Obviously Saturday was a very pleasing outcome for the Club. After some promising signs in our previous matches, we put together a solid four quarter performance where every line (forwards, mids, backs) played their role.
I thought we started with the desired intensity in the first quarter however we found ourselves defending a lot in B50m due to being a little unsettled by Glenelg’s structures. With additional numbers behind the ball and their defenders holding distance, we were caught rushing the ball forward and being outnumbered. It took a little time to adapt but once we did, the quarter evened up. Tom Keough started on fire, kicking our first three goals, but most importantly, he made two of these from 50/50 contests. I thought our backs started well and we were able to keep the opposition to three goals for the quarter. The second quarter was again very even however I thought we started to get some ascendancy in the contested ball and stoppages. Andre Parrella gave us first look at the hit outs and we won the stoppages 12 to 6 for the quarter. I thought we were a little too predictable with our F50 entries and we discussed this at half-time (Glenelg are very good at picking off long kicks inside F50m). I was extremely happy with the third term. Our midfield continued to win the stoppage ball and we were able to keep the ball in our half of the ground for most of the quarter. This was on the back of some great forward half pressure by the mids and the small forwards- Ken Karpany led the way here. We had 16 to 3, F50m entries for the quarter and kicked four goals to no score. Great finishing by our goal kickers was so important here. Going into the last term with a 19 point lead, I asked the players to continue to focus on the process rather than the outcome.
Our first five minutes was a little poor and I thought we got outnumbered at a couple of critical contests. Given recent history of last quarter fade-outs, the next 20 minutes was extremely satisfying. Another goal to Tom Keough steadied the ship and we then regained ascendancy with superior work rate and contested ball. A big effort by Josh Schiller who continued to play despite an ankle injury, was typical of the team first mindset. The final 15 minutes was again played predominantly in our half of the ground and despite the opposition having numbers set back in our forward 50m, we stopped them counterpunching the other way. Full credit to our defenders and especially our mids who were working back well, to outnumber at the contest. We had a couple of extra scoring opportunities where we didn’t capitalize, however our lead of 16 points was enough to see out the game.
It is of no surprise that our first win came on the back of a full team contribution. Individually, Tom Keough with five goals was the dominant forward on the ground. Brett Turner was instrumental in our clearance work and defensive pressure. Jordan Boyle continued his great start to the season and Mitch Duval gave a great contest all day. Elliot Duncan returned to form with great run and skills off half-back.