Round 7 Reserves Match Report

OLD BRIGHTON:    5.9.39



The last thing Ross Stewart and his Reserve side needed after struggling in every match, was to have five of their best players promoted to the Seniors.  Such is the lot of a team whose main job is to keep a supply of soldiers ready when the main men fall injured or succumb to a variety of inexplicable viruses.  In normal circumstances, this shouldn’t be a problem, but as has been already stated, the disappointing failure of so many of last year’s premier players to return for action, has left the Roscoes gasping for breath.

Their plight however has begun to really engage me, and I am increasingly drawn to their resilience.  Certainly, their opening quarter was dreadful, and several are apparently arriving late and need to smarten up.  Fifty-one points down at quarter time was a disgrace, coming as it did after failure to compete and bring any effort.  Watching behind the clock left me squirming with embarrassment, and Stewart himself, no doubt wondering why he is bothering.  Stern words were apparently spoken at the break.

The second quarter was genuinely engaging as the Roscoes had a crack and began to pour water on the Blues’ picnic adventure.  Matt Freeman charged about the defensive lines, veteran Tom Gunning got stuck in, Cal MacLeod crashed through a few packs, Alex Nicholas and Sam Murray turned their opponents back, and Sam Ryan was terrific in defence.  Jimmy Davis made a welcome return.  He has been on the sidelines since the Seniors won the flag last season, and he came through the match in one piece, keen to lift the efforts of younger blokes who must learn quickly.

I genuinely enjoyed watching after quarter-time and there will be happier times ahead so long as the players remain bound by a desire to achieve.  It may be hard to feel their importance when they are playing sides with more talent, but they are all crucial to the Seniors’ success, as evident later in the afternoon when the “promoted five” provided the impetus for another outstanding Tonner win.

Goals: Gunning 2, Dikranian, MacLeod, Bell

Best: M. Freeman (Gril’d), Gunning, Ryan, MacLeod, S. Murray, Nicholas