Round 1- April 7
Goals: M. GEORGIEV 2, R. SMITH 1, G. SMART 1, M.VLAHOS 1, B. BAKER 1
BEST: G. CULLEN, I. MELROSE, J.DOYLE, L. WRIGHT, W. DELBRIDGE, G. EVANT
We started the game slow and on our heels around contests, Hampton really attacked and spaced the ground well early getting the jump on us with a 24 point lead in the first quarter. We started communicating and moving better around the ground in the second quarter, Gabriel Cullen provided great run and attack from our backline throughout the whole game with a B.O.G performance, but it was his run and attacking play from the backline helped spark us in the second quarter.
Going into halftime I felt it was only a lack of work rate and structural discipline that was separating us from Hampton and the message was clear that after the break we needed to lift in those areas.
Ian Melrose provided us with key clearances in the midfield and had a brilliant first game for the club helping us pick up the intensity in the third and turn the game around showing some drive and run all over the ground. Will Delbridge was his reliable self in the midfield and down back showing poise throughout the game and led the way with some great pressure acts which lifted the team in the fourth quarter. After getting jumped early and playing the first half of football with a reactive mind set, we started getting first use of the ball and looked to move it with urgency, winning the second half, a lot we need to work on but positive signs late to show we are moving in the right direction.
Round 2- April 14
Kew: 5.6- 36
Ormond: 5.9- 39
Goals: I.Melrose 2, L.Thomas 1, D. Fernandes 1, M. Vlahos 1
Best: G. Cullen, I. Melrose, M. Vergamalis, M. Matheson, N. Drummond, R.Smith
After last weekend’s slow start, there was a big emphasis on starting well and being switched on early. The conditions were poor and favouring the scoreboard end, unfortunately we lost the toss and defend hard early, Vergamalis was huge intercepting and disrupting Ormond’s forward 50 entries. We were very gallant against the wind only allowing 2 goals for the quarter and had 2 great chances ourselves to hit the board also, at quarter time the energy was up and the team feel was very positive. The tackling pressure of the first quarter had us in a great position to strike in the second, kicking 5 unanswered and we were moving the ball well around the ground. Nathan Drummond and Ian Melrose led the way with some great ball use and a few brilliant defensive acts from Gabe Cullen had us running on top of the ground in the sloppy conditions. Michael Matheson was huge all day in the ruck destroying the opposing ruckman and giving first use to our mids.
At halftime we were keen to stay switched on and make sure we played 4 quarters of footy unlike round 1, however, 5 minutes of poor defensive pressure led to 3 straight from Ormond and we had to quickly adjust from the sidelines to weather their run. For the next 20 minutes they only scored 2 points and we again had our chances going against the wind but couldn’t capitalise. Being within 2 points we felt we were in a great position going with the breeze in the final term, but the rain got heavier and the once free flowing game plan, turned into a battle for yardage with both teams rushing and it turned into an old fashioned kick to kick with Ormond scoring the solitary point for the quarter. Another frustrating game where a sluggish start to a quarter has cost us 4 points but as a team we know when we put 4 quarters of footy together we will be extremely hard to beat.
Round 6- May 12
Ivanhoe: 1.2-8 7.3-45 9.5-59 10.5-59
Kew: 4.4-28 8.6-54 9.9-63 16.10-106
Goals: J. Hannan 4, T. Orchard, W. Delbridge, I. Melrose, D. Spencer, B. Duggan
Best: N. Thornely, J. Hannan, T. Baldock, M. Waters, W. Balme, M. O’Dicho
The mighty bears made the trip up the road to Hoe park with major anticipation of blowing the season open and asserting ourselves. The Hoes had come off three successive losses of over 100 points and were reeling as a result. Despite their vulnerable record, the old Kew/Ivanhoe rivalry was alive and, like any rivalry game, was up for grabs.
Coming off a tough five-point loss to Preston filled us with desperation and paved the way for a spirited performance. Young gun Matt O’Dicho returned to the side to inject some reckless abandon as did Michael “Verga” Vergamalis, who was rewarded for his impressive form in the Development side.
The first quarter went virtually as expected with us holding the Hoes goalless while adding 23 points of our own. The play of the game was executed as Max Waters nailed a 65 metre kick in to Brin Duggan who wheeled onto his right and hit Jeremy Hannan 50 metres up field. Hannan then dribbled through a goal as we went end-to-end in the space of 10 seconds.
Quarter two saw us kicking into the breeze and facing a fired up Ivanhoe without star midfielder, Darcy Spencer, who was suffering from a concussion sustained in the first. Still, the Bears pushed on and outscored the Hoes by one point. We dominated the play but some costly errors allowed Ivanhoe to keep touch and prevent us from running away with it. Nick Thornely, playing against his old side, was putting in a fine performance and reminding Ivanhoe what they let slip and Jeremy Hannan was hitting the scoreboard at will.
Half time came and a recalibration was necessary. We were winning but not playing our best. The call went out to really put the foot down and build the lead and put the game away. As the quarter began we threatened to blow it open, three goals saw the lead balloon to 40-points and a burgeoning score line threatened. Max Waters, as always, was fantastic down back and Kneel McBalmeson, in his return from injury, was proving to be a thorn in the Hoes side. Trav Baldock was tackling as hard as always and creating doubt in the Hoes minds. But, to Ivanhoe’s credit, they kept touch as they played above themselves and battled on.
The final quarter was a let-down. We lost control of the game as Ivanhoe managed to find their way to the goals with relative ease. Five goals straight to Ivanhoe saw them get to within 10 points and threatened to cause a boil over. We could not hit targets, we were struggling with the high ball and they were walking all over us in the middle. Enter Ian Melrose. The ball was driven forward along the wing and scrapped into the forward line. Melrose scrambled to the ball, threw his body in line of it, gained possession and managed a kick towards goal that dribbled through. It was the lifeline we needed and it saw us home by 16-points.
It wasn’t the exact victory we desired but the grit we showed to dig deep late deserves credit. A final score line of 9.11- 65 to 7.7- 49 hinted at the great escape we just mustered.
Round 7- May 19
Kew: 2.3-15 5.4-34 7.6-48 10.7-67
West Brunswick: 1.2-8 4.4-28 7.8-50 10.9-69
Best: R. Wilton, R. Smith, J. McCubbin, B. Goodwin, J. Smith, C. Thomas
Goal Kickers: R. Wilton 5, E. O''Donnell 2, B. Baker 2, L. Thomas
After getting a very belated first win for the year, we were keen to take a top four scalp to stamp our resurgence for 2018. We started well and our pressure was brilliant in the first quarter, we were moving the ball well from half back to half forward, the ball use by Buddha in his first game back was great and the forward line led by Rich Wilton and Ben Baker looked dangerous.
We had the lead throughout the first half and we looked like it was just a matter of time until we kicked away, the message was clear at half time, keep the pace up and the ball moving fast. We have had frustratingly close games throughout the year with 1 quarter lapses costing us and it was imperative that we start the 3rd well and the defensive pressure was high.
Unfortunately we fell back into old habits starting slow and giving up 3 straight goals within 6 minutes, defensive pressure and talk was non-existent and it gave West Brunswick the opportunity to take the lead at 3qtr time.
We were flat in the last and the team collectively lost their run and that burst we had in the first and second quarter had fizzled out, decision making, two way running and disposal was at a frustratingly poor level. Again, another 1 quarter lapse proved costly with yet ANOTHER close loss. Work to be done.
Round 8- June 2
Oakleigh: 2.0- 12 3.1- 19 5.4- 34 7.6- 48
Kew: 4.6- 30 10.12- 72 11.15- 81 17.20- 122
After a disappointing performance against Prahran last week, the group arrived to the game at Oakleigh, switched on and ready to go for the must win matchup. The boys started red hot with first hands on the footy and quick movement getting great entry inside 50 to Michael Vergamalis (4 goals) and Benji Taylor, 15 inside 50s in the first quarter showing our dominance however our goal kicking again let the opponent off the hook. We dominated through the midfield all day and moved the ball quickly by hand which created great overlap run from our half backs (Cody Hotchin and Jarrett Smith).
The message at the start of the day was that we want to maintain defensive pressure throughout 4 quarters and break the opposition down with relentless hard running. After the half our midfielders kept up their dominance led by Regan Smith and Cal Thomas, clearance after clearance moving the ball laterally by hand creating great opportunities for our forwards.
Another great game from our backline, with Taylor Wilson and Gabe Cullen continuing their great form. Jordan Cullen in only his second game for the year provided a great option up forward and ruck relief for James McCubbin throughout the day. The return of Seb Smart and Jacob Creek provided the run and wing speed we had been lacking the last 3 weeks. Harry Taylor had his best game for the Brown and Gold with a B.O.G performance, showing his class with great disposal around the ground and provided a valuable option forward when resting out of the middle.
Finally, we get that blow out win that we have been looking for all year, now we have to maintain that intensity and bring the pressure to Hampton next round.
Round 10- June 16
Kew: 5.0- 30 7.0- 42 9.1- 55 14.4- 88
Hampton: 4.6- 30 5.12- 42 8.17- 65 10.19- 79
Best: C. Hotchin, C. Thomas, J. Smith, R. Smith, G. Cullen, M. Sharkey
Goal Kickers: M. Vergamalis 3, M. Sharkey 2, H. Taylor 2, S. Smart 2, J. Smith 2, R. Smith, C. Thomas, M. Georgiev
After having a much needed week off, the development team were refreshed and ready to take a biggest scalp of the year. We played Hampton round 1 and felt after the game that it was a game we let slip, so throughout the week I was confident we could give the opposition their first taste of defeat for the year. We started the game well winning clearances and maintaining pressure all over the ground, we made use of our forward entries and kicked 5 straight to go into quarter time all tied up at 30.
The message at the break was to keep the pressure on and keep on top in clearances, Cal Thomas and Regan Smith were giving our forwards great delivery out of the centre and had first hands on the ball most of the first half. Our forward line was on top of its game with Michael Vergamalis and Matt Sharkie providing much needed targets with Harry Taylor and Seb Smart joining in on the action from the midfield snagging 2 each.
After the break Hampton put 3 on the board and it was our turn to find something in response, throughout the year we have let teams get a roll on after the main break, Hampton clearly are a strong team being undefeated so today we had to stick thick and battle and that’s what we did.
The backline was huge with captain Glen Evans providing a cool head and Gabe Cullen dominating as he has most of the year with a huge intercept mark which proved to be a certain 12 point swing. We were down by 10 at the break and the loss of Marcho and Jimmy McCubbin meant we were down two rotations, we needed a massive effort and that’s what we got all over the ground, we kicked two and they responded with one, with 10 minutes left Cody Hotchin caught fire with 3 intercept marks out of our forward 50 with 2 inside 50s resulting in goals to Harry Taylor and Jarret Smith, followed by a massive sweeping switch across the ground resulting in Matt Sharkie slotting through the sealer with a snap over his head to cap off a remarkable win.
We have had it in us all year and finally we showed it.
Round 11- June 23
Brunswick NOBSPC: 2.1- 13 3.5- 23 5.8- 38 6.10- 46
Kew: 3.4- 22 8.7- 55 10.8- 68 12.11- 83
After knocking off the top side, the reserves headed to Brunswick full of confidence but a little depleted with 8 changes to the team. The strength of the clubs depth shone through with Murdo McKay (BOG) and Brayden Burrowes both having huge games and fitting in seamlessly to the team from the clubbies.
The boys started off pretty sluggish and our pressure which was massive the week before seemed non-existent, we came into the first break a little flat but at the same time in control of the game with a 9 point lead. The feeling was unanimous around the team that they can improve and pick up the intensity and we did that piling on 5 goals and showing more urgency around the footy. Emmett O’Donnell showed some class and got the forward line firing in his first game back from injury with some key goals and a brilliant tap on to set up Regan Smith for our 3rd goal of the quarter. Ian Melrose showed out in his first game back in a fortnight, showing his usual toughness around the footy and great ball use.
We went into half time a little too comfortable and it showed when we let N.O.B.S outscore us in the 3rd quarter. We switched off defensively and let the opposition get first use of the football, things that we can’t afford to let happen against stronger opposition and that was VERY clear in the final address at 3qtr time. We finished the game off well with a 37 point victory. 3 wins in a row now and if we can get the job done on Saturday against Ivanhoe, we can potentially be playing Therry Penola for 4th spot after the bye.
Round 13- July 14
Kew: 4.4- 28 7.8- 50 9.11- 65 12.14- 86
Therry Penola: 1.0- 6 1.3- 9 1.7- 13 4.9- 33
Fresh after the break and we were ready to get some revenge on Therry after an agonising 1 point loss in round 4. We were 2 games off 4th(Therry Penola) heading into the match, and hungry to get one game closer to taking their spot. We came out hot scoring 4 unanswered in the first term with Regan Smith and Trav Baldock getting first use of the footy, delivery inside 50 wasn’t great early but we managed to grab some great opportunist goals with Brayden Burrowes swooping onto a loose ball off a marking contest and snapping a great goal, which set the tone of the first half. We were hungrier and were first to the footy making the opposition chase from the outset.
Benji Taylor and Ben Baker provided some much needed targets down forward and had some good help with George Smart assisting and finishing brilliantly around goals.
We were playing at a high speed and we knew that Therry would have their run in the second half; we managed to weather it only allowing 4 behinds for the quarter. After the 3 quarter time break the game really opened up, having 7 scoring shots but inaccuracy meant when only came away with 3 majors. We are playing great team football at the moment and starting to hit red hot form at the right time to make our push for finals. Massive month of footy ahead starting with Preston this week, 1 week at a time we are getting closer to that spot.
Round 14- July 21
Preston: 1.0- 6 9.0- 54 11.2- 68 12.2- 74
Kew: 5.2- 32 6.4- 40 9.7- 61 11.7- 73
Best: B. Burrowes, G. Cullen, J. Smith, R. Smith, B. Baker, I. Melrose, F. Fernandes
Goal Kickers: B. Baker (2), B. Burrowes (2), R. Smith (2), B. Taylor (2), J. Smith, I. Melrose, F. Fernandes
We went into this game confident and upbeat with finals potentially 2 wins away, the ground didn’t suit us at all and we knew that Preston would come out and try to be physical and bully us on the very small ground.
We got off to a good start with Regan Smith showing his class with 3 inside 50s and a goal in the first quarter as we shot out to a 5 goal lead. We had the wind in the first quarter and the message was clear that we couldn’t take the foot off and had to keep the pressure on. Unfortunately old habits crept in and we went into our shell allowing 6 goals in the 2nd. They cramped us in and made it hard for us to get out and run which is key to our team success.
The 3rd quarter we showed a bit of fight with Gabe Cullen and Ben Baker turning it on with some great marks and one on one wins. Only trailing by 7 points at the break we felt we were right in it and Preston showed signs of fatigue. Again Ben Baker was huge for us in the last and Brayden Burrowes provided much needed pressure to get us within and point, Ben Bakers snap with 2 minutes to go put us in front by 5 , but we couldn’t hold on with Preston kicking the winner with under a minute and half remaining. We are still in the hunt and move onto an in form Prarhan next week.
Round 15- July 28
Kew: 4.4- 28 9.7- 61 11.8- 74 11.10- 76
Prahran: 2.1- 13 5.1- 31 11.2- 68 12.3- 75
Best: N. Monaco, B. Burrowes, M. Vergamalis, M. Sharkey, L. Wright, C. Thomas
Goal Kickers: N. Monaco (5), B. Taylor (2), R. Smith, H. Taylor, B. Burrowes, S. Smart
After a gut wrenching loss to Preston, we had some results go our way keeping us in the hunt for the top 4. The feeling was good before the game and we knew that Prahran were in form and will be a real test for us. We started the game well with early clearances and capitalized going forward, we were pressuring well and the return of Matt Sharky showed as he racked up early touches off half back and proved to be key with some great intercept marks.
We went into quarter time up by 15 points and showed we were happy to be back on a decent sized ground with our spread and link off half back testing the opposition. We came out of the break firing again with repeat inside 50s and probably should have capitalized a lot more. We extended the lead into the half time break to 30 with some brilliant delivery from Regan Smith and Matt Sharkey to the forwards.
We discussed the monkey on the back being 3rd quarter fade outs at half time but yet again we let our opposition break out with clearances and repeat entries of their own, allowing them to get the margin down to a goal. It was going to need a grinding effort in the last to hold off Prahran and that’s what we did, Cal Thomas and Lachie Wright providing the grunt to hold them to 1 goal and with a lucky bounce that made it through for a point, we got a much need 1 point win our way this time.
Huge game next week against Ormond with a win potentially getting us in the 4.