RESERVES TAKE IT UP TO THE BLUES
By Andrew ‘The Benchwarmer’ Mullett
Old Brighton: 0.1 1.4 4.8 5.10. 40
Uni Blues: 2.3 5.4 6.7 7.13. 55
Goals: Liston 2, Murray, Hynes, Gunning
Best: E. Harris, S.Murray, M.Ho, N.Collins, M. Freeman, H.Hamilton, C.Hicks
After a long and often agonising 2018, the Reserves, under new coach, Luke Healy, are bent on enjoying their footy and fielding a more competitive outfit this season. Roscoe has “retired” to assist the senior forwards on match day, and Luke, regrettably forced into premature retirement by persistent injury, has fortunately offered his services and takes up the reins earlier in the day. Boosted by an influx of last year’s U19s, the side will hopefully not have to cope with the devastation of the Airport Virus that wrecked their ranks last year. The VAFA has introduced an inoculation period mid-season, a bold initiative which should assist Luke in preserving his sanity in July.
The first signs were promising in the opening clash against the Blues, who are always strong. It took a half for the boys to settle and they found themselves four goals down at the long break. The Blues’ pace and organised ball movement had the Tonners chasing and Sam Murray finally put the boys on the scoreboard with a fine snap during the second term. We began to win our share of the ball once Elliot Harris and Marty Ho, who had been running hard, were supported by Niall Collins, Jack Cowling and Harry Hynes.
Earlier, Matt Freeman held fast in defence, with Hugh Hamilton, Scott Riddell and Tom Larkworthy trying to stem the Blues’ attacks. Youngsters Charlie Hicks and Max Burt both stepped up and had a crack, but the team let itself down with very poor ball movement into the forward line. Harrison Vulcan worked hard in the ruck, and gradually, the boys began to get reward for their efforts.
The third term was terrific. Though unable to train in the preseason, Paddy Liston’s class twice enabled him to goal and the run will do the veteran good. He always looked likely to beat his opponent if only our delivery could improve. Harry Hynes, so impressive in the practice matches with his attack on the footy, began to win possession in this term, and when he goaled, the boys had snuck within 11 points at the final break.
Nor did they slacken their efforts in the final quarter. It was a real slog. The Blues had more chances but were pressured into error. We still lacked a marking option in front of the erections and it was left to the veteran, Tommy Gunning, to snap our only goal for the term. Down by 15 points, but there is every indication of a more fruitful season for the Ressies.