Round 1- April 7
Hampton 2.3- 15 6.0- 45 12.12- 84 14.21- 105
Kew 2.3- 15 4.4- 28 6.6- 42 6.8- 44
Best: M. Brazzale, B. Duggan, J. Delbridge, B. King, N. Thornley, K. Margaritis
Goal Kickers: N. Sambevski (2), B. Shute (2), K. Margaritis, B. King
Who likes pre-season? Nobody, that’s who. Absolutely nobody. But we do it because we like playing. And, after a hard slog over late 2017 and early 2018, we finally got to kick off the season against Hampton.
With new coach, Michael Schmerling, crossing over from Box Hill Hawks and bringing and exciting and fast paced game plan, 2018 promised to be special.
Add to that the inclusion of Son of Pete, Nick Thornely, the best financial planner in the business, Trav Baldock, pocket dynamo, Nick Godfrey, ex-colt, Brayden “Eel” King and the youthful exuberance of Tim Rasdell to offset the return of ancient Paul Brough. The Bears are back!
An expectedly hard fought first quarter ensued, both sides hit in hard as they looked to make their mark on 2018. Nick Thornely made his mark early, getting his hands on the ball and sticking his nose in the thick of things. This was warmly welcomed by now three-time Terry Hayes medallist, Jack Delbridge, who now had a partner in the clinches. Two first quarter goals had Billy Shute on track for a bag of eight and for all of the excitement we went in locked with the Rovers on 2.3-15.
Quarter two saw Kyle Margaritis work his way in to the game and look to threaten to rip the game open as he did in the corresponding fixture last year. Unfortunately, Max Waters had to be stretchered from the ground in tears after a stray boot to the head. The bears plugged on, though, but were going to face a tough battle with such an integral part of the team off the ground. Thankfully, Luke Marriott was having his best game for the past 10 years and providing a link-up between half back and half and half forward. Despite his best work, the Bears let the quarter slip and trailed 45-28 as the Natural Confectionaries were broken open to signal half time.
Still in touch at half time, the troops were rallied by Schmerls and implored to come out firing and get back into the game. However, Hampton rallied and produced a great quarter of football which the Bears were not able to inhibit. Brin Duggan and Nick Godfrey can be blamed for the score blowing out as they failed to make the distance from easy set shots. Positively, Sambo Sambevski hit the scoreboard, as did Brayden King (in his first senior game) and the bears had something to take into the final break.
Disparagingly, the Bears failed to make any inroads in the final quarter, failing to register a goal. With players cramping left, right and centre, Hampton pressed hard and looked to register a huge win. Encouragingly, the back six, particularly Mark Brazzale, fought on and managed to stem the flow and hold the Rovers to just two goals.
Mark Brazzale took home a six pack of Draughts for his ability to “never, ever, ever, ever let the ball past him” and Brin Duggan and Jack Delbridge backed up their 2017 seasons in which they both finished in the top 3 of the Terry Hayes. Brayden King and Nick Thornely were also excellent in their first senior games for the club.
Despite the loss, the Bears remain positive, looking forward to round 2 and anticipating the return of a cavalcade of club stars. The sleeping bear has been awoken and we are limbering ourselves into action. Look out, keep your head low, pack your bear repellent, we are coming!
Round 2- April 14
Kew 2.0-12 3.4- 22 4.9-33 5.9-39
Ormond 0.1-1 4.5-29 8.5-53 11.13-79
Best: M. Waters, D. Spencer, K. Margaritis, B. Duggan, J. Baldori, W. Delbridge
Goal Kickers: K. Margaritis (2), T. Orchard, T. Wiegold, N. Thornley
With the disappointment of round 1 in the rear vision mirror, the mighty bears open the gates to the graveyard for an encounter with our fierce rivals, Ormond.
We welcomed back stalwart, Will Delbridge, second year player, Jared Doyle, big John Lisle made his triumphant senior debut after a pre-season bigger than even him, and the overall handsomeness of the team increased tenfold with the long awaited return of premiership player and all round Adonis, Darcy Spencer.
After some internal discussions, the boys were champing at the bit to provide the spectators and one another, with tenacious and insatiable football. And we started like a firecracker. We booted the first two goals of the game and looked dangerous whenever we had the ball in our hands. Darcy Spencer had an immediate impact in the middle and Max Waters was up to his old tricks down back, restricting Ormond to just one point for the first quarter.
The second quarter did not go as smoothly as the impressive Ormond hit back to take a seven-point lead into the main break. Despite trailing, the Bears were moving forward with aplomb and hitting the scoreboard at will. Unfortunately, we were only able to convert one of our five shots however. Kyle Margaritis was, as usual, proving a handful for a few Ormond defenders and was threatening to blow the game apart.
An impassioned half time address from head coach, Michael Schmerling had the boys prepped for a huge second half. Once again though, the Bears were left to rue wasted opportunities as we booted just one goal and five behinds. The one goal was well worth it though as young gun, Brayden King, climbed onto his opponent’s shoulders, did his ironing, re-tied his boots and then took one of the great amateur hangers. The negative, he was up there for so long he got vertigo (dislocated his shoulder as he hit the ground), and will now miss the rest of the season. Great mark though. Despite Brayden’s best attempts at an aeroplane impersonation, we went into the final break trailing by 20 points.
The final quarter saw the Bears out on their feet. Encouragingly, Nick Thornely was unstoppable in the clinches as he made his presence felt back at Kew, playing assistant, Tim Orchard continued his excellent 2017 form and Will Delbridge made sure his presence was felt in his return to the senior side. At the end of the day though, the gap between us and Ormond was too great and we went down 5.9- 39 to 11.13- 79.
Kyle Margaritis snagged two goals and Tim Orchard, Tyson Wiegold and Nick Thornely chipped in with majors of their own.
Max Waters was rewarded for his gritty four quarter back line dominance with a best on ground nod and Darcy Spencer did not miss a beat in his return after almost two years on the sidelines.
Next week we match up against Brunswick NOBS in a must win affair.
Round 3- April 21
Kew 3.8-26 6.14-50 7.17-59 16.21-117
NOBSPC 2.0-12 3.1-19 5.5-35 7.6-48
Best: D. Spencer, T. Wiegold, B. Duggan, B. Marchant, N. Godfrey, J. Lisle
Goal Kickers: M. Brazzale (3), N. Godfrey (2), B. Duggan (2), T. Baldock (2), T. Wiegold (2), J. Delbridge (2), N. Thornley, M. O'Dicho, J. Lisle
A huge week on the track, underscored by the return of club legend and 2018 captain, Andrew Brazzale, had lubricated the cogs and the Bears were ready to shift the season into the next gear. Make no mistake though, this was a must win game.
The first quarter, although inaccurate, started off with a bang. Tyson Wiegold had such bad body odour, no Brunswick player wanted to go anywhere near him and he began his big day out. Brin Duggan was presenting well and had three shots at goal in the first quarter. Unfortunately, he missed all three and contributed to the three goal eight score line that befell the Bears as the quarter time siren sounded. Despite two late goals to NOBS, we still led 26-12.
Things remained much the same in the second quarter, despite dominating all of the play, Kew were still squandering their opportunities managing three goals and six behinds. Two of those goals came off the boot of Brin Duggan as he became the most accurate and dangerous forward in the history of amateur football. Tyson Wiegold continued his dominance and he reached 20 possessions for the half. Darcy Spencer was dominating the stoppages, aided by Jack Delbridge and Nick Thornely, and the Bears were winning clearance after clearance. The backline was study as well and restricted Brunswick to just 19 points for the half.
Half time saw the Bears reconfigure and recalibrate, change into their kicking boots, and fire up for the second half. Whatever we did, we did not quite nail it. Brunswick started well and reduced the margin to just 15 points half way through the third term. Thankfully, Trav Baldock was on fire and got on the end of some fantastic team play as we pulled together and finished off strongly to carry a 24-point lead into the final term.
The final term called for us to dig deep. We had lost three players and were battling on with just one on the bench. We needed something to kick started us and it was 15-year-old Matt O’Dicho, putting on immense forward line pressure and setting himself up for a goal that got us moving forward. From then on, it was all Bears. Forward entry after forward entry resulted in a downpour of goals, it was party time. Nick Thornely finally got his name in the goals column after booting 32 points and 16 out on the full, Nick Godfrey snagged two majors and Jack Delbridge snuck forward to chime in with two of his own. Andrew Brazzale, with just one functional arm, was up to his usual junk time antics as he picked up the scraps to tip in three garbage time goals. A huge nine goal quarter gave the mighty Bears a 69-point buffer and our first win of the season.
A fantastic, morale building victory for the Bears really kicked started the season. A number of players hit their straps and we now look forward to what promises to be an intriguing encounter with Therry Penola. The final score 117-48. And to the victors go the spoils. Go Bears!
Round 7- May 19
Kew: 1.0-6 3.3-21 5.5-35 8.7-55
West Brunswick: 2.4-16 7.8-50 8.8-56 9.9-63
Best: J. O'Bryan, J. Lisle, N. Drummond, W. Delbridge, T. Wiegold, J. Hallett
Goal Kickers: K. Margaritis 2, A. Brazzale 2, N. Thornely, J. Hannan, T. Baldock, M. Waters
It was a special day at Victoria Park as Jason Ball presented the senior boys with their special rainbow charity strip before running out to face the Pies.
The return of Andrew Brazzale gave the team a much-needed confidence boost and he made a difference before the game even started, winning the toss and kicking with the light breeze blowing to the High Street end. The Bears drew first blood in the opening minutes, with Jeremy Hannan slotting one home from the arc. After that, West Brunswick wrestled control back, kicking seven of the next nine goals to hold a 5-goal lead at the main break.
In the second half, the skipper found his range and showed why he is the Rolls Royce; despite not getting great service from the midfield, he still managed to clunk a few pack marks and kick 2 goals from long range. Kyle Margaritis put on his usual weekly clinic with 2 goal assists and 2 big goals of his own, before going down with an ankle injury early in the fourth quarter.
At the final break, the Bears had the margin down to 21 points, with a lot of work to do against the breeze. The Magpies kept coming and sending the ball forward, but Max Waters was up to the challenge in yet another best-on-ground performance. His leadership in the backline, intercept marks and a goal from a 60-metre bomb from inside the centre square showed why he is a cut above any opposition.
Nick Thornley was an absolute workhorse all around the ground, giving his all in the midfield, leading the match in clearances, contested possessions and also managed to contribute on the scoreboard, banging home a great goal of his own and bringing the margin down to just 2 points with 5 minutes to go.
Unfortunately from there, the boys just couldn’t finish the job; Despite the efforts of assistant coach Tim Orchard in the last quarter, who just wouldn’t take no for answer, West Brunswick managed a late goal to break the hearts of the Bears and finish the game 8 points to the good. A harsh lesson for the Browns about playing 4 quarters of football.
Next week we take on Prahran Assumption at Toorak Park in what is yet another winnable game, so get behind us, because we’re still coming!
Round 10- June 16
Kew: 1.1- 7 4.4- 28 7.4- 46 10.7- 67
Hampton: 3.7- 25 7.12- 54 13.16- 94 17.20- 122
Best: M. Waters, B. Duggan, N. Thornely, M. O’Dicho
Goal Kickers: J. Hannan 3, A. Brazzale, R. Wilton 2, L. Marriott, N. Sambevski, T. Baldock
2018 has so far been a disappointing year for the Bears on the field. After a loss to Oakleigh last game, we sat third bottom with just two wins from nine attempts. That being said, the group of fine upstanding young citizens running around on the field at 2:10pm on a Saturday is as strong as it has ever been. I like to compare it to a white chocolate Panna Cotta I once made. It was supposed to set in the fridge overnight but I didn’t read far enough into the recipe and started preparing it the evening I was going to eat it. Long story short, it didn’t really have any semblance of being Panna Cotta, but, one spoon in, my tastebuds were on a fascinating journey of culinary delight. I guess the point is, no matter how bad it seems something is going, there is always a bright side, always a silver lining.
The silver lining for our season thus far has been the arrival of 15-year-old young star, Matt O’Dicho, the return of the new and improved Blake Goodwin, the sustained excellence of superstar back man Max Waters, the breakout of silky ball user Nathan Drummond and the continued development of a powerful relationship between both the men’s and women’s Kew sides, who are now as thick as thieves.
Saturday, round 10, was always going to be a difficult matchup. Facing off against ladder leaders Hampton Rovers, who were out to prove the doubters wrong after a draw and a loss in consecutive weeks, the Bears were up against it. In order to circumvent the excellence of the Rover midfield, Trav Baldock, returning to the side, was tasked with shutting down prime mover, Christian Carnovale. And he began with aplomb, keeping him quiet in the clinches and even hitting back for our first goal of the game. From then on, Hampton peppered the goal scoring 3.7 in the first quarter. Thankfully, the back six battled manfully to keep us in the game yet we went in to the first break with some real work to do.
The second quarter saw us going with a whispering breeze, consequently, we went in with confidence we could fight our way into the game. Nailing three goals for the quarter, we were able to put the Hampton defence under pressure and Jezza Hannan and Andrew Brazzale were giving them headaches with their strong leading and powerful marking abilities. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to keep them down and they snuck through four goals of their own as they extended the lead to 26 as the lollies and oranges were cracked open for half time.
After engaging in an intriguing arm wrestle for the first half, we could have easily had a stronger foothold in the game. Despite a few lapses, though, our backs were to the wall. Still, we went out after the break with our heads high and run in the legs.
The beginning of the premiership quarter was one to forget. A particularly disappointing opening ten minutes saw Hampton bang through three unanswered goals and blow the lead out to 50-points. From then on, a page was turned. We were able to make some proactive changes, lock down in the midfield and send Brin Duggan into defence to help out the under siege backline. Whatever it was, the Bears lifted from there. The forwards got on top, the midfield started to win the clearances and big John Lisle had to contact air traffic control to gain clearance for his leaps into the Melbourne airspace from the ruck. We played with some spunk, linking up from half back and transitioning the ball, uninfluenced, from one end to the other. Despite conceding six goals for the term and allowing the lead to grow, we were playing more freely and with happiness. The feeling had changed. A switch was flicked.
The final quarter resulted in much of the same. Max Waters and Brin Duggan combined to take roughly 30 intercept marks, Mark Brazzale was over his opponent like a rash, Nick Thornely had moved onto Carnovale and was nullifying any of his influence and Buzz Wilton had hit the scoreboard twice. Once again, however, Hampton had increased their lead as the siren sounded, but, the Bears showed some fight and the positive footy energies were palpable. The final score line saw us go down by 55-points, 67 to 122, but there were positives to take from the game.
Next week we amble out to North Brunswick with a little gust of wind in our sails and a covalent bond formed, nullifying our negative valence electrons and forming a positive ion.
Round 11- June 23
Brunswick NOBSPC: 0.1- 1 0.4- 4 3.5- 23 7.6- 48
Kew: 5.3- 33 10.4- 64 17.5- 107 22.6- 138
Best: B. Goodwin, M. Waters, B. Duggan, N. Thornely, A. Brazzale
Goal Kickers: A. Brazzale 6, N. Sambevski, J. Hannan, T. Orchard 3, M. Waters 2, G. Evans, N. Thornely, B. Duggan, B. Goodwin, F. Fernandes
After a crippling loss last week resulted in an unwanted 2-9 record, the mighty Bears could have been mistaken for the meek Bears. And so the call was made; “we need to be harder, we need to be tougher, we need to stand for something”. This was found on a huge week on the track and a promise that we would be better.
Before the game, the squad gathered at the fantastic new café in Carlton, Parco, of ex-player, Jarrod Balme. We drank good coffee, ate good food and heard our fearless leader, Andrew Brazzale, put his heart on the line and implore us to stand for each other. It was a rousing address and filled the boys with pride. We were on.
This was a danger game for us, don’t get me wrong. A loss would have placed us perilously close to the relegation zone. Somewhere we were extremely disappointed to be. But, based on our agreement, we were not going to lose. And this was proven as soon as the first siren sounded. What ensued after that first horn was sheer, unadulterated champagne football of the highest order. The ball bounced our way, we hit targets, we did nothing wrong. But we made that the case. We believed. On the back of a hardworking midfield the likes of Blake Goodwin 2.0 and the irrepressible Nick Thornely, we went into quarter time up by 32-points. Finally, we had life.
Stringing a whole game of sustained excellence has been a challenge for us this year, so we had something to prove going into quarter two. Assistant coach/team pest Tim Orchard was lively and gave us the spark we needed. John Lisle was giving us first use. The backline was well on top, thanks in large part to Max Waters who had nailed two long range goals from half back. And he was ably assisted by first gamer, Cody Hotchin, who joined the team and made an immediate impact. Along with the rest of the backline stars, the Bears held NOBS goalless in the first half. This excellence and ruthlessness was compounded by a forward line that was gelling. Nathan Sambevski, Jeremy Hannan and Andrew Brazzale just made things work. They led hard and selflessly and kicked us to a 10 goal half time lead.
From here on, the 2018 Bears, so maligned, so downtrodden, played with freedom and joy not seen so far this year. Everyone was getting in on the action and a seven goal quarter ensued. Brin Duggan was on top of Brunswick’s best forward who ignorantly tried to take him deep in a hope to get on top (silly mistake). Duggan outpointed him, silenced him and even hit back, selling him a $2 Mars bar for $50 and slotting a goal from the arc. Blake Goodwin was still on top and picked up his 30th disposal in the third quarter despite being tagged and Andrew Brazzale banged through four goals in the third quarter alone. 107-23 as the penultimate siren sounded. It was our day.
The final quarter signalled a banding together of a brotherhood. Every goal we kicked was celebrated by every man on the field as players ran from far and wide to congratulate every small win we achieved. Blake Goodwin must be credited for one of the most incredible pieces of amateur football play seen. He won a clearance from a ball up in the back pocket, broke free, took a bounce and delivered the ball up the wing. He kept moving. The ball moved up the win as he did. Jeremy Hannan marked 60 out and looked for a target inside 50, eventually spotting up the lead of best afield Goodwin who had just run 150 metres to receive the ball. This moment marked what the Bears will stand for in the rest of 2018. Tenacity and resilience, gut running, hard work and team work.
The final scoreboard was read with a joy filled heart, glint in the eye and a sign of relief. “Kew 22.6- 138 to Brunswick NOBS 7.6- 48” was what it said “The Bears are a brotherhood not prepared to lie down for each other” is what it meant.
Round 13- July 14
Kew: 1.4- 10 2.7- 19 6.12- 48 6.16- 52
Therry Penola: 3.3- 21 7.7- 49 10.9- 69 13.13- 91
Best: N. Sambevski, J. Lisle, J. O’Bryan, N. Drummond, C. Hotchin, B. Duggan
Goal Kickers: J. Hannan (2), T. Orchard, W. Balme, N. Sambevski, G. Evans
Fresh off a well-deserved bye, the mighty Bear Boys hosted Therry Penola. Last time we played them we were bullied to within an inch of survival with four players being unable to continue five minutes into the third quarter and a further three players missing the following week. The aftermath of that encounter was like a scene from Braveheart, we were bruised, we were bloodied, even some tears were shed, but we put a flag in the ground and promised we would be back, tougher and stronger the next time we played them. So it was, we welcomed the Lions to the graveyard, just as we welcomed three-time day, three-time night best and fairest, Jack Delbridge, back from a broken leg (coincidentally sustained in the reverse fixture). Buoyed by the confidence of two wins on the trot, we were quietly coy about our chances. And, we were greeted by Mr. Sun, certainly doing his job, brightening up the place, as well as a winning roll-on from the senior women’s side and men’s development.
Despite the sun being out, the bones needed defrosting, and, as a result, we took some time to get the legs ticking over. As a result, Therry split us open in the centre of the ground and banged through two early goals. The flow was somewhat stemmed as the ever-tenacious Nick Thornely won a “holding the ball” free kick at half back, kicked inboard to Brin Duggan, who kicked long and direct to returning star Jack Delbridge on the flank. Jack then pinpointed Jezza Hannan on the lead, who kicked truly. Banging through our first goal of the game and completing a pleasing piece of play. Excitement built around a text book piece of play and we sprung spiritedly into the quarter time huddle.
The second quarter epitomised our season. Despite controlling much of the play, we were not able to hit the scoreboard, and squandered many of our chances, kicking one goal, three behinds and a few out on the full. Meanwhile, Therry could scarcely do anything wrong in the forward fifty and popped through four goals, leading to a handy 30-point half time lead. Josh O’Bryan, tasked with the unenviable task of limiting midfield behemoth, Jarrod Egglestone, was a shining light as Egglestone was unable to break free at stoppages and hardly got his hands on the ball. He was aided by the red-hot Blake Goodwin who was continuing his ball winning form. Alas, five goals, and ponderous momentum, separated the sides at the main break.
The call was made to get out earlier than usual for the second half; to warm up and be ready and raring for Therry as the third quarter initiated. It helped. We flew out of the blocks. Banging through the first three goals of the quarter to reduce the margin to a completely manageable nine points. The ball was flowing freely from the backlines and the midfield managed to break through and win some clearances against a strong clearance side. As usual, the backline was functioning well and started much of the positive play moving forward. This was the antithesis of our 2018. Unfortunately, despite a major momentum swing, Therry were able to kick two quick goals to edge the margin out to 15 before snaring a final major as the siren sounded, leaving the luckless Bears staring down the barrel of a 21-point deficit. This compounded our flailing inaccuracy as we booted four goals and five behinds for the quarter, wasting a strong chance to carry a lead into the final change.
Quarter four was one to forget. Despite the best efforts of Blake Goodwin, Nathan Drummond and Nathan Sambevski, the Bears were unable to draw themselves back into the game. Again, inaccuracy cancelled out any threat of an unlikely victory as we were unable to put through a goal, managing four points instead. Another three goal quarter for Therry blew the lead out to 39-points and consigned us to our ninth loss for the season. Next week we head out to Preston to face off against the Bullants who we fell agonisingly short against in the previous encounter. Despite a loss against Therry, we once again showed multiple flashes of the unstoppable football we are capable. Now it is just a matter of translating into a four quarter effort.
Round 12- June 30
Kew: 1.3- 9 4.5- 29 7.7- 49 13.10- 88
Ivanhoe: 0.4- 4 4.7- 31 5.10- 40 5.14- 44
Best: N. Drummond, B. Goodwin, M. O’Dicho, N. Sambevski, J. O’Bryan, B. Duggan
Goal Kickers: N. Sambevski (3), J. Hannan (3), B. Goodwin (3), G. Evans (2), T. Orchard, G. Belcher
After a 90-point victory last week, the Bears rolled into Saturday with tendrils of wind causing ripples in the white sheet of our sail. Looking to build on the rate of knots we had already managed, we entered the game against Ivanhoe with all hands on deck.
After losing captain courageous, Andrew Brazzale, to an untimely mid-season Europe trip, 15-year-old young gun, George Belcher, was called into the side to make his highly anticipated debut. We also welcomed Mark Cochrane, the brother of Kew royalty, Michael Cochrane.
Without Brazzale, Max Waters assumed the position of captain, delivering typically astute addresses and inciting enthusiasm in his chargers. Unfortunately, the wind fell still as we began the first quarter and we were sluggish to resume what was built last week. Cal Thomas started well, having a hand in everything and Nathan Drummond continued his excellent form. As the first quarter ended we had only managed one goal, but, thankfully, held Ivanhoe goalless. If not for the tenacious attack of Glen Evans, we would have entered the break down.
The second quarter was not our best as we allowed four Hoe goals while contributing just three of our own. Encouragingly, Nick Thornely was getting his hands on everything, creating run and drive through the middle. Add that to what Blake Goodwin has been dishing up and you have a potentially lethal concoction. Fortunately for the Hoes, the concoction was not entirely released and a spill control kit was applied to the area. Quelling their influence on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Glen Evans was winding back the clock and doing everything he could to get the Bears over the line and Josh O’Bryan, of a similar vintage, put the shackles on an Ivanhoe prime mover. After a somewhat disappointing half, we had gifted the Hoes some confidence and went into the main break trailing 29-31.
Although we were down on the scoreboard, we still had plenty of room for improvement and the team first attitude that we embellished against the NOBS was still on show, with every goal celebrated by the 18 players on the field. Thanks in large part to this, we kicked off the third quarter in positive fashion and took some sort of upper hand on the game. Jeremy Hannan was particularly dangerous and even took a mark in the defensive 50. Tim Orchard continued his stellar season and almost took a hanger while Matt O’Dicho took the Hoe’s star defender out of the play. Three quarter time came and the Bears had wrestled back the lead, 49-40, and were threatening to break the game open.
The showed what we are capable as we piled on six goals and kept the Hoe’s goalless. Thanks to a sturdy and reliable back six of Max Waters, William Balme, Nathan Drummond, Brin Duggan, Cody Hotchin and Justin Baldori, Ivanhoe were actually held to just one goal in the second half. However, it took the enigmatic, Nathan Sambevski, to seize the game and nail two final quarter goals for the Bears to really kick into gear. He provided the spark we needed and, on the back of his hard work, we took control of the game and never looked back. In a fitting finale, George Belcher snuck through a soccer goal as time expired on his debut. The Bears ran out 44-point victors in what was a dangerous game, particularly as it hung in limbo at three quarter time.
With two wins on the trot, we compose ourselves over a bye and look ahead to a tough clash with Therry Penola with the likelihood three-time Terry Hayes medallist, Jack Delbridge, will return to the side.
Round 14- July 21
Preston Bullants: 0.2- 2 5.5- 35 6.5- 41 7.11- 53
Kew: 4.7- 31 6.10- 46 10.15- 75 12.15- 87
Best: B. Duggan, J. Lisle, N. Sambevski, B. Goodwin, J. Delbridge, J. O’Bryan
Goal Kickers: N. Sambevski (3), A. Brazzale (2), M. O’Dicho (2), T. Orchard, J. Delbridge, T. Wiegold, B. Goodwin, M. Waters
When the term club legend gets bandied around in footy conversation circles, most minds automatically drift back with a sense of nostalgia to the great stories rising out of yesteryear and decades past, when we wore woollen jumpers and played in the snow. But it’s not only the sands of time that can shape a great figure here at the Bear Cave, and some of the boys that play here know just how lucky they are to play with a young man like Max Waters. At just 23 years of age and in his 6th year at Kew Football Club, Max has made a name for himself both on and off the field, by not only being an elite footballer and a tremendous leader, but an all-round nice guy, a fiercely loyal friend and a true gentleman.
As the Senior boys arrived at W.R. Ruthven Reserve for their round 14 clash with Preston Bullants, there was a sense of occasion on their minds, knowing that only a dedicated and 4 quarter application would be enough to recognise Max Waters’ 100th game. In an ideal world, this would equate to a win.
With a fresh, wintery, 4 goal southerly blowing down the ground, a very bronzed Andrew Brazzale, fresh off a few weeks sailing around the Greek Isles, won the toss and elected to take the advantage first. After some nervous, wayward kicking early in the quarter, the boys found their range late and smartly piled on 4 unanswered goals to put a 29 point lead in the bank.
When it was Preston’s turn with the wind, they came out hard and fast and it was time for the back 6 to shine. Up stepped the milestone man, Max Waters, and the intercept king, Brinley Duggan. Despite a flurry of inside 50s for the home side, they were thwarted time and time again, as the super 6 were simply too organised, too tough and too good. This theme of unyielding grit continued throughout the day and was the foundation stone of the performance.
At the main break, the lead was narrowed a bit but the Bears still held an 11 point advantage coming into the premiership quarter with the wind at our backs. In just his second game back from a broken leg, the 3-time and reigning Terry Hayes medallist, Jack Delbridge announced his return to form with a bang, winning clearance after clearance and laying countless bone-crunching tackles. With Jeremy Hannan up in the mountains carving up the slopes, Nathan Sambevski lit-up at the right times and bagged 3 delicious goals for the day, while the skipper as well as young gun, Matty Odicho bagged 2 each of their own.
After another 4 goal quarter, the Bears increased their lead again at the final break to enter the last quarter 34 points up. The big man, John Lisle was absolutely dominant in the ruck all day, winning nearly every hit-out to advantage and constantly giving the midfielders first use of the ball. Despite Preston coming home with the wind at their backs, they were only able to manage the 1 solitary goal for the quarter, due again to the heroics of the South Australian enforcer, Brin “Thuggan” Duggan, who would ultimately claim best on ground honours in what was a truly inspired performance all day.
After the heartbreak of a 5-point loss in round 5 at Victoria Park to the Bullants, revenge was sweet as the Bears ran out 34 point winners and knocked their more fancied opponents out of the top 4.