|51 - 36|
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers
|68 - 15|
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers
|127 - 0|
At Gillon Oval on Saturday, Brunswick’s mid-season struggles continued against a West Brunswick side who were intent on avenging their after-the-siren defeat of a few weeks ago, slumping to third-straight loss and a tenuous hold on a top-four spot.
Played in wintry sunshine with a southerly breeze, which was a novelty for this time of the year, this was to be a low-scoring affair, although, as has become a concerning trend of late, it was Brunswick’s opponents who hit the scoreboard early. On this occasion, it was the Westies with the opening three goals in the first term, which was due reward for their willingness to look to play on at all costs, while the NOBs tended to over-possess the ball.
A goal late in the quarter to Aaron Christensen was most welcome, as was another early in the second term to Tom O’Farrell to make it a one-kick game. However, thereafter, the second quarter was an exercise in frustration, as the NOBs had most of the play but butchered the ball with constant skill errors and poor decision-making. That the Westies’ only goal for the term was due to a critical defensive error did not help the mood at half-time.
Brunswick needed to turn things around in the premiership quarter but continued to struggle to gain any traction, especially in the midfield where we were soundly beaten. To add to our woes were further defensive errors, in particular a horrible miskick across goal that skewed out-on-the-full followed by a turnover at half-back, which both cost goals, taking the margin to 28 points. Swingman Lewis White got one back, but that was cancelled out in the last minute and the away side had a match-winning lead at the final change.
After an early West Brunswick goal in the last quarter, the rest of the game was a hard watch, although it was good to see key forwards Jasper Paevere (with two goals in a minute) and Tom Wilson hit the scoreboard in the dying stages.
On a tough day, it was unsurprising that our better players were defenders in Liam Whelan (who is having a stellar season), Lewis White, Taj Haddock and Will McKenzie. Max Naughton and Ben Wilson tried hard all day in the middle of the ground, while Aidan Pollock was lively across half-forward.
To put things in perspective, while we have had three losses in succession, they have been against the sides now sitting in the top-three and we are still fourth. Our remaining six games are against teams below us, so the simple equation is win those games and play finals. The general bye comes at a good time for us to mount that assault, starting with Bulleen Templestowe away on Saturday week.
Pearson St, north of Victoria St, Brunswick VIC