Proudly sponsored by:
Coach: Dave Nelson
Assistant Coach: Dave Farquharson
Round 14, 11th August
Port Colts U12 v St Peters
Venue: Oval 11, Albert Park
Port Colts 6.0.36 def St Peters 3.3.3
Goalkickers: Rudd 2, Fulcher 2, McMullen, Farrell
PORT TRIUMPH AGAINST ST PETERS IN CRUCIAL CLASH
Pressure can burst pipes, but it can also make diamonds. With everything on the line, in a must-win clash, the young Colts produced a gem of a performance, probably the most glittering of the year. In a classic fourth versus fifth scenario the Colts overtook St Peters and now sit precariously in the four. With a fingerhold on the finals the team must win in the last round this weekend to taste finals action. The pressure never lets up for this group of knockabout and nuggety uncut precious rocks.
Dion and Oscar celebrated their 50 game milestones by joyfully bursting through the banner. First ruck Oscar then disappeared for a wardrobe adjustment, just as the ball was to be bounced, meaning Louis had to bolt from centre half forward to take the first tap. Confusion to our enemies. Confusion to all.
St Peters’ dangerous surging-of-the-ball-forward style was apparent from the outset. The Colts weathered the first few forays with disciplined positioning and strong running and tackling. The sticky conditions helped our cause too. When the heat was on the workhorses in the middle and backline stood up superbly.
As the game wore on the Colts counter-attacking to space and front positioning made the difference. On this very long ground Port Melbourne goals came via an open and mobile forward line. Tom McMullen’s goal was from the end of some beautiful team play down the ground with multiple kicks and handballs to streaming players. Louis found space at centre half forward and kicked truly from a way out. Bailey’s final quarter goal was from a contested double bite of the cherry overhead mark. And Aidan Farrell’s running long range snap was probably the kick of the day-a perfectly spinning drop punt straight through the high-diddle-diddle.
Lucas had much of the ball in the middle. Pat was getting great carry and kick penetration. Dion’s movement and leading was effective. Callum and Tom T’s mopping up and clearance: decisive. Bailey was the surest ball handler on the park and the tag on him was largely ineffective. With Louis and Oscar on top in the ruck, Colts players all around the ground seemed to grow a foot and find a yard more in pace. It was a great team performance.
Kudos this week must go to the whole backline. In this most important of games these often unsung heroes kept a “quality” opposition to only three behinds for the game and scoreless in the second half. Omar, Tom-T, Hamish E., Callum, Patty, Harry and Morgan you played your roles so very well.
The last round is upon us against second placed East Sandringham. It will be another huge challenge. The prize is a spot in the finals. It’s all or nothing now. The boys will give it their best. Go Colts.
Round 13, 28th July
Port Colts U12 v East Brighton
Venue: Moorabbin West Reserve
Port Colts 10.16.76 def East Brighton 2.0.12
Goalkickers: Rudd 4, McMullen 3, Pettigrew, Cullen, Fulcher
PORT COLTS STAMP THEIR AUTHORITY AT MOORABBIN WEST
A buoyed-up Colts side took on the Shannon Grant coached Vampires for their last away game of the regular season. The Colts wore the all-white clash strip against the bloodsucking Vampires all-red outfits. Imagine a whole group of white blood cells running amok amongst red blood cells and you have a rough visual of the look of this game at various times. The Vampires play an ultra defensive flooding (blood pooling?) style which can be tough to remedy. To the leukocytes credit we were able to excise the congestion and revive the patient.
The forward half looked great on paper with the return of much admired big fellow Louis Fulcher to centre half forward. With McMullen and Ablinger prowling the flanks, Farquahson and Charalambous in the pockets and the Rudd/Pettigrew combination at full forward there was much anticipation for some serious goalkicking iteration. We weren’t let down.
“Mucka” had a good day with three majors. A beautiful curling snap from general play was followed by a superb long range set shot. Bailey’s briskness to the ball and second effort recoveries resulted in four goals and a current well-deserved position at the top of the league goalkicking table. Abs was bright at the ball, and Dion showed renewed attack and sure-handedness in marking duels. Hamish F’s pinpoint pass across the face of goal to a lone Mucka in the square exemplified his unselfishness and superior match skills. Morgs clunked a really strong overhead grab at full forward then plopped it through from a one step run up. Effective, though hardly textbook.
Pat Cullen started the game on fire with the first two kicks, one the opposite way , then one back to our advantage. We learn quickly at the Colts and the rest of his day was blindingly good. Skipper Marco led the side magnificently, memorably shutting down one dangerous multi-pronged Vampire attack single-handedly with a crunching attack on the ball. Kudos to hardman “Tiger” Elliott too for another crunching tackle. He seems to produce one every game. Bo produced another excellent body of work and showed off his defensive improvement with two aerial punching spoils on the wing. Aidan cannot not be mentioned for his consistent efforts and some truly inspired tackles. The backline, though not under constant pressure, countered when needed. Your time will come boys. Your time will come…
So this it folks. Over the top. This week is D-Day for our finals aspirations. If we beat fourth placed St Peters we smash through into the top four. Lose and it’s time to start planning Mad Sunday. In the parlance of U12s footy it’s do or die, glory or end of story, hot dogs or brussel sprouts. St Peters belted us some weeks ago so, without getting too personal, we owe them one. We must embrace our temporary home ground at “fortress” Albert Park, play with verve, confidence, daring and patience, served with a side dish of flinty hardness chips. These are the games that you love to be part of. I cannot wait for the challenge.
Sincere thanks this week to specialist coach Damien Rudd who has not missed a training session or match all year and has provided enormous help and support to the team. Cheers Damo!
MATCH REPORT Port Colts U12 v St Peters FC
Venue: Centenary Park, Bentleigh
Round 12, 28th July
Port Colts U12 v Mordialloc-Braeside
Venue: Aanenson Oval, Port Melbourne
Port Colts 8.6.54 def Mordialloc-Braeside 2.1.13
Goalkickers: Rudd 3, Wheeler 2, McMullen, Pettigrew, Canale
COLTS RUN BACK INTO SOME FORM
In the battle of the horses it was to be one of those games where persistence and belief would prevail. The Colts started brightly, with Bo giving plentiful drive from the wing. Forward pocket Wheels conjured up a clever crumbing goal. The boys looked “up and about” against Mordi’s array of tall timber.
The Mustangs, to their credit, wouldn’t go away and by half-time had worked their way back to be only three points down. Backman Hamish Elliott took on an enormous role on an enormous forward. He stayed in front all day and effectively nullified any influence that the big fellow might have had. Well done.
The extra-man-in-defence structure of the Mustangs played into our hands too. Tom Tisdall could play as a loose sweeper in our backline, getting many possessions and setting up some fantastic rebound. That impenetrable Colts defence prevented any Mustang scoring for the next two quarters. Upfield McMullen at full forward was playing with freedom, and he and Rudd added two goals to give the Colts a handy buffer going into the final quarter.
The Colts confidence seemed to build throughout the game. With some early challenges seen off, the floodgates opened in the last quarter. Playing attractive footy, getting lots of run and delivery to targets, the Colts free-wheeling style went into overdrive. Marco continued his run of good form adding to his goals, skipper Charlie was active, Bailey got on the end of some and finished with three goals. Morgan and Oscar were dependable, Aidan everywhere as usual, and Bo finished as strongly as he had started. A four goal final quarter gave the fans plenty to cheer about, and the players plenty of voice to belt out the club song afterwards.
Thomas Wheeler had bagged two brilliant opportunist goals and should now head away on his travels a very satisfied footballer.
Great win boys!
MATCH REPORT Round 11, 21st July
Port Colts U12 v East Malvern (Baxter)
Venue: Aanenson Oval, Port Melbourne
East Malvern (Baxter) 6.4.40 def Port Colts 4.6.30
Goalkickers: Rudd 3, Ryan
KNIGHTS HOLD ON AGAINST FAST FINISHING COLTS
When the Knights roll into town you know that you have to be on your game. With their defensive armoury, ability to get into space and attacking weapons they can be a formidable foe. In a big game in the context of this season, fighting for a position in the four, the Colts definitely had the might and means to defend the citadel and fight off this marauding horde. But battles can sometimes hinge on the smallest of details.
The Knights attacked from the start. Stunned Colts defenders were left looking flat-footed behind opposition forwards. The front position is so vital. A decent forward such as the Knights’ Fraser will make you pay. At the end of the first quarter the red and blue, ruing some basic decision making, were sitting scoreless and three straight goals in arrears.
Though falling down at half forward the Colts played a better second quarter. With as many scoring opportunities as the Knights had in the first quarter, at the half time interval the harrying Colts were back in the contest, albeit still ten points down.
In a desperately tense “premiership” third quarter the Knights were the steadier and surer. Some dropped chest marks, some pushing the ball back into dangerous spots, some lack of talking and hence not competing in marking contests; these little skill errors by the Colts were dire. At the last break the locals found themselves adrift by twenty-five points and needing a minor miracle to get out of this major pickle.
A first up gaol by the Knights just about suffocated any hope. But then all of a sudden the Colts seemed to be a different side. Rudd in the middle lifted a gear and was generating enormous drive. Farquahson was uber-creative at getting the ball on the outside. Farrell. Goodger-McGrath. Ryan. Cullen. Some stars were twinkling. The goals kept coming. Surely not? A three goal three point last quarter saw the Colts rampaging home. Unfortunately the siren quashed any fairytale finish. The early damage had been done and it was a case of too little too late.
Personally, this one took a little longer to dust off. But after a mental ice-bath the mojo briskly resets. The crusade continues, the quest for the Holy Grail remains, and this season is going to play out to the bitter or sweet end for this gang of Port’s footballing finest. There will be a few more twists in the tale yet.
Thanks to our players who were loaned to a depleted East Malvern for a half: Thomas Wheeler, Jasper Nelson-Holliday, Hamish Elliott and Angus Webb
MATCH REPORT Round 10, 14th July
Port Colts U12 v St Kilda City
Venue: Wattie Watson Reserve, Elwood
St Kilda City 6.4.40 def Port Colts 1.2.8
UNDEFEATED SAINTS MAINTAIN TOP POSITION
The Colts headed off to Elwood again to measure up against league leaders St Kilda City. Being the end-of-holidays round and with a few more players back the complexion of our side once again changed. How would we now fare against a confident team playing consistent football?
Skipper Callum won the toss and put the Colts first with that stiff bayside breeze. In an intriguing first quarter the Colts matched the Saints for hunger, but our attacking thrusts could only net two points with the opposition held scoreless. Bailey and Webby had good chances from set shots but could not convert. Oscar battled bodily in the ruck, and Bo was getting space to run and carry.
St Kilda play their ground well and capitalised on second quarter wind-assisted opportunities by centring the ball in attack. Their six second and third quarter goals mainly came from dashing opportunities off long kicks to dangerous spots. The skill and zip of league leading goalkicker Felix Allard troubled us and he bagged three.
Our one goal came against the wind in the second quarter, with a chain of possessions down the ground. The busy Marco marked and kicked strongly and truly from about 20 metres out directly in front. Aidan was playing a cracking match with running intercepts and contested possessions. Hammer was straight back into the fray, positioning well around the ground. Callum was energetic, Omar sturdy, and Wheels got a bit of the ball late down back in defence. Jack Daff took a notable valiant overhead grab 25 metres out from our goals but couldn’t convert. Some of the kicking in general play was poor. We try our best at training, but get those boys kicking in parks as much as possible too. It makes all the difference.
In the final wash-up St Kilda proved their credentials. I firmly believe that we are not far off the pace. Our rugged last quarter against the wind showed our resolve when we kept the Saints scoreless. Alas we also couldn’t score, so the damage from the second and third quarters gave the home team a five goal margin.
The season gets interesting now. With five rounds to go and sitting fifth on the ladder, the Colts have a real opportunity to burst our way into the top four. This week’s massive game is almost a mini-final against fourth placed East Malvern (Baxter). Destiny lies in our own hands. GO COLTS!
Congratulations to Bailey Rudd and Aidan Farrell who were selected to represent the club in the U12 SMJFL Intraleague team.
MATCH REPORT Round 9, 30th June
Port Colts U12 v East Malvern (Smith)
Venue: Aanenson Oval, Port Melbourne
Port Colts 13.10.88 def East Malvern 0.1.1
Goalkickers: Rudd 7, L.Nelson-Holliday 4, Ablinger, Wheeler
COLTS’ EMPHATIC REBOUND
The football gods smiled. Again. At last. After a lean few weeks, and on hearing the opening strains of “It’s a Hi Hi He” at about 12:30 Sunday, it almost felt like the sweetest victory of them all.
With junior footballers scattered around the globe, from the beaches of South-East Asia to the bistros of Europe, both teams were reduced to fifteen. Those hardy stay-at-homes were appropriately playing in the “Love the Game Round “. But the added space certainly suited the desperate Colts. With many of our players coming off an historic Port Primary win in the Tommy Lahiff Cup, that momentum and belief ignited a memorable team performance.
Hamish Elliott set the tone with three early marks across half back. Aidan and Oscar crafted the base for victory with their defensive midfield positioning and relentless rebound.
It was more than gladdening to see Bo back after a prolonged injury layoff. He and the longkicking Marco added steel to the wings, a position so vital for this day.
Fans were treated to a Port goalfest. Small forward Lewis and key forward Bailey had their own mini goalkicking competition, going goal-for-goal for most of the match. Lewis stopped at four, as Bailey went on to bag a career high seven. That was fun.
Skipper Pat and Callum were terrific, changing at fullback and ruck-rover, getting so much of the pill with obvious enthusiasm. Charlie was dynamic and his goal was a beauty. Jasper’s double pirouette blind turn was watchable; Webby’s overhead mark in defence was classic, elegant and sure. Dion presented well and got to contests, after copping a blood nose in the warm-up.
In the last quarter Hazard was let off the leash into the midfield and relished the opportunity. Wheels got the cherry at half-forward, played on, went for a long run, took two bounces and slammed one through from the goalsquare. To quote a former PM: “It was a good day for redheads”.
So the vanquished became victors. After the decisive win the boys showed wonderful sportsmanship by acknowledging their Knights opponents on what would have been a disappointing day for them.
This week’s shout-out goes to fill-in manager Mark Fulcher. Even with Louis absent Mark has turned up and donned the grey vest for the last two weeks displaying his genuine commitment to our little community.
Enjoy the break everyone.
MATCH REPORT Round 8, 23rd June
Port Colts U12 v East Sandringham
Venue: Peterson Reserve, Highett
East Sandringham 10.7.67 def Port Colts 1.1.7
ANOTHER COLTS LOSS - COACH UNDER PRESSURE
OUR EXCLUSIVE HARD-HITTING INTERVIEW WITH MARK ROBINSON
Robbo: So Nello, another 10 goal goal loss. That’s two in two weeks. Are you feeling the pressure. I’ve heard rumblings of a revolt.
Nello: Thanks for your question Mark. Look we’re nothing if not consistent. Two ten goal losses. Exactly ten goals! That must be some kind of statistical feat.
Robbo: You must be disappointed in the effort though. There were a few missed tackles and heads dropping late in the last quarter.
Nello: I’ll always back my boys in, no matter the opponent. Today we played a quality opposition. We didn’t get the chocolates today, but there were some positives.
Robbo: Too right you didn’t get the chocolates. You didn’t even get to enter the front door of the chocolate shop!
Nello: Mark you’re out of line there. I have a very good relationship with Darryl Lea. Our positives were: we welcomed back a much loved ruckman, Oscar, who played his heart out. Angus Webb kicked a brilliant pressure goal from a set shot. Pat Cullen played everywhere and well. The two under U11s were courageous, and a young gun super-sub showed something.
Robbo: People are saying that your season is falling off a cliff. Comment?
Nello: What people?! Did you get a postcard from the Cinque Terre? And did it have Negroni stains on it? With that loss we fall out of the four, but this season is very much alive and kicking! What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. We’re taking it one week at a time. We were missing a few soldiers today...and I’ve run out of cliches.
Robbo: Final question. The big one. Have you lost the players? Do you still have their hearts and minds?
Nello: This is not the Vietnam War, Mark, and I’m not Captain Kurtz from “Apocalypse Now”. I have way too much hair. Look, until they can pry those Dominoes Pizza vouchers from my cold, dead hands I’ll forever have their stomachs. And this team is ALL ABOUT GUTS!...We’ll be alright. There are many paths to the top of the mountain, grasshopper. Breathe.
Colts U12s take on East Malvern (Smith) at home this Sunday 11:15am. Be there!
MATCH REPORT ROUND 7 - Sunday June 16th
COLTS HIT A SNAG AGAINST RAMPAGING ST PETERS
A focussed St Peters team, out to avenge last season’s semi final loss, gave the Colts a torrid day in round 7. A quick St Peters goal in the first minute set the tone, and the visitors from Port seemed to be back foot from then on.
As St Peters steadily accumulated about three goals a quarter, Port struggled to get the ball forward enough, and to keep it there. You couldn’t criticise the Colt’s endeavour, but structurally we couldn’t get players to where the ball was going to go. Any hasty clearance from the backline was mopped up by opposition usually in a better position or outnumbering our player(s). As our disposals became more panicky and erratic, the St Peters kicking and marking gained in confidence. We’ve seen this before, but usually the boot’s been on the other foot. So we have plenty of things to explore at training.
Port went into the game with a few players missing, including ruckman Louis with possibly a season-ending finger injury. Second ruck Callum was badly winded in the second quarter and had to retire from the rest of the match, meaning Port was a man down.
Although a sound loss there are many pluses to be taken from the match. There were heroes on every line: Harry, Lucas, Aidan, Bailey, Omar, the brave Callum, Tom McMullen, Pat, Wheels when swung into defence. Skipper and fifty gamer Dion did some desperate acts when thrown back in the last quarter. Pleasingly, at no stage were we “smashed” around the contest.
St Peters 12. 8. 80 def Colts 1.0.6
Goalkicker (Colts): B.Rudd
We have some challenging weeks ahead so let’s all (players and coterie) pull together, stay positive and keep enjoying our footy in the right spirit. With injuries and holidays the team loses a quarter of its players over the next two matches and we have to top up our list with subs from the U11s, so we welcome our younger brethren. Our task becomes that bit more difficult, but I believe that a little adversity can produce some enormous rewards.
We (fourth) take on the Zebras (second) at 2pm away this Sunday, and you know that those under 12s in red and blue will once again be giving it their all. Go get ‘em Colts!
Round 6, 2nd June
Port Colts U12 v East Brighton Vampires
Venue: Aanensen Oval, Port Melbourne
COLTS WIN UGLY AGAINST CLOYING VAMPIRES
Port Melbourne U12s again met East Brighton Vampires, though a different coven of Vampires than two weeks ago. There seem to be a lot of Vampires out there folks. Take care.
Again it was the Colts that triumphed. The six goals to one final scoreline accurately reflected the difference between the two sides. The Colts looked the classier outfit that took their opportunities when they presented.
It was often a difficult game to watch with many packs and rare passages where the ball moved smoothly or with much system. The East Brighton roaming maul of onballers did not help the spectacle, but it did stop some of the characteristic Colts fast ball movement. Skill errors abounded from both teams, as marks bounced off chests and kicks and handballs eluded targets. Some of this can be attributed to the opposition pressure and the tight spaces to work in. In battling hard for a mostly “ugly” win, this Colts team learns much about perseverance, and gains confidence from the achievement.
Laconic skipper Hamish Elliott clearly used his head: a very detailed strategic pre-game address and the odd falcon on the field. You have well-captained a win sir.
Bailey Rudd continues to prevent this scribe from not mentioning him: another stellar performance with 3 goals, including the very first to break the deadlock.
Omar Kamel did a magnificent stopping job on the well-pedigreed Gale, Vampire full forward, completely blanketing him out the game.
Callum Ryan showed glimpses of his best when moved forward in the second half. The bull ball-magnet tackling machine might be back, football lovers.
Morgan Pettigrew certainly earned a free feed in the Coaches Awards: an unquenchable hunger for the ball has many varied rewards.
To win this game required a team effort, so every player should take great heart from the collective effort displayed.
Acknowledgement this week goes to U12 Colts royalty. Dave Farquharson takes off for a month, with football scholar Hamish, on Le Grand Tour. Thanks for the support so far coach and safe travel amigos.
With holidays approaching, if you know of any games where you will be away please let Gail or myself know as early as possible, as we most probably will need to source substitute players to field a team.
MATCH REPORT ROUND 5 - Sunday May 26th
Port Colts U12 v Mordialloc-Braeside
Venue: Walter Galt Oval, Parkside
COLTS GALLOP PAST MUSTANGS FOR SOLID ROUND 5 WIN
Port Melbourne skipper Louis Fulcher led his team to a solid away win against a revved-up mob of Mustangs. “King” Louis rucked all day and was ably supported by a hard working rag of Colts determined to triumph on a tricky day for football.
Kicking with the breeze early was not the automatic golden ticket for Port goals. The Mustangs had clearly been drilled to hit the boundary at all costs in defence. When the teams changed over after the first break they also seemed to hug the boundary in attack, probably too much and to their detriment.
Port countered, endeavouring to straighten up in the corridor and deliver the ball through that dangerous “hot spot” in front of goals. The fact that the Colts kicked nine goals and nine points alludes to plenty of attacking thrusts.
On that potent forward line: Pat Cullen kicked two goals from confident marked leads to the forward pocket and threaded two impressive set shots from tight angles. Jack Daff designed two goals and could have had a game high three. Power-full forward Dion “Chara” Charalambous kept his solid average of two goals a game, one from a great low down “catch”. Running midfielder/ half-forward Bailey realised two, as well as harassing and chasing all over the ground.
The midfield group were decisive in the win. Aiden’s positioning, Lucas’ kicking, Morgan’s grunt, Marco’s run and carry, Hammer’s awareness and the aforementioned Louis’ aerial threat set up a firm foundation across the ground.
Off half-back Tom T. earned his possessions and ran in straight lines, setting up a bouncy springboard for attack, particularly later in the game. Charlie was a great runner wherever required.
The backline, when tested, again stood firm. That group, without the ill Omar on this day, is becoming a tight knit and miserly pack of tough-jawed commandoes. Well done fellas. Train keeps a rollin’.
Mordi-Braeside 3.2.20 - 9.9.63 Port Colts
For National Volunteer Week we acknowledge all volunteers who every week do all the tasks required to make junior football happen. Thank you.
Round 4, 19th May
Port Colts U12 v East Brighton Vampires
Venue: Hurlingham Park, Brighton
The boys took on the bloodsuckers from East Brighton, at the hardly respectable time of 8:30. Away. Hello coffee.
It was a glorious morning for football, however, and the Colts got off to a gallop. Coach Dave Farquharson’s diligent work with the midfield group was paying off. Louis’ height and spring in the ruck gave our running centremen a Rolls Royce ride. His palming to advantage for Lucas, Aiden and Bailey was thrilling. What a potent weapon this can become.
The ball was spurting into our forward line, creating many scoring opportunities. Dion “Chara” Charalambous and Bailey capitalised with majors. Morgan was inspiring early for his tough ball-winning work inside. Then opportunist Hamish Elliott crumbed beautifully off a spilled mark and snapped a goal, his third of the season.
The move of utility player Pat Cullen forward was paying dividends. His unpredictable running patterns confused coaches and backmen alike, and he bobbed up with his first maximum for the season. Well done Pat. Port players were attacking the ball hard and low. We saw pleasing link up and some longer kicking. Marco and Charlie “Abs” Ablinger were getting some tearaway possessions in space. Which was lucky, because Lucas could have got a severe case of leather poisoning otherwise. The intelligent and dynamic Jonty owned his wing.
Port had started well with five goals for the half. And they had sucked the Vampires dry of any scoring opportunities.
The fanged ones definitely came out with some more fire and brimstone in the second half. At five goals down and with no score on the board, bodies were hitting a bit harder. The Colts met all challenges, playing resolutely and with discipline. Aiden played his best games of the season, Tom T. enjoyed the freedom of the wing, and Hammer was versatile all over the park. Bailey continued his stellar month with two goals for the game, and Chara steered through a tricky angled set shot for two also. Jasper cheekily snapped a loose ball goal from the closest of distances to drive the final stake in the undead ones’ hearts. Brighton had managed two points for the game, a great testament to our stingy permanent backmen who were tested at various times: Omar, Hazard, Webby and Callum.
It was magnificent to hear the song sang with gusto again after a few weeks drought. A decisive win ends the grading rounds, and we now look forward to the “real stuff” with genuine zeal.
Special thanks and congratulations this week to the entire Smith family: Hazard (skipper-“hard as nails”), Gail (manager-“best ever”) and Dom (runner-“promising debutant”). They are totally invested in the Colts U12s. What a happy, well-rounded family they are.
MATCH REPORT ROUND 3 - Sunday May 12th
(2018) Mail :: Inbox
MATCH REPORT ROUND 2 - Sunday May 5th
Port Colts U12 v St Kilda City
Venue: Wattie Watson Oval, Elwood
With a spongy field, sea view, and a canteen run by real Italians, the scene was set. Our boys had crossed the Elwood canal for our first Viking raid of the season. This game against “The City” was to be a true “Thriller in Sain-Killer”.
St Kilda got out of the blocks at full steam with an early goal. All our players immediately sensed that they were up against a worthy adversary. It finally took something very special to finally peg one back late in the quarter. Hammer pinpointed a pass to Tom-T at centre half forward for a contested clunker, booting it onto Hamish Elliott who elevated for a one-grab high mark. His set shot was true. The coaches were in raptures over that bit of play.
The backline had stiffened up somewhat, with Lucas mopping up, and Callum chasing his man around. But St Kilda had the chocolates at the first break with an eight point lead.
The action continued unabated in the second quarter. Bo was getting out on the wings, continuing on from last week, and provided much drive. Pat copped a blood nose and came to the bench for an extended period. The lionhearted Omar was rucking tirelessly and courageously. Bailey danced onto the flanks and kicked two momentum shifting goals.
Port had wrestled a seven point lead going into the main break. Based upon some old fashioned grit and determination, it had been topped with a sprinkle of finishing brilliance.
The third quarter was even. St Kilda’s overhead marking strength and front positioning caused headaches. But Port’s run and willingness to share always threatened. Aidan engaged in some fine linking up through the centre. When cult full-forward Dion “Chara” Charalambous juggled a mark at the top of the square and deftly split the middle, it became an eight point margin for the raiders. One quarter to go.
The locals came out firing, and all of a sudden the black, red and white were dominating centre clearances and the outside running. Backmen Smithy, Nello and Captain Webby battled bravely under the onslaught as the Saints drove the ball forward time and time again. Harry many times was outnumbered but managed to impose his defensive mettle on the contest, and clear or nullify. St Kilda were throwing the kitchen sink, pots and pans, and a bit of cutlery at the now-challenged Colts. Bailey, thrown back, was magnificent in this stage with repelling marks or spoils and long clearing kicks from the last line.
St Kilda grappled to a one point lead, while the Colts’ forward thrusts could only seem to be agonisingly repelled with interest. In the dying moments a foray forward revealed a chaos ball situation. Chara grabbed it. Snapped. The ball, tantalisingly, sailed between two uneven posts. Not long afterwards it was all over. The siren blew signifying a fitting draw.
The spirit, teamwork and desire from all our players was evident to all. Let’s bottle that and release the genie again next Sunday. You’d be bonkers to miss it.
Thanks to our uber-trainer Lucy who patched up the brave and bloodied winger Pat Cullen to get him back on the park.
MATCH REPORT ROUD 1 - Sunday April 28th
Port Colts U12 v Cheltenham Panthers
Venue: Woodruff Oval, Murphy’s Reserve
Game one, and all eyes were keen to see how our team of striplings and saplings would sprout after a long hot summer. Pre-season training had been diligent, though disjointed. The litmus test would be this first up hit-out against a Panthers side, itself full of some fairly sturdy oak trees.
The two pre-game themes were to “flick the ON switch” and “be a team”. Skipper Jasper (from what I’ve heard) spoke in the player huddle about mateship, a most appropriate sentiment for the Anzac round.
First bounce: Louis up, then in a flash Bailey streaming out the centre with ball in hand, driving it forward with a big kick. Iconic.
Morgan at full forward was using his body well and finding the right position in the square. He bagged two for the quarter. Marco’s hands were clean and strong on the tricky leather ball. Hamish E. guided through a set shot goal from a mark. Colts had got off to a flyer with four unanswered goals for the first term.
In the second term winger Bo was getting loose out into the wide spaces of Woodruff. Lucas seemed to be everywhere, and Jasper popped up with a curling snap goal off half-forward. In a tighter quarter spectators were starting to see some fine Colts teamwork, with handballs to players branching into space, and kicks to leading targets.
The third quarter produced some great moments. Dare we call it a “Tomattack”? Tom-T arced onto his right heading towards the boundary and screwed it through the big ones for a “special”. Tom “Mucka” Mcmullen owned the forward line, silkily dobbing two goals. And clever goalsneak Thomas “Wheels” Wheeler wheeled in with two goals of his own, one from a tricky set shot. But the backs and mids were hugely complaisant in another four goal quarter. Pat Cullen, your selfless shepherd on the wing did not go unnoticed by this coach.
Some last quarter recollections: Louis flying high into the stratosphere for some big grab attempts, Hammer creatively evading all comers with ball in hand, Bailey gut running, and Aidan willing himself into some form in the centre. Cheltenham were losing a bit of structure (read: playing in position) by then, so well done to our backs and mids for maintaining superb discipline and continuing to play their crucial roles. A good team effort produced a three goals to one quarter, resulting in a ten goal win for the day.
The U12s are up and running. We don’t stop now, and we don’t look back. There’s much to learn and lots of matches to revel in for this cadre. The adventure has begun. St Kilda City at Elwood this week.
Special thanks this week to our new team runner Mike Younger. Welcome to the Football Department Mike.