A loss but good signs for the year ahead
Round Number 1, Sunday, 17 April 2016
- Opponent: AJAX
- Match Result: Loss
- Played at: Away
Q1 Q2 Q3 Final Score Us 3.1.19 5.2.32 6.4.40 8.4.52 Them 2.1.13 6.3.39 12.7.79 17.12.114
Best Players: N. Jones, B. Dunstan, C. Wallace, M. Hexter, G. Trumbull, B. De Leijer
Having drawn the competitions “shortest straw” the Panther 3rds were scheduled to open their season against AJAX on Sunday 17th April. With all the changes in the side due to several retirements, injuries in the firsts & seconds and the game being scheduled on a Sunday causing unavailability’s, it was a sensational effort to pull a team together. Five Under 19s participated along with Gordy Ryan who played in the twos the day before!
It was imperative that we started well against the side that finished above us in 3rd place last year and that is what we managed to do! The first minute of the game saw Brett de Leijer (a very well-seasoned Panther) burst out of the centre and hit first gamer Aaron DiRienzo, who marked and goaled with his first ever touch for Old Carey. This intensity saw us close out the opening quarter a goal up (3.1 to 2.1). AJAX fought back in in the last 5 minutes of the second quarter to wrestle a lead of seven points going into half-time. (5.2 to 6.3)
It was after half-time that the wheels seemed to drop off for the Thirds as fitness became a major issue. Eight players pulled up with injuries in the second half including Tom MB (who had three goals at the time) and Di Rienzo who had two, as well as both our back-up ruckman and four of our backline who had been solid all day and kept us in it! We were overrun in the third quarter and our structure dropped off as AJAX piled on 6.4 to our 1.2 to lead by 39 points (12.7 to 6.4). In the last, with three players still on the ground managing injuries and only one rotation left on the bench, we asked for a courageous effort from our boys and they stuck fat, AJAX still pilled on 5.5 to our 2 goals and ended up running out 62 point winners (17.12-114 to 8.4-52)
Geoff Trumbull, Tim Rule, Ben Elzarka (50th game) and Muzzacato were sensational down back, as were all our back men – Brett De Leijer and Hexter (captain) were very strong in the middle all day with so few rotations, and TMB could have won us the game as he was tearing it up at full-forward for us with 3 goals, 2 to DiRienzo on debut was a good sign. The under 19s worked very hard and showed what a bit of training and fitness can do for you, Dunstan did some sensational run down tackles, Petney ran hard all day and Jones helped slow down the oppositions best player for a half
If we play like we did in the first half all year, we will have a fantastic season, bring it on!