In a tale of two halves, the TAs league side has held on to secure a much needed 7 point win over Kingsway in blustery conditions at Kingsway Reserve.
Heading into the game full of confidence after a strong win over Wembley the week prior, the TAs boys adapted well to the slightly slippery conditions early, using the huge expanses of the ground to full effect- a 6.1 to 0.0 quarter clearly the sides most dominant of the year. Slick ball movement through the middle off the ground allowed for some clean ball inside the F50, where key targets Tim Watkins, Ben McAullay & Damon Guinness were able to take full advantage.
Heading into the breeze in the second, the side was able to run and carry, utilising the short hit up and with plenty of overlap run coming from Trent Hackett, Stephen Pover & Josh Rouphael through the middle of the ground, was able to kick 3 goals for the term in tricky conditions. Meanwhile at the other end of the ground, the defence, led by youngsters Jordan Lesson & Hayden Fancote, was able to repel Kingsways forward thrusts, holding them to 1 goal for the quarter, meaning the side went in with a comfortable 8 goal buffer in arguably the sides best half of football all year.
The second half however could not have been in starker contrast, with the run and execution that was a standout in the first half completely disappearing; this, coupled with a renewed Kingsway side that was starting to win ball on the inside and outside, saw momentum completely shift. A 4 goal to none quarter for the Roos saw TAs go in at three quarter time with a 23 point advantage.
The first 10 minutes of the last quarter was an arm wrestle, with neither side able to hit the scoreboard. A couple of quick goals to Kingsway mid way through the term reduced the margin to less than 2 goals; the side was able to generate some deep forward entries, however was not able to kick a major to reduce the pressure. A break in play whilst forward Scott Moore was stretchered from the ground with a suspected major knee injury seemed to refocus the Group, and when Kane Ransted was able to pounce on a loose ball in the goal square and kick the sides first & only goal of the half, the margin was back out to 14 points with only a few minutes remaining. Kingsway continued to
press and a goal with only 60 seconds remaining reduced the margin to 7 points, however time was to run out with the side holding on for the win.
Whilst the group was disappointed with the second half performance, the key objective of the day was to get the W and the side was able to achieve this on the back of a dominant first half display. Midfielders Rouphael, Valentine & Pover were consistent performers all day, whilst Leeson was a driving force from the half back line. Youngster Hayden Da Rui came in for his senior debut, providing plenty of dash on a wing,
becoming the sides 9th debutant for the year.
The side returns home to Billy this Saturday for another crucial match up with Fremantle CBC; clashes between the two sides are always close, hard fought affairs and with plenty at stake for both sides, it is sure to be a great contest.
1: Guinness, Moore, Birrell, Hackett, Ransted
A Reserves vs Kingsway – Match Report
Sitting in the top 5 for the first time entering round 13, the reserves side found the belief to play like a finals contender winning their third game in a row in commanding fashion. Kingsway (4-8) were a danger game, having previously pushed the team back in round 5, TA’s eventually winning by 19 points (9.10-64 v 7.3-45). After the first quarter, I wouldn’t have blamed you for thinking another tight tussle was going to ensue, however the Trinity Aquinas (6-6) came together to play some of the best footy they have played all year and run out winners by 107 points
Jumping out to an early 3 goal lead into a strong head wind you couldn’t have been happier with the start, utilising our skills and high pressure value to force turnovers and create easy scoring shots. However similar to the week before against Wembley we switched off for
5-10 minutes at the back end of the quarter allowing Kingsley to answer with 3 quick goals in succession, you could say it was game on. This seemed to spark the boys into action and after quarter time they started to assert their authority around the ground holding Kingsway scoreless in the second whilst tallying 7 goals from only 9 inside 50 entries. Big Bad Buster Hunter (Campbell Hunter) was the finisher from all the hard work up the ground and good ball use coming inside the forward 50 having 6 goals to the half, helped out by Luke Salomone with a couple of his own.
Kingsway kicked their final goal for the game in the 3rd, but the TA’s reserves continued to surge with both Billy Clay and Luke Salomone kicking 2 goals for the quarter and the team continuing to play an unselfish brand of football. Heading into the last, the team was up on all its KPI’s except for one and that was the clearance count. Being even in the clearances and wanting to achieve a +8 differential for the whole game the midfield stocks lifted winning 12-3 clearances in the last, with club debutant Jordan Busher particularly winning a number of clearances helping the team kick 5 goals to help the final margin push to over 100 points running out winners (21.7-133 v 4.2-26). A very pleasing 4 quarter effort, against an opposition we had played twice already, including the pre-season, who have given us some trouble with their ball movement and desire to compete. Having a number of high class players come back from either injury or holidays and play in the team helped immensely, but what this team is building is a brand and style similar to last year and we are finally gaining confidence in each other to produce it when it matters.
With 9 goal kickers and probably our widest spread in the player’s player voting after the game, all is full steam ahead and looking towards a massive game against a top 3 side in CBC Fremantle. Yet to knock over a top 3 side this year, a big win at home against a fierce rival would instil the team with great confidence with only 4 games left knowing they can compete with the best in the competition. Being our presidents (Gerard Arangio) 100thgame as well, it was pleasing the boys could put on a good show and get it done for the big fella whose work mostly goes unnoticed but is vital to the team (on and off). If you ever get a spare minute or 5, ask him yourself about his records in Grand Finals, and hopefully we can get some of that luck to rub off on the team this year.
BEST: Xavier Malone, Luke Salomone, Eoghan McElwee, Gerard Arangio, Cambpell Hunter
Goals: Campbell Hunter 6, Luke Salomone 5, Billy Clay 3, Brad Russel 2, Daniel Lenzo 1, Nathan Volk 1, Eoghan McElwee 1, Josh Houwen 1, Simon Franich 1
Thirds Creep Closer to Another Finals Campaign.
Give Mileti a 300 to Remember.
Coming off a loss from inaccurate goal kicking against North Beach this weeks game, came as a 8 point game against Wesley Curtin. With both teams sitting on 6 wins a piece and TA’s with a bye to come a loss would make finals difficult.
With 8 changes from the week before it was always going to take time for the side to gel and that showed with Wesley Curtin kicking the first 2 goals of the game inside the first 10 minutes. Gun defenders Ben Liddelow and Aaron Zucconi repelled more WC surges with some great intercept marking.
Mick McLeod and Tom Flematti both registered a major to keep TA’s in touch at quarter time.
Second quarter comes around and TA’s start to wrestle back momentum and the lead with Tom Flematti and Mick McLeod both giving us avenues to goal once again and the back 6 continuing to repel any WC pushes forward. but inaccurate goal kicking (2.5) once again left the door ajar for WC leading into halftime with TA’s holding a 17 point lead.
With the focus to play more composed possession football and our Ruck stocks of Max Vining and Jimmy Wharton getting clearly on top in hit outs the charge in the Third was lead by club legends Jason Mileti, Jason Ogg and Luke Howard. The forward fleet of Capelli, Hislop and The Flematti brothers combined with the power marking of Ben Russell lead to TA’s taking full control but kicking 4.4 to Wesley Curtins 2 behinds was the only dampener on a match winning quarter.
With the lead at 39 starting the 4th quarter the emphasis was not to get complacent and TA’s continued to run and carry and cut open WC through the corridor and dominate possession. Goals to Howard, McLeod & the 300 milestone man Jason Mileti all but sealed a comprehensive victory and give some much needed breathing room on the ladder.
We now move to Wanneroo away next weekend still building continuity and eyeing off finals.
McLeod, 4 T.Flematti, 2 Howard, Mileti, Hislop, Russell, Capelli, 1