WSL2 - PRELIMINARY FINAL Report by Darren Steere
It was with a little apprehension that we fronted up for our Preliminary Final against the young and ever improving Richmond Cubs. We lost our chance to go straight into the Grand Final last Saturday losing to NYP in the Major Final. We coughed the ball up on too many occasions with bad passes, allowing NYP to counterattack in good positions. The Richmond Cubs were coming off a good win over the experienced Footscray, which I thought were the darkhorses of the competition. So with a 9pm start, all girls arrived early and were ready to go. Richmond got away to a flyer last time we played them, and this was no different. We knew we had to hang in and grind it right out to the end. Richmond were driving their Centre Forward in from the top and catching our girls out, ending up on their backs and either getting kicked out or conceding a goal. 5 of their goals were answered by goals from Maria, Phoebe & Lara. 1/4⏰ 3-5 The talk at the break was to back off out the top and allow them to drive and pick them up closer to goal, so they didn’t have the long drive to get past us. This saw a momentum shift our way, as we slowly took control of the game. Our ball retention was way better than last game, and players in dangerous positions were given every chance to score. While we did miss some, so did Richmond and with Ando’s strong driving, she added 2 goals to our tally. Alex added another, to get to halftime down one. 1/2⏰6-7 It was the third quarter where we took over the game, with Richmonds avenue to goal now covered, we continually shut them down, while our attack started to blossom. It was 4 goals to 1, rewarding our good defence with goals. Goals to Maria, Alex, Phoebe & Mietta all came from good defensive work. Kate was back in goals after missing last week, the Tulloch duo, Danielle & Emily were defending then swimming forward to create opportunities. Ash was in the thick of it, along with Claudia and Olivia. 3/4⏰10-8
It was still game on heading into the last quarter with 8 minutes actual time, it was going to feel like forever. Our aim was to protect our lead, add to it if we could, but not to leak goals like we did against NYP. The game became an arm wrestle, as they sent players on counterattacks early in our possession. Which then meant we had to send a defender back with them to cover. Therefore the ball seemed to go up and back, with both teams trying to outwit the other. Alex stayed on the halfway line, for the last half of the quarter, controlling both our attack and making sure all Richmond Cubs were defended. Some great swim down defence from Emily in the final few minutes, showed how far she has come in her first season. With goals to Alex and Phoebe, which covered their two goals, Olivia added the sealer, to put us into the Grand Final game!!
Essendon defeated the Richmond Cubs : 13 - 10
Goals : LisaAndo 3, Alex 3, Maria 2, Phoebe 2, Olivia 1, Lara 1, Mietta 1
Our WSL2 team with coach Darren Steere after their win last night (photo courtesy of Mike Holtz)
MSL4 - PRELIMINARY FINAL Report by Marcus Jones
Get excited everyone the MSL4 boys made the semi finals! 8:15pm Thursday night was the time, the 100 year old pool at Melbourne High School was the venue and the teams were the mighty Ess/Monash verses Melbourne Surge. This was going to be a tough game as we have played this team 3 times during the season with each game only having a goal or two in it. The match got off to a flyer for us through Lucas scoring in the first minute of the game however that just appeared to wake the Surge team up and they tightened their defense. The match to half time was a very defensive game with neither team able to break away – both teams were playing quite well. The half time score saw us down 1 -3. The 3rd quarter started with the Silver Fox Lee winning the swim off and we blasted down into attack only to be thwarted by the Surge Goalie. This left Ess/Monash struggling for answers as the Surge goalie was having a blinder – we could not get the ball past him. The Surge worked hard and scored a few times during the quarter. It was 1-7 at three quarter time with a despondent team but we showed grit and determination in the last quarter and were able to get the scoreline to 4 -7 before the final whistle blew. Well done to all for a great season – the Essendon guys had a great time with the Monash team and we grew together to be playing some great Water Polo at the end of the season.
Essendon/Monash were defeated by Melbourne Surge Grey : 4 – 7 Goals : TBC
The MSL4 team after their game last night