Match Review – Round 4 – Bentleigh Vs. Oakleigh
Heading into the game Rhiannin, Christa, Lauren, Maddi, Rhiannah and Alicia were not available and play and Catty was a late exclusion due to illness.
Winter is coming and it was felt at Arthur street reserve on Sunday afternoon. The air was cold, and the strong wind was colder. The conditions meant playing conditions were not going to be easy against Oakleigh.
Our game plan was to play a free-flowing game and to kick with purpose not just blindly kicking the ball forward. We wanted them to chase us and for us not be predictable with our movement of the ball.
We went into the game quietly confident that our 21 would put on a good showing.
We won the toss and decided to go with the wind which is the dog park side of Bentleigh reserve.
Aided by a strong wind we felt it was important for us to get off to a good start and we got the start we wanted when Tilly, Nush and Llly combined with Lily kicking a great goal. Moments later Emma Medland and Lily combined to almost give us our 2nd major but the 1 point put us 7 points up. We were dominating in general play but the oppositions strategy to congest around the ball was making scoring difficult. Eventually from a stoppage an Emma Medland clearance found Zoe who handballed to Lily who kicked another great goal.
By the end of the quarter we were 14 points up but considering it was a 2 to 3 goal wind we were going with we considered it to be a fairly even quarter.
Lily started the game on fire kicking 2 which could easily have been 3 or 4 with a bit of luck. Nat started the game strongly in the ruck and Emma Medland was in everything. Tilly took off from where she left off the week before showing she is an A grader in the making and Stacey, Emma Turner and Jordy were highly active in the 1st term
It was going to be important for us to maintain Oakliegh in the 2nd quarter, they would have been content with things by the end of the 1st term. Our plan was to run the ball against the wind and play keepings off with short kicks and handball.
Our quarter could not have got off the a better start in a great passage of team work Stacey was able to hit up Nush who then was able to find Lily all on her own within range and Lily made no mistake finishing off a great passage of team play which showed we could kick and play with a purpose and intent. The rest of the quarter Oakleigh started gaining some control back and could easily have been within striking distance if it wasn’t for their inaccuracy. After posting 3 points in succession eventually they were able to kick their first goal. After their goal they were again able to only handle another 3 behinds and by the end of the quarter for all our domination around the ground we found ourselves only 9 points in front.
It was not the time to panic as we definitely looked the goods in general play, but we needed to show this on the scoreboard.
Tilly and Shannon held up Oakleigh very well in the 2nd term, Tara also continued to show up in vital times when Oakleigh were starting to take control but the highlight of the quarter was when Jordy ‘the Bruiser’ Cooper fairly collected the oppositions superstar and sent her into the world of pain! You could feel the ouch from the outer, but it was a fair bump and again showed why you want ‘The Bruiser’ on your side and not in the opposition.
The instructions at half time was to put the game out of reach for Oakleigh and to do this we wanted to not blaze away with the wind, open up the forward line and go directly through the center or center things from wing, half forward to go around the congestion Oakleigh would be trying to do.
The quarter started off promisingly when Nush and Jordy combined with Jordy kicking a point, this was followed up with Nush also kicking a point of her own but soon we were on our way when Stacy was able to kick a great goal which was icing to a great game she was having.
From that point to the end of the quarter the less said the better, in a dreadful 10 to 15 minutes we did everything opposite to what we planned to do and instructed to do. We were only able to kick 1 point for the rest of the quarter from Nat and we continued to kicked the ball to the pockets, we allowed Oakleigh to congest and bottle up the play and we went kick chasing. We played one dimensional footy and did not select the right options, we lost contests where we were 3 and sometimes 4 on 1 because we did not communicate, we bombed into our forward line and made it impossible for our key forwards to have any impact, we had no structure and showed our selfish side and not our focus to be a good side. our midfield lost structure and our small forwards did not follow instructions as well. Everyone was forward of the ball and our general positioning in our forward half had a lot to be desired.
It was very disappointing that again we kept doing the same thing, when packs form which they will in that type of game and weather we need to look at going around the packs and looking at attacking from different angles. This is something we need to learn if we are going to improve.
On a positive note it was the quarter where I felt Taz ‘The devil’ stood up and it was inspiring to see her take down an opposition heavyweight and be in the thick of the action throughout. I also thought that Jaclyn did a lot of work that was noted off and around the ball proving you don’t need to always have the ball in hand to be an active part of the game. Stacy was also exceptional throughout and Lily was tested for leather poisoning at the end of the quarter.
The 3rd quarter address was rightfully not a positive one. The game should have been iced but the opposition still were in the game. The score did not reflect our dominance and our inability to follow instructions and our choices with ball in hand was just very frustrating to watch. If we are going to be a chance in the business end of the year these aspects of our game need to improve.
It was up to us to hold on with a 3 goal lead but the wind was blowing a gale towards their end which was going to make it tough for us to kick against.
The last quarter began, and Oakleigh got the start they were wanting with a quick goal within the first 2 minutes of the game. The crowd began to get tense, surely not, they couldn’t steal the game from us.
Thankfully when the going got tough we got going and the last 18 minutes of the quarter was our best this year. We ran the ball against the wind, we handballed to running players, we kicked with intent and our movement with the ball was not one dimensional.
Every player lifted when it counted, the usual suspects lifted but also it was great to see Grace play her best quarter of football and Erin also finished the game strong. Emma Turner who was tireless all day also really came to her own when it counted. It was also a quarter Sienna could gain confidence from as she also lifted when it counted.
A couple of highlights in the quarter were when Erin kicked from 25 out which looked like it was going straight through the center of the big sticks only to be caught by the wind which made the footy fly like a kite and actually went 30 meters forward in the air and backwards 10 meters and then when it landed it bounced backwards even though it may have cleared the line. Finally this match report would not be complete without mentioning Sarah Radlow who was looking dangerous in the forward line and also looked like kicking the match sealing goal when she ran into goal and kicked across the goals from meter out.
With all our dominance in the last 18 minutes of the game it’s hard to believe we only scored 3 points however the wind was very strong and when it counted, they never looked likely even with the wind assistance.
All in all, it was a positive finish and it was a team effort which resulted in Bentleigh winning by a comfortable 14 points. The score did not indicate our dominance around the ground, we were far to quick for the opposition, but we need to start capitalizing on our opportunity and dominance in games.
We will take the 4 points and continue to learn and grow to become the team we can be!
There were great performances throughout the day but special mention to Stacy’s for her game, she showed the way on the wing with class and poise and carved up the opposition, her skill and selection of options under difficult conditions was fantastic. She is a fantastic recruit for our team who will only get better and better.
Lily, Turner and Medland all played well and 3 goals to Lily sealed her all-round dominance in the game.
We were also very happy with Jordy’s game who gave us what we needed and terrorized the opposition.
Tilly also had another great game, her 2nd game showed how versatile she is and how good of a competitor she is and has the ability to play any position, another great recruit for the club who also will get better and better.
There were also encouraging efforts during the day, Taz, Grace, Sienna, Erin, Kristy, Radlow and Nat all made positive contributions and finally Shannon and Tara played solid games again with Tara again showing she rises in pressure situations time and time again.
Let’s get on the training track and work on some things, we still have a lot of improvement in us and there is much to be excited about for the season but let’s not focus on potential and make it happen.