Young Pies singing in the rain

Friday, 24th May, 2013

By Smashy Nashy

It was Central who were singing the club song with gusto at 7.30 on Wednesday night after playing a superb four quarters of wet weather football to defeat North in the Under 18s.

The final score of 10-10 (70) to 3-8 (26) actually flattered North because at half time North trailed 7-6 to 0-4.

The game started under constant rain, making the game a battle of the bravest, and the Magpies’ coaching staff of Matt Sowden and Jarred

Paul must have been delighted with how their players attacked the slippery ball.

Central were first to the ball all night, handled it better and played in front which is so important for wet weather football.

The move of midfielder Jesse Dwyer to full forward was a master stroke as he kicked four goals and proved a handful for the North defenders.

Central also won the midfield battles through Jason Masclet, James Bressanelli and Louis Gilby.

In the ruck North’s Chad Spangler probably won most of the taps but around the ground Central’s Connor Martin was superb, capping off his game with three goals, one of which came after a Naitanui-like quality grab.

Central players all over the ground hit the contest hard, none more so than Gilby who is quickly gaining my attention for his hard work ethic from start to finish.

Another to play well was Mason Hunt across half back. Hunt was very disciplined in his role often going to the dangerous Zac Borlace to negate his influence, or running the angles to block space.

In attack Kayne Read was always dangerous, while Henry Carroll and Tanner Lloyd continue to improve.

For North it was a real soul-searching night at the office for coach Freddy Borlace. No team likes to be labelled firm track specialists but it appeared from the first bounce that several North players were not that keen to be at the Jube on a cold, wet night.

North’s Zac Borlace was again superb in his attack on the ball, and his willingness to keep battling against the tide, while Ethan Thomas was also a willing competitor all night.

During the week Colin O’Donnell arrived from West, keen on more game time, and he played a good first up game for the Bulldogs. Cooper Murray, Garry Tuthill and Sam Sutcliffe battled hard in defence, but the flood gates were well and truly open as North leaked goals, especially to half time.

In the late game WEST had the best of the conditions as the rain cleared in their match with SOUTH.

South mustered up 15 players while West had their full 22. Having a bench of seven allowed coach Jeb Grose to rotate his players all night. West are managing the game time of their senior players and this week Heath Harris and Rylie McInnes (luckily) had the night off in front of the fire.

Cohen Pettitt was back but played permanent forward and kicked six goals. Cohen Smith also bagged six playing across half forward and was the clear BOG in my opinion as he ran amok creating numerous other scoring chances. Had he not passed off several times, double figures was a real possibility.

Smith is back to his very best form of two years ago and senior honours beckon.

Through the middle Liam King had the ball on a string feeding off the good ruck work of Jake Hodgins. All over the park West had good performers with Harrison Dally and Josh O’Brien grabbing goals and Aiden Channing and Dakoda Hocking kicking two each.

The only downside of the night was the Central cheer squad craving for Max Everuss to snag a goal.

Pocket rocket Cody Dunn enjoyed the ball at ground level and Kyle Hand also had a good game with a goal to boot.

For South it was a tough slog, and the final score of 23.23 to 2-0 was a fair assessment of West’s class but very unfair on the South lads’ fighting spirit.

South kept Mitchell Henderson out of the fire which is quite sensible given his A grade form. He still had a solid night waxing screw punts with Kurt Rolton from full back.

Brock Chapman continues to improve, this week in the ruck and deep in defence. Late in the game West’s Cody Ellis had a brain fade and was reported for striking Chapman. Lauchlan Roberg was again high up in the Roos’ best as was Rob Naudi who, like all smaller players, enjoyed the ball being at ground level more often.

Bailey Treloar battled the tide all night in defence and was another South player who gave everything. Aden Thompson, Anthony Crombie and Corey Markovic rounded out the Roos top players.

So five rounds in West are clearly in a class of their own and will be certain grand finalists.

Central have jumped back into contention with a great win and North have some thinking to do. For South, keep having a dip and enjoy your footy as you are so important to the success of Wednesday night footy.