August 18, 2018, 2:00 pm
Strange as it may seem coming off a goalless performance the week before and playing a team who thrashed us by 81 points earlier in the year, Brunswick travelled to Preston on Saturday confident of a victory in the final round of a tough season. Such are the vagaries of a young and developing team, the return from injury of some key players and the inclusion of a couple of talented youngsters from the Colts gave us an extra spring in our step, which translated to us starting well, leading at every break and then clinging on for an excellent eight-point win in difficult conditions.
The start was the key. By the 10-minute mark of the first quarter, with his first two kicks in senior football, 15-year-old Aaron Tsarouhas had singlehandedly taken us to a score of 2.0, which was greater than our entire return from seven days prior. From there the pre-game confidence grew. Nick Burgin was again leading the way, Anthony Argento was having a day out, Jed Carey was presenting as a target and Geremie Ganino was as busy as ever.
In the second term we threatened to run away from the Bullants after a string of majors, highlighted by another goal-of-the-year contender to Carey, who volleyed one through a crowded goal square from an errant throw-in. But Preston fought back and closed the gap to within a kick at the main break.
We made another run at the Bullants in the third quarter and took a 19-point lead to the final change. The highly promising 16-year-old Francis Evans snagged two important goals for the term, while Carey kicked his third and James Schmidt slotted a trademark long bomb. Seamus Whelan had been given the job of running with Preston’s best player at halftime and responded magnificently, while skipper Danny King was back to his best across halfback.
The weather well-and-truly closed in for the final term and made it a slog to the finish. The Bullants would not go away and kicked three goals in-a-row to make it a two-point game with plenty of time left. Then, as the ball turned to a piece of soap and both sides struggled, it became a case of next goal wins. Thankfully, that goal was to Brunswick, with the speedy Evans’ third of the half. The exclamation mark to the wonderful contribution of the Colts was Tsarouhas’ rundown tackle on a Bullant as they attempted to respond in the dying seconds. A special mention also needs to be made of Thomas Wilson who took a number of strong marks in the most difficult conditions of the day, highlighted by a critical intercept late in the game at half-forward.
All Brunswick players deserve to be congratulated for playing the season out in the manner they did. We may be dropping to Division Two in 2019 but we do so with much optimism and excitement about the team’s future.
16 year old Francis Evans (L) and 15 year old Aaron Tsarouhas (R) kicked 5 of the 12 goals at the weekend to help topple our northern rival Preston.
W.R. Ruthven Reserve
Donald St and Madeline St, Preston VIC