|37 - 68|
|13 - 8|
|13 - 40|
Against fifth-placed Aquinas OC on Saturday, Brunswick banked an important four points by – literally – coming home with a gale in the final quarter, turning a three-point deficit into an eight-goal win, to reach the half-way mark of the season perched in the top-two on the ladder, with a massive game against the testing material in Ivanhoe to come after the long weekend.
In bitterly cold conditions at Ringwood, the foundation for this victory was laid in the opening term as the NOBs, kicking into a five-goal wind, denied the home side the ball for large parts, which meant that even though it was super-hard for us to score, the Bloods were prevented from taking proper advantage with only two majors. As occurred last week, Jasper Paevere kicked our only goal of the first quarter, while Kristian Ciciulla and Ben Wilson were particularly prominent in the midfield.
Aquinas had the better of the early stages of the second quarter and capitalised on a rare defensive brain-fade which gifted them the opening goal, before Brunswick eventually got on top, sparked by Josh Hedley – playing his first game for the club after a mid-season transfer from St Bernard’s – and Will McKenzie with a long bomb from the wing. Once the shackles were broken, further goals flowed, including a second to Hedley and a couple more for Paevere, which meant we took a 29-point lead to the main break.
Unsurprisingly, the Bloods came out firing in the third term as it was clear they would need to be leading by at least four goals at the final change to be a realistic winning chance, and two quick majors suggested they might be on track, but then the scoring slowed as the NOBs defended hard. A couple of rare opportunities into the wind were then missed, before the home side managed to get their nose front late in the quarter, but it didn’t seem as though three-points would be enough, and so it proved, although we made heavy weather of it with a number of misses early, before finishing with a flourish and doubling our score in the process. Indeed, it is testament to the team’s depth and fitness that week-on-week they are finishing over-the-top of their opponents and, this week, it was pleasing to see seven individual goal-kickers in the final term, including further majors to Paevere and Hedley.
The tricky conditions meant that every quarter was game in itself and different players came in-and-out of the game as a result, although, playing with new-found freedom on the wing, McKenzie was a standout, and Hedley had an excellent debut for the club. Matt Palmer, Ben Wilson and Ciciulla were all very good, and with four goals in difficult conditions Paevere was the best forward on the ground. Young Zephyr Hooke showed he is player of promise, while co-captain James Schmidt was good off half-back.
After a well-earned rest, Ivanhoe at Gillon await on a day when we welcome our past players to join us for what will be a memorable day. See you there!
46 Great Ryrie St, Ringwood VIC