OLD BRIGHTON: 17.17.119
DE LA SALLE: 8.12.60
TONNERS BLITZ DE LA SALLE
Old Brighton Grammarians’ players continued our winning run when the boys dashed away to an impressive 59 point win over highly-rated visitors, De La Salle, at South Road. The Tonners made light of their opponents’ reputation and further developed their own claims to Premier Division status, by stifling De La’s run and pressuring their ball-carriers all day. The Tonners’ tough mid-fielders competed hard, led by fine games from Tom Fisher, Eddie Tait and Harry Hill. The defence lost captain, Dylan Verney, very early, but strong, assertive performances from Max Hayes, Elliot Le Grice, Tom Larkworthy, Tom Garner and Stu Hooy dominated the visitors’ forwards who were always searching in vain for time and space. Old Brighton had thirteen goal-kickers, emphasising the creative ways they all worked together to probe the De La defence.
The match was high class and close for three quarters. In perfect conditions, both sides challenged each other physically with tempers often frayed. The young Tonners refused to take any backward steps against their more experienced opponents, who probably weren’t expecting to feel such concentrated pressure all day. Raury Bolger, in typically fearless fashion, charged into a contest and knocked himself out, causing momentary panic on the bench. He later recovered but took no further part. The Tonners worked their opponents relentlessly and eventually surged ahead, again producing a blistering final term in which they hammered home 8.6 to 1.2, to win emphatically, and find themselves a couple of wins clear in the top four.
The first half, played at rapid pace, saw the Tonners troubling the visitors with their skilful and positive use of the ball. Apart from Max Lohan’s lovely snap, and The Pocket Rocket’s sprint into the goal square, Old Brighton’s goals came from unwavering set shots that built team confidence. We matched De La in close and restricted their traditional running game, with Quinton Montanaro’s work on Sam Williams proving influential. Tom Yorgey scored impressively in the second term and was sent back to help cover the loss of his skipper, where he continued to impress with his pluck and calm decision-making.
Through the mid-field, Tom Fisher, Ben Jakobi, Harry Hill and Eddie Tait kept avenues open for smaller forwards to pounce, and Michael Karayannis, Anthony Zimmerman and Nick Pavlou troubled De La, all turning on busy, classy performances. Patrick Liston knitted it all together, using the ball cleverly to set up his team-mates. Tom Skewes competed hard in the ruck, then went forward and scored twice in the third term, while Tom King again offered great service both up forward and in the ruck. Ari Sakeson and Jandre Olivier also gave valuable assistance as forward targets.
Thirteen points ahead at the final break, the Tonners increased their efforts and soon broke De La’s resistance. Goals came thick and fast, with two from Nick Pavlou boosting the lead as Zimmerman, Fisher, Jakobi, Tate, Liston and Hill all joined an impressive score-sheet. The Tonners ran hard all day and were just as strong when the final siren brought down the curtain on a very convincing team performance. The players were understandably elated and are very keen to continue their efforts when Old Xavs come to The Beach next week to try to break their duck.
Goal Kickers: Pavlou 3, Zimmerman 2, Skewes 2, Karayannis, Sakeson, Lohan, Yorgey, King, Fisher, Jakobi, Tait, Liston, Hill
Best Players: Fisher, Tait, Montanaro, Hill, Hayes, Le Grice, Zimmerman