainly unconstitutional decision.

The boys were fired up heading into the last and worked tirelessly to overturn the deficit. Some great physicality from new Esperance recruit, Jarvo, as well as some silky play from Bobby and Spoons saw the Dingoes repel every opposition foray forward. Pet got on top in the ruck and around the ground, Twigg Jnr provided great run and precise kicking, while half-forwards Bragg, Luka and Harps started to look dangerous. After the Dingoes kicked a goal to get within 3 points with 2 minutes remaining, a couple of Dingoes politely enquired whether the WC umpire might show a bit more urgency in restarting the centre bounce. The umpire was unimpressed, and a free kick was awarded to the home team before the ball was bounced, taking Wesley-Curtin deep inside their 50 for the remainder of the game.

Unfortunately, a superb comeback from the Dingoes just fell short, with the 9 point margin not reflecting just how close the game was. There were plenty of positives for the young and maturing team, not least of which was unexpectedly seeing Little Dog at the Mt Henry Tavern, who provided everyone with 3 ‘sure things’ at Belmont; i.e. a great way to lose money quickly while watching your horse run backwards – perfect choice. 

BRETT JONES COLTS

Curtin Uni Wesley 8.14 (62) def Uni C-Gulls 8.1 (49)

No match report supplied

STEINEPREIS C3 WOMEN

North Beach 2.1 (13) def by Steinepreis Uni Peacocks 7.4 (46)

No match report supplied

Photo credit: Paul Day

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