Bloods back on top
by KIERAN PETRIK-BRUCE
5th July 2021
FOOTY IS BACK following a suspension of play for Rounds 8 and 9 due to lockdown. Following a BYE in Round 10, the Diary were on the sideline for Round 11 on the weekend of June 25–26.
The Seniors had to wait just over a month to run back out on the park. In that time, Ferntree Gully had jumped to top of the ladder with only one loss for the year, setting up a top-of-the-table epic for Round 11 as Warrandyte played host to Ferntree Gully. Right from the start, both teams showed intent and a hunger for the contest, with a fast paced and high pressure opening term. Only accurate kicking spilt the two teams into the first change as the Bloods kicked seven straight to open up a commanding 21-point lead, setting the tone for the rest of the game. What followed was tough, fast paced, and uncompromising football from both sides; yet it was Warrandyte who were able to continue to pull away in the second term, largely due to the clearance work, clean possession, and high tackle pressure in the midfield, with Leo Garrick setting the barometer around the contest. Garrick’s ability to win the contested ball, apply phenomenal tackle pressure and find a teammate on the outside allowed the forward line first look, with skipper Michael Cullum and Key Forward Ryan Phillips looking dangerous every time the ball went into the forward line. However, Ferntree Gully were top for a reason, and the third term saw them even the contest around the ball, giving their forwards an opportunity to wrestle back momentum. Enter Josh Beasley, Kyle Thompson, and the rest of the defensive unit who repelled attack after attack with strong intercept marking and the ability to force Gully wide entering the forward half. Whenever Gully were able to find a way through, the Bloods had the answer, which continued into the final term as Joshua Meyes kicked three last quarter goals, to help hand the bloods a 46-point win. Garrick took out Best on Ground, but this performance was one that highlighted the quality of this team, with strong performances all over the park. Now sitting top with a game in hand, this win puts Warrandyte in a really strong position to attack the second half of the year.
Ferntree Gully 10.9.69
Goal Kickers: M. Cullum 4,
J. Meyers 3, R. Phillips 3, Q. Clark 2,
L. Dunn 2, N. Brooking 2, J. Appleby,
Best Players: L. Garrick, J. Meyers,
M. Cullum, J. Beasley, K. Thompson, O. Hodgson
Like the Seniors, coming off over a month since their last game and facing second-on-the-ladder Ferntree Gully, who were in good form, this was always going to be a tough game. The first half was a tight and low scoring contest as both sides defensive set ups won out. Unfortunately for the Bloods, Gully were able to wrestle control of the game, with goals either side of the final term effectively ending the contest. The Bloods, despite a solid intent, were unable to get first hands on the footy, or spread from the contest as Gully showed cleaner hands and ultimately kicked away to run out 45-point winners. While a disappointing result, the Bloods are still in 4th with a game in hand and will look to learn from this and then reset for next week.
Ferntree Gully 11.11.77
Goal Kickers: G. Hitchman 2, J. Deer,
Best Players: L. Shelton,
S. Philip-Owen, L. Durran, C. Johnstone, T. Parker, M. Wilson
The U19s started the first half strong, largely due to the great link up and rebounding of the defence, allowing the Bloods to push out to an 18-point lead by halftime. Sadly, after halftime the U19s were out played and despite the defence holding firm, Gully ran out 8-point winners. A disappointing result but plenty of positives, Ben Vermeulen-Brown and Ben Munks had the ball on a string all game, while Sam Martini and Joel Tetlow provided plenty of spark all day. The result leaves the U19s in 6th with a 3–4 record.
Ferntree Gully 7.7.49
Goal Kickers: D. O’Toole 3,
B. Tremayne, A. Humphris, C. Martin
Best Players: B. Vermeulen-Brown,
B. Munks, O. Bell, S. Martini, J. Tetlow, A. Humphris