St Mary’s Salesian
|97 - 67
|74 - 44
|15 - 13
|14 - 28
In sport, winning and losing are equally capable of becoming a habit and, unfortunately, for Brunswick it is struggling with the latter in season 2021.
Saturday’s game against St Mary’s Salesian at Ferndale Park followed a familiar script – a winnable game with lengthy periods of domination without due reward, followed by lapses in which the opposition kicked a succession of goals that were enough to deprive us of the precious four points.
It is never easy to win against St Mary’s on their postage stamp ground, but for the first quarter it was Brunswick who looked at home as they dominated general play and the inside-50 count. It was a crying shame, though, that they couldn’t capitalise on their hard work where it mattered most, as 2.5 could easily have been 5.2.
As is becoming the norm, the dynamic Dave Marchione kicked our first goal, this time after an impressive build-up from defensive 50. He then created our second with some individual brilliance on the wing, setting up the impressive Choco Royle. A late goal to St Mary’s meant a margin of only eight points and raised concerns that our poor finishing may come back to haunt us.
The second quarter started in similar style – Brunswick well on top but missing the big sticks, until Will McKenzie floated forward to sneak one through to extend our lead to 16 points.
St Mary’s then goaled against the run-of-play, which sparked a further four in quick succession and, in a flash, we were 15 points down. It would prove to be the most critical phase of the game, being due to a combination of a distinct drop off in pressure and some quality goalkicking by the home side. A late major to the hard-working Max Naughton meant that we remained in touch at the main break, but we faced the challenge of turning it around without our vice-captain James Schmidt and young gun Gus Coverdale, who were both out of the game with serious injuries.
St Mary’s began the second half with a goal from the bounce, which was followed by more frustrating misses by us. The quarter then became something of a shoot-out as the game opened up and, while we kicked some very good goals of our own through Rhyen Woods, Marchione, Royle and a double to the warrior James Moverley, we also conceded a number of easy ones, so we couldn’t make an impression on the lead which St Mary’s had set up in the second term.
A goal early in the final quarter to Ben Wilson, who was playing his best game for the season, dragged us back within two kicks, but as had become a theme, St Mary’s responded quickly and followed it up with a succession of majors to stretch their lead out to six goals.
To our great credit, even with a limited bench, we refused to lie down and kicked the last three goals of the game, two to the swingman Chris Gavaghan and another to Naughton. However, the damage had been done and at the siren the prevailing feeling was we had missed another opportunity.
There were some terrific individual performances on the day, none more so than by Moverley, who was a beast in the ruck and worked hard at both ends of the ground, saving and kicking goals. Marchione was dangerous all day and looks to be on the precipice of a having a monster game. Wilson relished the conditions, while skipper Nick Burgin had a mountain of possession, especially early. Naughton, Royle and Woods were also very good, while Lewis White was cool under pressure in defence.
Valley Parade and Glen Iris Rd, Glen Iris VIC