Brunswick NOBs vs Melbourne High School

Division 2
Score: 71 - 71
Brunswick Brunswick NOBs
Melbourne High School Melbourne High School
113 - 53

Match Report

With their season on the line, Melbourne High School Old Boys threw everything they had at Brunswick at Gillon Oval on Saturday and up until the very last minute it looked as though they had done enough to win, but in a spine-tingling finish the NOBs hit the front for the first time since early in the game, only for the visitors to scramble a behind to tie things up with seconds left. As it was, a draw did bring an end to MHSOB’s hopes of playing finals and guaranteed us a top-four finish.

For weeks, both sides knew this would be a virtual elimination final and when it arrived the game didn’t disappoint as a contest or a spectacle. Played in still conditions, which was a welcome relief after the wind of the week before, it was the visitors who were on top in the first quarter, with the game mainly played in their half. The NOBs’ defence was quite superb under siege and, luckily, Melbourne High missed a number of opportunities. Against the run-of-play, Tom Wilson kicked the first goal of the game after 18 minutes, but the sheer weight of inside-50s resulted in a couple to the visitors and an 11-point lead at the first break.

Brunswick began to work their way back into it in the second term and an early goal to Adam Bevanda narrowed the gap, before the teams traded goals (including Chris Gavaghan’s first senior goal for the season). The visitors then kicked the next couple to extend their lead, until Tom Wilson’s second reduced the margin to eight points at the half. With the Melbourne High midfield still getting first use, it was again our backline which was chiefly responsible for us being in the contest.

Early in the third quarter, it began to look a bit ominous as the visitors slammed on two majors and took their advantage out to 19 points after eight minutes, then slowly but surely the NOBs began to assert some dominance on the contest, getting our hands on the ball in the middle and some run on the outside. Back-to-back goals to Jasper Paevere ensured we went into the final change only four points down and, but for some misses, we could have been in front.

The last term was a ripper. The NOBs were looking much better than they had early in the game, but Melbourne High did not take a backward step and, courtesy of a brilliant goal in the opening minutes, again extended the margin to double figures. It was then goal-for-goal for the next 15 minutes (with Aidan Pollock and Evan McIntyre hitting the scoreboard), but the visitors were grimly hanging onto a two-kick advantage deep into time-on. The indefatigable Matt Palmer then slotted one from long-range and it was game on for the last few minutes as both sides threw themselves into the fray. Eventually, Brunswick opened up the visitors’ defence with less than a minute remaining and Tom Wilson took a great mark at the top of the goal square then handed off to Pollock on the goal line to snatch the lead by a single point. With 46 seconds left we threw numbers behind the ball, but Melbourne High still pressed forward, cancelling out that point. It was some finish!

Our best player was undoubtedly birthday boy Tahj Haddock who was quite brilliant down back, out-marking the opposition talls, running down their smalls and generally proving to be impassable. He was ably assisted by fellow defenders Liam Whelan, Will McKenzie, Jackson Browne and Dean Roberts. Tom Wilson and Pollock were good forward targets, while Ben Wilson and Palmer worked their way into the game and made important late contributions through the centre.

We now face relegation-bound Power House and Manningham in rounds 17 and 18 away before looking forward to a first-semi-final against Old Paradians in three weeks. See you at the footy!

14. Thomas Wilson 2 5
10. Aidan Pollock 2
27. Jasper Paevere 2
1. Matthew Palmer 1 6
13. Chris Gavaghan 1
19. Adam Bevanda 1
29. Evan Mcintyre 1
41. Tahj Haddock 1
28. Liam Whelan 2
3. Will McKenzie 3
8. Ben Wilson 4
4. Maxwell Naughton
5. James Schmidt
7. Jackson Browne
9. Nicholas Burgin
12. Dean Roberts
24. David Royle
32. Kane Daly
34. Angus Ross
35. Joshua Hedley
42. Tomas O’Farrell
49. Patrick O’Donoghue

Venue location

Gillon Oval

Pearson St, north of Victoria St, Brunswick VIC