|139 - 5
|25 - 31
|15 - 33
Back at Gillon Oval on a true mid-winter’s day, Brunswick displayed a grim determination to not trip up against sixth-placed Aquinas, which ultimately carried them to a 54-point victory and back to third on the ladder.
Played in showery conditions, it was the NOBs who got the better start (for once) as Tom Wilson re-discovered some of his early-season form with two good goals early on, before the Bloods got on the board. When Pat O’Donoghue snapped truly to restore a 12-point margin it looked like the home side might be on-track for a dominant first quarter, but Aquinas had other ideas and kicked two late majors to share the honours.
Kicking to the Sydney Road end, Brunswick was looking to have a big second quarter, but after Jasper Paevere slotted a goal at the five-minute mark they struggled to score in the wet conditions, as the Bloods defended well. Aidan Pollock was able to break through after 22 minutes to eke out a three-goal lead, but the Bloods again finished the quarter better to reduce the margin to 12-points at halftime. An unusual incident had occurred during the quarter as the Aquinas goal umpire was summarily dismissed by a field umpire who said he didn’t like the goal umpire’s tone during an animated discussion over whether a NOBs’ shot had brushed the padding on the goal post. It is a funny game, footy.
Aquinas kicked a goal in the first minute of the third term to make it a one-goal game as the rain settled in and the game became a real slog, requiring the NOBs to dig deep to shrug off the challenge. It took a beautiful pass from Aaron Christensen to Matt Palmer in front of goal to start to turn things around, followed by a nice major to Angus Ross. Then came one crazy minute in which the same Aquinas defender gave away a 50m penalty to gift Pollock his second, followed by a silly free kick to Pollock again, making the margin 34 points and effectively ending the contest.
Pollock’s dream run continued in the opening minute of the last quarter, volleying one through in the goal square for his fourth, then Ross slotted his second. The Bloods got a couple back as they continued to play the game out, but the floodgates opened in junk-time, with majors to key forwards Christensen, Paevere (with a brace) and Tom Wilson (to top-and-tail the game).
Coach Hunter awarded best-on-ground honours to defender Dean Roberts for his inspirational attack on the ball over four quarters, while Pollock had a day out. Co-captain Nick Burgin was back to something approaching his best form in the midfield. Ross was also very good, while Josh Hedley slotted back into the side seamlessly returning from injury. The Wilson brothers – Ben and Tom – were also strong contributors on the day.
Yarra Old Grammarians await at Gillon this Saturday as the NOBs look to keep on getting the job done in their push towards September. See you there!
Pearson St, north of Victoria St, Brunswick VIC