Brunswick NOBs vs Old Yarra Cobras

Division 2
Score: 58 - 78
Brunswick Brunswick NOBs
55 - 41

Match Report

In pursuit of a grand final berth, an undermanned Brunswick threw everything they had at Old Yarra Cobras at Garvey Oval on Sunday and closed to within a goal midway through the final quarter, but it was the Cobras who had greater composure in the end to take the game by 20 points.

This was a proper preliminary final – both teams hard at it, not giving an inch, with pressure on in every contest. Goals were hard-earned and mistakes magnified. Very little separated the sides for most of the afternoon, but from late in the second quarter the Cobras got their noses in front, and despite the NOBs’ valiant efforts they could never quite bridge the gap, with the effort taking its toll in the closing stages.

In the first term, the consensus was the Cobras were kicking to the scoring end, but it was Brunswick who had the better of general play and the scoring opportunities. The returning Jonny Haddad made an instant impression with a major in the opening minute before the Cobras got on the board after 10 minutes. Skipper Ben Wilson put the NOBs back in front, but that was immediately cancelled out when a 50-metre penalty gifted a goal to Old Yarra, before Haddad’s second late on ensured Brunswick took a well-deserved lead into the first break.

The Cobras seemed to enjoy kicking to the city end as well, with their own goal after a minute, followed by the next after 11 minutes. Haddad slammed through his third soon after to level the scores, but it was the Cobras with the next couple. Another late goal, this time to Tom Wilson, made it a one kick game again at halftime.

The third quarter started badly for Brunswick with a dropped mark in the Cobras’ goal square costing an early goal, but Alex Avraam then answered to reduce the margin to six points. The NOBs were looking to run the ball and create opportunities, but forward targets were hard to find, while the Cobras peppered their goals without success until the 22nd minute mark when they stretched their lead to 14 points, before they were generous enough to concede a 50 that took defender Jake Ralston within range, which he duly converted to close the gap to nine points the final change.

Who would kick the crucial first goal of the final term? Following an Avraam snap that hit the post early on, it was a question that would take 12 minutes to be answered, with Sam Kiebert coolly taking a set shot from a free kick directly in front to make it a three-point game. With a grand final and promotion on the line, both sides pressed hard, but it was the Cobras who had the answers, forcing errors that led to a goal to their best player, Stacker, before extending their lead to 16 points after 21 minutes. When the NOBs missed a golden opportunity to reduce the margin to nine points with three minutes left on the clock, the game was up, as the Cobras swept the ball down the other end for the sealer.

Brunswick had many good players on the day in a brave effort, led by ruckman Tom O’Farrell, who was returning from injury and then hurt his wrist in the first quarter, but played the game out magnificently. Angus Ross was brilliant over four quarters in the engine room. Josh Hedley also relished the finals pressure, while in defence Aidan Pollock, Jake Ralston and Tahj Haddock were excellent. Haddad was the NOBs best forward, while Ben Wilson was prominent in the first half.

The NOBs can be proud of their effort and curse their rotten luck as injuries cut deep in the last few weeks of a successful season. Well done to all players and coaches on their efforts. There is much to look forward to in season 2024!

11. Jonathon Haddad 3
22. Jake Ralston 1 6
8. Ben Wilson 1
14. Thomas Wilson 1
29. Alexander Avraam 1
44. Sam Kiebert 1
4. Tomas O’Farrell 1
5. Angus Ross 2
16. Joshua Hedley 3
10. Aidan Pollock 4
12. Tahj Haddock 5
3. Will McKenzie
6. Lewis Bonney McKenzie
17. Tom Hedley
21. Anthony Alexandris
25. Paul Scamporlino
25. Joe Gale
26. Matt Horan
32. Harris Mitter
34. Gabriel Banova
38. Archie Fulton-Grigg
45. Zephyr Hooke

Venue location

Garvey Oval

Plenty Road and Ambrose Treacy Drive, Bundoora VIC