A legend bows out in last game at Billy for the year
In a disappointing result for the sides final home game at Billy Grayden, TAs have gone down to University by 64 points.
Heading into the game looking to disrupt the make up of the top 5, the side was jumped from the start and unfortunately was unable to seriously challenge a side that will certainly be thereabouts come the business end of the season.
The first half was all Uni, as TAs struggled to control the run and spread of the Uni midfield, who were providing their forwards with ample opportunities. Meanwhile at the other end, the TAs forwards found the going tough as Uni stifled the sides ball movement.
TAs did manage to get on top in the third quarter, and by the final change had closed the margin to 4 goals, however were overrun in the last as Uni managed to pile on 6 goals to nothing to run out comprehensive victors.
Midfielders Jeremy Power and Callum Walley tried hard all day, whilst down back Matt Rodan and Jordan Busher did their best to repel the repeat Uni forward entries.
Post game the side celebrated in the changerooms the hugely successful career of much loved forward Ryan Murphy, whose day was cruelly ended early by a hamstring injury in what will prove to be his final game for the club. A two time premiership player whose goal kicking feats are unlikely to be matched, Ryan’s impact goes far beyond his on field exploits, and we wish him and his young family all the best.
The side wraps up it season next week at Kingsley, where it will be looking to finish the season off a positive note before turning its attention to supporting the clubs 4 other sides still in the finals mix.
TAs 6.3 39
Uni 15.13 103
Ressies Feeling the Love before Finals
Accuracy, more often than not it is the decider between teams evenly matched and that was the case on Saturday against University. 12 scoring shots a piece, we made every opportunity count kicking an extremely accurate 10.2 to Uni’s squandering 4.8 to run out 5 goal winners. With University starting strong, the twos showed some character and resolve, a lesson learned through some tough losses ourselves this season. The win not only cementing 4thspot but giving great belief amongst the team we can go deep this year.
In a tight early tussle University flexed their muscles and slammed on two goals into a decent wind, through sheer work rate and desire. We responded and by the end of the quarter had squared the ledger at 2 goals apiece. A beautiful left foot pass inside I50 from Kirk “Vote4Backs” Howes hit up exciting young wingman Hayden Da Rui, who was able to slot it from 40 out directly in front. Heading into the second, we were in the thick of it and knew we just had to limit the damage they could do with the wind.
Work rate, and a will. When we become a team with an intent to create turnovers, we can spread the ball quickly and create great scoring opportunities catching teams out. Simon “Spread Sheet” Franich, did what good Captains do and that is sometimes the impossible. After receiving one of Bryce McCrea-Lea’s 50 touches, a wonderful individual effort from the left pocket sparked the team and I think one of our best quarters for the year. After losing the first quarter’s I50 count 10-7, lifting our work rate and will, we won the second quarters count 7-6 making the most of our opportunities as well. Kicking 3 goals to 1, our increased intent and pressure created numerous shots, one in which Cal Radecki showed poise to dribble in from 50m smartly factoring in the head wind. Having a rule, no shots beyond 40m into the wind enter Frank James. The rule is when FJ is kicking it, there are no rules, so he did as good kicks do. Late in the 3rdthe wind had died down, and the defender had pushed down finding himself with the ball 40m out on a slight angle. Listening to team mates around him to back himself in, he kicked a big goal giving us momentum heading into the third.
As a team, momentum and what you do with it has been a focus for us throughout the year, better teams at times taking advantage of their momentum against us and putting on quick goals. Putting the shoe on the other foot, we were able to maximise ours from the 2ndquarter and kick 4 goals to 1, taking a strong lead into the final quarter. In the previous encounter, University sliced and diced their way through us with some slick ball movement. With some great individual performances around the ground our midfield got on top and we became the aggressor kicking 4 goals from 7 I50 entries. Ben Russell, Campbell Hunter, Simon Franich all impacting the scoreboard and finishing the hard work starting from the back 7 and midfielders. If only the eagles could learn to soccer more in the wet like Kieran Pirie. After receiving falcon of the year (Nameless), a smart soccer forward by Pire followed by an even more outrages tap on by FourB (Big, Bad, Baddest, Buster), set up Simon for his 2ndof the quarter and a healthy lead heading in at the final change.
The heavens opened, the sun was shining and it started to sprinkle. Where bloody else would you rather be than at glorious Suburban football, especially when Billy G is at its green, glistening best. Situational football, again something we have slowly been improving at. 20 minutes is not a lot of time to kick 6 goals, especially with time being continuous. As a team you can work this in your favour with repeat stoppages and shutdown footy. After Jackson Flematti put the nail in the coffin early, we did exactly what we needed to and that was limit scoring shots and create an ugly down the line game. With Uni winning the I50 count 6-2 our defenders repelled most chances and we controlled the game by managing the clock with that scrappy style of footy.
Two young players Kirika Kirika and Aaron Skinner really stepped up from the 3’s being late inclusions and not looking out of place against a very good team. KK playing his first game and really taking it on, whilst “Skinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnner” has played games here and there showing he could be a regular player next year. Bryce Mcrea-Lea put on a best on ground performance, winning numerous clearances and touches whilst collecting most of the player’s player votes. Receiving 12 or something votes again not a single back men voting for a midfielder (WTF Mate!!) Heading to Kingsley next week to finish the season, we hope to continue our 8 week non-losing streak and go into the finals in the best form possible.
Trinity Aquinas 10.2- 62
University 4.8- 32
Goals: Simon Franich 3, Benjamin Russel 1, Campbell Hunter 1, Callum Radecki 1, Dylan Murray 1, Frank James 1, Hayden Da Rui 1, Jackson Flematti 1
Best: Bryce Crea-Lea, Kirk Howes, Marc Mather, Max Vining, Hayden Da Rui, Dylan Murray
Strong Test passed
The A colts came up against the top team in University this week, a side which had only lost once so far this season. Fielding what we felt was almost our strongest colts side for the year with the likes of Trav Austen fresh from his three week secondment to the league side, Ethan Petta and Matteo Primerano all returning, coach Cal Leslie challenged his boys to take a big scalp heading into finals and that they did.
After an even first quarter, our midfield lead by captain Mason Nicolaou started to get the ascendency our way which helped us take a 7 point lead into half time. Looking to build on this lead coming into the third quarter, the boys continued to be all over the Uni side which resulted in a 3 goal lead at three quarter time.
Knowing the Uni side would be throwing everything at us to start the last quarter, our Colts lifted again and finished off the game by keeping Uni goalless in the last quarter to end up 35 point winners.
With plenty of depth in the squad and genuine belief that they can beat anyone on their day our Colts are looking set for a big finals campaign.
TAs 9.11 65
Uni 4.6 30
Best Players: Mason Nicolaou, Charlie McCormack, Ben Santella, Matteo Primerano, Brad Skajko
Goal Kickers: Ben Santella 3, Jack Riley 2, Charlie McCormack, Ethan Petta, Yianni Kakulas and Cooper Vanderweide
Box 1 of 2 ticked.
What a weird game to take on. Playing North Freo at our home away from home at Wyong Reserve before playing them once again in a elimination final the week after it was so important the boys were switched on at the task at hand and that’s exactly what they did.
TA’s had the breeze in the first quarter and made most of their opportunity. Scoring on all 6 of our inside 50 entries for the quarter. Some sloppy ball movement however gifted North Freo 2 goals of their own to keep them well in touch in the first break. Livewire forward Dan Randazzo registered 2 majors in the first quarter before a wrist injury ended his day prematurely. Our other 2 goals were registered by ever reliable FF Mick McLeod and Special guest for the day Michael McGowan who also highlighted our fantastic first quarter with the tackle of the day showing the 38 year old still has what it takes.
The second quarter and North Freo has the breeze and the boys had their mindset on possession footy but what started a slow quarter giving NF most of the possession and the first goal quickly turned into the Mick McLeod show. Our ball movement improvement out of sight and with regular clean passages through the corridor there isn’t a defender who can stop Macca when up and about and he terrorised any defender who came his way kicking all 3 of our goals for the quarter before yet again some bad foot skills gifted NF another goal late in the quarter giving them a sniff in the major break.
Start the third and it was imperative we remained our relentless attack on ball and the man and keep the pressure on. NF changed their defensive tactics and at times had 4 and 5 sets of eyes watching Macca at all times which then resulted in the first 10 minutes being a real arm wrestle with NF managing to snag a goal and again put the pressure back on TA’s and pleasing to myself the boys responded. We continue to pie on the I50’s which lead to NF making a mistake and catching Noah Dennis high and Noah kicking truly to give us some breathing room, before Michael McGowan again showing his class and poise roving a pack and snapping truly to give TA’s a 29 point lead into the final break.
It was evident going into the last NF would throw everything at us both on and off the ball it was up to the boys to hold their composure and remain discipline. The final quarter was all NF continually piling on the I50’s with the breeze the regular TA’s Stalwarts of Ben Liddelow, Aaron Zucconi and Jason Ogg regularly repelled what ever came our way. Thankfully for some inaccurate goal kicking NF could never bring the gap under 3 goals and TA’s managed to hold for what was a fantastic and determined 20 point win.
Jason Ogg was clearly the best of the day with his class doing absolutely everything from clean skills to gritty 1% and NF I’m sure will be planning for him to come. Young defender John Pisano was a bull out of the backline while Spearhead Mick McLeod was yet again prominent with another 4 goals.
Our eyes now set on what is the first elimination final again against NF at Gil Fraser which shapes to be an intriguing hit out.
Goals 4; M.McLeod
2; D.Randazzo, M.McGowan
Best; J.Ogg, J.Pisano, A,Zucconi, M.McLeod, T.Flematti.
Last game of the season for the D Colts comes down to the last second
The last game of the season is always a bit of a melancholy feeling as you reflect on the highs and lows of a football year. To our boys credit, things have not gone our way at all this year but they have always stayed the course and never given up on any opportunity to get a win on the board and this game was no different. Wesley Curtin was a team we felt like we could beat at home if we we’re consistent enough for the entire game and the lads we’re fired up before the contest.
Unfortunately, despite all of the pre-game energy and excitement, we had one of our worst starts to a game for the year conceding 5 goals to nothing in a very disappointing first term. Our lack of accountability hurt us dearly in the first quarter as we could not keep up with Wesley Curtin’s ball movement. After a kick up the bum at quarter time, the boys responded in an emphatic way. We started playing a man-on-man game style and our midfielders began winning a majority of the clearances giving our forwards a chance to score. Midfielder Zach Hooper was the catalyst for our midfield, winning a number of key centre clearances and winger Mitch Clark showed his flare and speed, opening up the play on the outside. A 4 goal to 1 second term got us right back into the contest and we headed into half time down by two scores but full of confidence for a big second half.
At half time the message was to stick to the game plan and not let the opposition get on top of us early. Again, Wesley Curtin we’re the better team in this term as they outclassed us on the outside through their ball movement. James Miocevich kicked a crucial goal late in the third to put us in touching distance but we remained 3 straight kicks behind at the final break. “Leave it all out on the field” was the message at three quarter time as the boys realised it was their last 20 minutes of the season and we went into the final term with a nothing to lose mentality. The last quarter was absolutely wild and full of momentum swings, but 3 straight goals, including 2 to Kelly Schneider, put us dead even at 62 apiece when there was about 6 minutes left in the contest. Unfortunately, the lads just couldn’t get the ball up the other end and the opposition kicked the last two behinds of the game to separate the two teams at the final siren. Another heartbreaking loss for our D Colts who lost 5 games by 8 points or less this season including 4 by a goal or less.
The sting of losing always lingers but the improvement in this group, especially in the last six weeks has been very impressive. 9 weeks prior we lost to Wesley Curtin by 5 goals, this time we had every opportunity to win the game. The attitude and progression of the playing group cannot be understated. With a little bit more luck this year, our group would have been competing for that 5th finals spot but it just wasn’t to be.
Another great year of D Colts football at Trinity Aquinas and a reminder that a win/loss record isn’t necessarily everything especially when you consider that we didn’t have a second colts team last year and that these guys hardly new each other before the season began. The club’s colts program is in a stronger position than ever.
TA’s 9.8 62
Wesley Curtin 9.10 64
BEST: K. Schneider, J. Jones, M. Fynn, A. Armstrong, M. Clark
GOALS: 3 K. Schneider, 3 J Miocevich, 1 Miller, Jones, Hooper