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The “Battle of Brunswick” lived up to its billing on Saturday at Gillon Oval as Brunswick traded blows with West Brunswick all day in an entertaining clash before holding on for a thrilling two-point win, which – nearing the end of a tough season – was well deserved and so, so welcome.
As has tended to be the case in recent weeks, Brunswick got off to a flyer in the opening term, with five goals straight on the board – all from individual goal scorers – by the 20-minute mark. But, also in keeping with our form, we then suffered a letdown. This time that equated to 0.7 for and 5.3 against from late in the first quarter to early in the third. Thankfully, once that bad spell was broken we slammed on another five goals straight, headlined by three in 15 minutes to the busy James Schmidt, including a spectacular half-volley that really got the crowd up-and-about.
However, you guessed it, there were more twists to come in this tale. A two-point lead at the last change was extended by a goal to Dom Sullivan after five minutes, before West Brunswick went on a run of their own with the next three goals, as they capitalised on a number of our turnovers. But the Brunswick players were desperate not to let another close one slip through their fingers and kept pushing hard, leading to a goal to Chris Gavaghan in the 18th minute to get back within a kick. Sixty seconds later came the biggest moment of the match when the tireless James Moverley banged through one of his flat punt specials from 45 metres out to put us back in front.
At the 27th minute mark a Geremie Ganino goal looked to have sealed it for us, but we all needed a bit more excitement, didn’t we? Well, not really, but we got it. A goal to West Brunswick with 90 seconds remaining made it a one-point game. We took the ball forward from the restart and it looked like Sullivan would finally end it, but his kick faded to the right to give our local rivals another chance to score from the kick-in. Players and supporters alike were frantic for the closing seconds but when the siren sounded Brunswick had hung on.
There were some ripping efforts for the victors, but none better than that of Moverley in the ruck, who was dominant in the air and a warrior around the ground, who, in addition to his incredible goal, at one stage marked his own kick out of the centre – which went more than 20 metres – against two trailing opponents and then set-up a goal.
With four goals to his name, Schmidt played an inspired game, while Nick Burgin and Ben Wilson were again classy in the midfield. Jed Carey continued his excellent run of form, as did the Whelan brothers (Seamus and Liam). Ganino and Aidan Pollock were also very good over four quarters.
Well done to all players on a great win. We look forward to returning to Toorak Park this week to take on Prahran Assumption.
James Moverley (left & facing) was colossal in the final quarter helping Brunswick NOBs secure the “Battle of Brunswick”.
Scoreboard in the final minutes of the enthralling Battle of Brunswick.
Pearson St, north of Victoria St, Brunswick VIC