OLD BRIGHTON: 10.7.67
Round 2 saw the Under 19’s travel to Marcellin on one of the wettest and windiest Melbourne days in recent memory. Their spirits remained high, however, as Matt Speirs, standing in for his injured skipper, Tom Wallace, fervently led out a team which included 3 debutants.
The Tonners started with a flurry, kicking the first 4 goals of the match, including 2 from Finn Campigli, before a lazy 25m penalty gifted Marcellin their first, which was perhaps a sign of the things to come. An ill-disciplined 2nd quarter followed, including several more 25m penalties, allowing Marcellin back into the game.
A response was needed in the 3rd quarter, and they delivered just that. Brighton’s midfield, led by strong performances from Tom Burns and Max Burt, was again given good service by Mitch Hughes, and whilst the team’s ball-use and general quality of play was improved on from last week, they again struggled to capitalise on periods of dominance. Matt Harris did, however, manage to break his goal scoring drought after kicking 0.4 up to that point in the season.
Nick Freeman did not die wondering when his chance came in the midfield, repeatedly tucking the ball under his arm and taking the game on. Likewise, in the forward line, first-gamer Mitch Hurd played with courage and looked like a natural footballer, even after a 4-year stint out of the game.
At three-quarter-time, the scenario was this; Old Brighton with a 16-point lead to defend from Marcellin who would kick with a strong breeze at their back.
Old Brighton looked to have one nail in Marcellin’s coffin when Geordie McPherson extended the lead to 22 points, but a series of crucial mistakes and sloppy free-kicks led to consecutive Marcellin goals. The composure, which held the group in such good stead during last week’s 4-point win over Trinity, seemed to vanish in these final minutes, as players turned the ball over with long kicks to the opposition instead of creating a ‘rolling maul’ along the boundary line.
Overall there were plenty of lessons to be taken from the match. The boys brought unbelievable effort for 3 quarters, and if they work hard to improve on some lapses in communication, composure and simple, disciplined acts, then the Under 19’s will be a difficult side to beat by the end of the year.
Congratulations to Mitch Hurd, Sam Larkworthy and Joe Micari on their debuts. Welcome to the OBGFC!
Goal Kickers: F. Campigli 2, T. Burns, S. Ryan, M. Harris, P. Inglis, G. McPherson, H. Osborne, M. Hurd
Best Players: N. Freeman, F. Campigli, T. Burns, M. Burt, M. Hughes, P. Inglis