WITH THE Home and Away season drawing to a close, all three tiers at Warrandyte Football Club are playing for a spot in the Finals.
Warrandyte arrested their run of losses with a strong win over Chirnside Park.
But concurrent defeats in the following weeks against Ferntree Gully and South Belgrave leave the Bloods fighting for the last spot in the Division 3 Finals.
Josh Appleby and Nicholas Johnstone returned to the side for the home clash against Chirnside while Josh Huntly was named for his first senior game, Warrandyte’s 13th debutant of 2019.
With Chirnside Park intent on logging their first win of the season, the Bloods were mindful of the Panthers’ fast start in their previous encounter but two quick-fire goals ensured history would repeat itself.
Goals to Jack, Tom and Nathan Grimes sparked a six-goal run to the Bloods who took an 18-point advantage into the first break.
They pulled further away in the second quarter as Josh Meyers and Jack Grimes dominated around the park while forwards Quinn Clark and Luke Dunn hit the scoreboard.
Clark struck twice more in the third term and the 40-point three quarter time deficit proved unassailable for Chirnside as an eight-goal-to-five second half sealed a much-needed 53-point win for Warrandyte.
Kyle Thompson continued his fine season, sparking multiple rebounding efforts out of defence where Warrandyte’s kicking efficiency going inside fifty led to Warrandyte having eight multiple goal-kickers for the day.
Clark led the goal-scorers with three for the day and Jack Grimes was appropriately named Best on Ground for his performance.
In extraordinary playing conditions at Ferntree Gully the following week, the Bloods were forced into a hard slog in a hail-storm up the mountain.
Against second placed Ferntree, Warrandyte’s back six were under pressure for the majority of the match as the Eagles made the most of the mire to kick the only four goals of the game.
The loss of backman Andrew White just 10 minutes into the first quarter would hurt Warrandyte as the game progressed.
While the goal-kickers column was empty for the day, the efforts of Versteegen, Powell, Oliver and Thompson in defence were outstanding.
While Chris Tout was solid in the midfield on a day where it was hard to find much precision in a forgetable 29-point loss.
Warrandyte faced their hardest match of the year in Round 14; facing off against the undefeated South Belgrave.
The Bloods made their intentions known early in a physical first quarter, with both sides sharing the honours.
A goalless second quarter and six to South Belgrave put the Bloods on the back foot, trailing by 45 points.
Tout, Grimes (Jack) and Donahoo worked hard in a bruising midfield encounter and quick-fire goals to Dunn, Beasley and Jaffrey to start the third quarter launched Warrandyte back within four goals.
But another five to the Saints following left the side needing to overcome a 56-point at the final change, a margin that proved insurmountable for Warrandyte.
Despite the ten-goal defeat, a highlight to come out of the match was defender Versteegens performance on Division 3 leading goal-kicker Leigh Odermatt, who he kept to just one goal to take out the Bloods Best on Ground, his second in as many weeks.
With four rounds to go, Warrandyte is currently in fourth spot but tied on wins with Waverley and Donvale.
The Bloods will take on both teams in the run home in what’s sure to be a thrilling conclusion to the home and away season.
Warrandyte 18.9–117 def
Chirnside Park 9.10–64
Goal Kickers: Q. Clark 3,
T. Grimes 3, J. Grimes 2, S. Jellie 2,
M. Cullum 2, N. Brooking 2,
L. Dunn 2, N. Grimes 2
Best Players: J. Grimes, J. Meyers,
S. Jellie, K. Thompson, T. Grimes,
Warrandyte 0.3–3 def by
Ferntree Gully 4.8–32
Best Players: T. Versteegen, C. Tout, J. Powell, L. Oliver, K. Thompson,
Warrandyte 6.7-43 def by
South Belgrave 16.9–105
Goal Kickers: L. Dunn 2, M. Jaffrey,
C. Tout, N. Grimes, J. Beasley
Best Players: T. Versteegen,
K. Thompson, N. Grimes, J. Grimes,
C. Tout, P. Donahoo
The Reserves dished out a 100-point drubbing to Chirnside Park but fell to both top placed sides in Ferntree Gully and South Belgrave and currently need everything to go their way for a shot at finals footy.
On-baller Tim Beasley was everywhere early and Andre Balemian put in his best game of the season playing off the wing with two goals to his name, winning him Best on Ground honours.
Gareth Hitchman and Josh Beasley enjoyed a shoot-out inside the Bloods’ forward line with Hitchman edging Beasley five goals to four in Beasley’s first game back from overseas.
Warrandyte took an imposing 10-goal lead into half-time and never looked back, slamming on another eight goals to take out a 96-point win.
A sterner test awaited them against Ferntree Gully and like the Senior side they were subject to the worst of the winter weather.
In a low-scoring affair, Josh Hale and Kyle Speers rose to the occasion to slot the Bloods only two goals of the match and were strong around the contests on a day suited for hard ball gets.
Warrandyte found themselves just eight points behind the second-placed Eagles at half-time but suffered the loss of backman Drew Corke to a season-ending knee injury during the second quarter.
Clean marking from Tim Foster down back was instrumental to keep the Bloods in the game, needing to overcome a 13-point three-quarter time deficit to pull off a famous win.
Both sides played the ball down the middle of the ground in a wet and wild back and forth but an early goal to Ferntree in the last quarter put the game to bed, Warrandyte falling to a 17-point defeat.
The challenges kept coming for Warrandyte who took on first placed South Belgrave in Round 14.
With a good side in, the Bloods were intent on causing an upset and keeping their season alive but the class of South Belgrave was immediately obvious.
Tim Beasley and Josh Appleby worked hard in the midfield for the majority of the game to move the ball forward but Warrandyte’s attacks were repelled by an experienced opposition.
With a half-time deficit of 10 goals, the Bloods were forced to work hard to get something out of the game and a move up the ground proved fruitful for Tim Foster who slotted the Bloods’ first early in the fourth quarter.
Dave Wilson gave the Bloods their second but Warrandyte were consigned to their second heavy defeat to the Saints.
The Reserves currently sit sixth, two games behind fourth spot and need to win all four remaining games along with favourable results elsewhere to be a chance of playing finals footy.
Warrandyte 18.16–124 def
Chirnside Park 4.4–28
Goal Kickers: G. Hitchman 5,
J. Beasley 4, C. Prior 3,
A. Balemian 2, T. Beasley, L. Hogg,
N. Thornbury, L. Brewis
Best Players: A. Balemian, T. Beasley, C. Whitfield, C. Prior, N. Thornbury, G. Hitchman
Warrandyte 2.4–16 def by
Ferntree Gully 4.9–33
Goal Kickers: J. Hale, K. Speers
Best Players: T. Foster, J. Hale,
K. Speers, H. Buyn, J. Appleby
Warrandyte 2.2–14 def by
South Belgrave 15.14–104
Goal Kickers: D. Wilson, T. Foster
Best Players: T. Beasley, R. Reardon, T. Foster, K. Speers, J. Appleby, J. Hale
Warrandyte’s U19s are all but locked into Finals, sitting in second and displaying imperious form on the back of some strong victories.
The Bloods were toppled just once in July football, falling to ladder leader South Belgrave by 20 points in their rematch at Warrandyte Reserve.
Boell, Addison and Van Der Ree had their hands full in defence against some slick ball movement but weathered the storm well down back for Warrandyte.
Blake Trevorrow continues to be one of the sides most consistent performers, named in the best players for the fifth week running.
Darcy Poole made it 11 goals in three games as he hit a purple patch, but ultimately Warrandyte will be forced to wait for another crack at the Saints come finals time.
The Bloods didn’t miss a beat against their previous opponents, however.
In squalid conditions up at Ferntree Gully, Warrandyte’s big three forwards in Poole, Padfield and Clark combined for 11 of the Bloods’ 13 goals while the back six managed to keep the Eagles goalless for the match in an exceptional all-round performance.
Just one win behind 1st placed South Belgrave, Warrandyte will be looking to sew up the double chance on the run home.
Warrandyte 11.5–81 def
Chirnside Park 2.7–19
Goal Kickers: C. Padfield 3,
L. Durran 2, D. Poole, L. Downie,
F. Swedosh, B. Davies, L. Garrick,
Best Players: D. Poole, E. Boell,
B. Trevorrow, L. Vaughan, C. Addison, J. Van Der Ree
Warrandyte 13.9-87 def
Ferntree Gully 0.1-1
Goal Kickers: D. Poole 6, Q. Clark 3,
C. Padfield 2, B. Trevorrow,
Best Players: D. Poole, B. Trevorrow, B. Vermeulen Brown, C. Addison,
M. Baynon, O. Bell
Warrandyte 7.5–47 def by
South Belgrave 10.7–67
Goal Kickers: D. Poole 4, C. Martin,
C. Padfield, Q. Clark
Best Players: E. Boell, D. Poole,
O. Hodgson, C. Addison,
J. Van Der Ree, C. Martin