BLUES TOO STRONG
By Andrew ‘The Benchwarmer’ Mullett
OLD BRIGHTON: 1.3 3.5 7.6 8.8.56
UNIVERSITY BLUES: 2.3 4.7 9.7 9.10.64
Goals: Karayannis 2, Filipovic, Laumets, Pavlou, Olivier, Dick, Hill.
Best: Laumets, Fisher, Pavlou, Hill, Filipovic, Dick.
Top side, University Blues held off a brave Old Brighton Grammarians at the Varsity, winning by eight points despite being held to a mere three behinds in the final quarter. Players competed in very heavy conditions and in a low scoring encounter, we battled continuously to get in front, but every time we came at the Blues, they were able to find a goal to stay in front.
The margin was seven points at the long break. Defenders Tom Laumets and Elliot Le Grice had held the dangerous Blues’ forwards in check and had the benefit of Dylan Verney back in the side to assist. Lachie Filipovic toiled manfully against Ayce Cordy and our smaller players troubled the Blues’ defence but we couldn’t convert our opportunities. More than once, Tonner supporters must have been wondering what could have been, if Will Lewis’s aggressive presence had been available. Last year the young man debuted here and took it right up to the Blues. Michael Karayannis nailed a beautiful set shot from well out to keep things interesting as the players left for a spell.
On resumption, the goals suddenly appeared. Nick Pavlou pounced on a goal-square stoppage, Seb Williams centred a ball cleverly to J’Andre Olivier, Kara marked and kicked his second and Hamish Dick snapped brilliantly from the boundary. Each time however, the Blues responded and kicked the last two of the term to make it look tough for our blokes. Tom Fisher, wearing mud from head to toe, contested hard and gave us drive. Harry and Nick, the latter despite a heavy tag, gathered possessions regularly, Tom Yorgey was active at the back, and we certainly were still in the match.
The struggle continued into the final term. Our defence held and when Harry bounced out of a scrimmage on the flank and drove through our eighth, the Tonners were only a few points adrift. Shortly afterwards, the skipper looked set to repeat the dose, but uncharacteristically, his GPS was askew, and the ball pushed out to the right. The Blues stayed in front but couldn’t put us away. The Tonners kept coming, kept fighting, but just couldn’t find a man to take a strong mark up forward. The Blues dribbled a couple of points and that was enough as the conditions finally wore everyone down.