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2022-2023 Summer State League - FINALS

WSL2 - MAJOR FINAL (1 Vs 2) Report by Torben Fink-Jensen

After last week's final round match against NYP Blue where Essendon triumphed 11-7, we had the same opponent in Major Final. In team news, NYP fielded the same 11 players, and Essendon had 2 extra players (Lisa Anderson + Claudia Cover), but 1 player not available (Kate Mills in goalie). This meant we had 12 in the game but we had to shuffle Claudia into goals to replace Katie. On to the game! Despite plenty of nervous tension, Essendon started strongly and got the first goal to Sarah. Our drives were going well and the attackers were getting in good positions, allowing LisAndo to also send one home. Unfortunately, NYP were making inroads at the other end and despite Alex finishing off another goal it ended in a 3-3 deadlock by the end of he quarter. The game ebbed and flowed in the second with both sides having good chances. Phoebe was able to shoot from the perimeter, then Mietta scored but was beaten by the shot clock. LisaAndo was in the thick of the action and drew a penalty. We couldn't score the first but another arose with 2.5 seconds to go and this time Alex made no mistake. NYP also had their chances - they were swimming harder than last week and pressing up tighter on defence. When in space they had clear shots leaving Claudia no chance, and it was 5-5 at the main break. Essendon played a strong third quarter and looked like they would take a decent lead. We managed to get out to 8-6 with 30 seconds to go and then drama as the clock was accidentally reset. They played another 10 seconds before the game was stopped and then a decision had to be made as to how to re-set the clock. Eventually it was reset for 30 seconds (not the 20 left to play), with Essendon on attack. The attack fizzled and the ball turned over to NYP, who scored in the last 10 seconds (of course) making it 8-7. Essendon played their heart out in the last quarter but it wasn't enough as some crucial passes didn't stick. With NYP making intercepts and making the most of their chances, it was enough to take the lead for the first time subsequently resulting in the win. Our next step is to see who wins the minor final on Tuesday night (Footscray vs Richmond Cubs), then we play the winner on Thursday night, followed by the Grand Final next Saturday 🤞

Essendon were defeated by the NYP Dragons (Blue) : 9 – 10

Goals : Alex 3, Sarah 2, Mietta 2, LisaAndo 1, Phoebe 1

WSL2 Game Day Photos (courtesy of Torben Fink-Jensen) - see more on our FB page

JNR MEN - GRAND FINAL Report by Mike Holtz

After a solid win in the semi-final, the boys earned their way to this week’s Gold Medal Match. Their opponents, DVE, had only lost one match in the season and we were hoping would be without several of their key players. That was not going to happen, with DVE fielding a full team of 12 for the final. The later start of 9:45 gave the boys some warm-up time, and a chance to work through any pre-game jitters. With nothing to save up for, the boys stormed into attack, and while not winning the swim off, they forced a turnover, drove on a fast counter attack and found the back of the net. And the arm wrestle began. Two similar fast breaks came close, but failed to convert, while a strong defensive effort limited DVE’s attacks. A strong goal from DVE and a converted 5m penalty saw DVE draw in front 1-2 at the quarter break. The second started much like the first with the boys converting a turnover into a counter attack and a quick goal. The strong defensive effort resulted in numerous blocked shots in the field and by the goalie. The boys however found the back of the net 3 times whilst limiting DVE to 2. So the halftime scores were level at 4-4. A change of sides and a change of goalies for the third helped the boys keep up the momentum. They traded goals with DVE in a back and forth manner, with neither team ever really getting in front, and ending the quarter level again at 6-6. Another goalie swap for the fourth kept fresh legs in the field for another tight quarter. While the boys snatched a 1 goal lead early, and were able to hold onto it until 2 minutes remained, when DVE scored again. With a minute and a half left, the boys found the back of the net a final time taking the lead 8-7. A solid goalie save in the final minute combined with tough defensive pressure and a critical turnover with 6 seconds left prevented DVE from scoring. Congratulations! 8-7 victory and a Gold Medal. Well Done!

Hats off to Will, Nanai, Cass, Brandon, Lucas, Xavier, Nic, Josh, and Sam. They have put in 100% all season and won when it truly mattered.

Essendon/MC/Richmond defeated DVE Aquatic : 8 – 7

Goals : Cass 3, Will 2, Nic 2, Brandon 1

JnrM Game Day Photo (2 players absent, as they left to play in another game)

U14 MIXED - ROUND 16 Report by Alex Steere

Our last game of the season saw us up against Northcote again. Having lost to them last week we knew we were in for a fight today. Half of the team seemed to think the season ended last week so we only had one player on the bench. Our focus for the game was on defence, to man up and make it difficult for Northcote to get the ball up the pool. We pushed them hard and Bonnie earned the first (and possibly only) 5m penalty in the competition. With her goal we were 1-4 down at quarter time. Olive played a standout quarter in goals, stopping a shot from Northcote on a fast break and then another big save late in the quarter. The second quarter was an even fight with both teams scoring 2 goals. Toby fought hard for a goal and so did Bonnie. With Beth working hard in goals making great saves. The highlight from the third quarter was Bullett’s spectacular steal, which he swam all the way to goal and drew a kick out from Northcote (a sight almost as rare as the penalty shot!) Bonnie scored our only goal for the quarter when she revived a beautiful pass from Olive on the restart. We were unfortunate to not score in the final quarter, Northcote with a tall goalie in the shallow end made it difficult to get the ball in the goal. We still had our opportunities on goal, which are just as important as one day they’ll make it in! Toby once again played great defence, putting pressure on Northcote as they lined up to shoot, and Bullett covered him with a great save in goals. Bullett also stoped Northcotes last shot right on the buzzer. An amazing last game from everyone. It’s been incredible to see how much everyone has learnt this season and how far they have all come. Most importantly we have learnt to play together as a team. Another great season from a very proud coach.

Essendon were defeated by Northcote : 4 – 16 Goals : Bonnie 3, Toby 1

Coach Alex Steere and our 14&U Mixed team alongside Northcote's team following their final game on Sunday

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