WSL2 Report by Darren Steere
There was a buzz amongst our girls on pool-deck at MSAC on Tuesday night. The Victorian Country Championships were just held over the weekend, with 11 current or former Essendon players participating. A couple played in the Gold medal winning Geelong A, several in the Runner Up Ballarat team and Alex taking out the MVP for the tournament. Hence Alex, Ando and Phoebe started this game on fire, the first 5 goals going to Alex 1, Ando 2 and Phoebe 2. This gave us a solid 5-1 lead. With Valentines Day cutting our numbers down to eight, we were playing some very good positive polo. Our attack didn’t finish off our good play, but Alex managed to convert two penalties, one drawn by Emily on a nice drive towards goal, making it 7-2 at halftime. The third quarter saw the lack of a bench on both teams, slow the game right down. Katie was solid in goals, with good hassle from Danielle, Ash and Sarah. Ando flying up and down one side of the pool and Emily on the other. Alex added another to see the quarter out, at 8-4. The last quarter saw us reward ourselves with goals, Alex with 3 and Phoebe 1. With the end of the season quickly approaching, we need to improve with each training session and game played.
Essendon defeated the NYP Dragons Yellow : 12 – 4
Goals : Alex 7, Phoebe 3, LisaAndo 2
WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal
It was a real struggle for numbers this week, and you'd like to think that's because we played on Valentine's day, and everyone had somewhere to be and someone to be with. One player had a hot date, but the rest were unavailable for a variety of less exciting reasons. We had only 6 confirmed when a text came in just before 6pm that a 7th player was a goer after her car made it out of the repair shop in time followed by another text from Alex at 6.15pm confirming they could offer us an 8th player from the SL2 stable, in Olivia (thankyou!). So we went from man down to one on the bench in the space of 20mins and just prior to our 7.15pm start time. We'd played Monash previously and beaten them 10-4, but having watched them draw against StCaths last week before our game, they looked to be a very different side, and that was confirmed right from the start. They came out strongly from the get go and managed to put 2 goals on the board, but we also countered with a nice goal from Olivia rounding off the quarter at 1-2. They stepped up in the second, scoring three goals but we were almost on a par, shooting 2 of our own through Olivia again, and a nice ping from Isi in at centre forward. Down 3-5 at the halftime break, we were starting to tire despite the bench but felt we were playing better, without reward. Our consistency started to pay off in the third, Heidi stole the ball twice in successive plays to kick start a counterattack but our shots on goal were letting us down. Some great persistent defensive work saw Monash having to push or hold us, and the refs started paying it much to the disbelief of Monash. Both teams scored late in the quarter, with Sally adding to our tally, now 4-6. We dominated this term and should have had more to show for it. We had plenty of shots with no conversions as we watched them go wide, over the top or straight into the crossbar. The final quarter was a real arm wrestle. Both sides wanted to get on with the job, and there was plenty of swimming on very tired legs. We held them scorelss, but continued to miss the mark with our shots, though their GK did have long arms! A very good game by our girls who gave 110% and didn't back off.
Essendon were defeated by Monash : 4 - 6 Goals : Olivia 2, Isabelle 1, Sally 1
MSL3-4 Report by Marcus Jones
Big grudge match this week at the MSAC diving pool. With season best numbers turning up to play we were feeling confident. And the first quarter dear readers was all Essendon it was 2-0 in the first 3min. Then with 1:40 left on the clock in the first we became survivors of a huuuuuge explosion pool side - shrapnel litered the pool and noise caused air raid sirens to go off. The game was suspended for about 20min and with everyone accounted for we were asked if we wanted to continue - we of course said 'hell yeah'.......that was the best we could offer. We did score after the interruption - I blame shell shock for our young team........no other club would play water polo in a war zone but we did!!!
Essendon/Monash were defeated by Monash : 2 – 8
Goals : Lee 1, Lucas 1 (Jones 1 missed penalty)
MSL3-4 Game Night Team Photo
MSL6 Report by Hayden Woods
A 6pm start at Melbourne High created havoc for already stretched team numbers, with the avoidance of a forfeit only confirmed on game day. Scraping together the minimal 6 players meant that we would be facing top of the ladder Richmond man-down, and the team jumped into the pool with modest hopes of limiting the impending scoreline bloodbath to something that wouldn't require Vic Polo to reformat the goals "for/against" % column on their website. At quarter time the anticipated hemorrhaging had been held to 0-2 which left the team feeling pretty good, particularly as minimal opportunity was being given to a fast swimming and skilled team. At half time the score remained at 0-2 which left an already tiring Essendon team feeling pretty pumped , although opportunities to score were extremely hard to come by and the pressure from Richmond was relentless with the extra player in the water plus a well stocked bench. (My god what I would have given for a bench...). The 3rd quarter opened up somewhat, with opportunities starting to present for both sides. Haydo opened up the Essendon scoring after finding some space on a turnover, with Nick pitching in with a solid outside shot and Sam turning cartwheels in front of goals to earn himself a 5m penalty which he duly drilled home. At the end of the quarter Richmond had only managed 2 goals thanks to an extremely disciplined man-down defence driving balls towards an almost impenetrable Andrew in goals, with knockdowns and steals commonplace. The scoreline read 3-4. It was probably only 1/2 way through the final quarter that Essendon started to feel like avoiding a defeat may be a possibility as the opposition started to tire and new team member Ben slotted home a goal to keep us in touch after a score by the opposition. Sam narrowly missed another hard-earned 5m penalty that drifted along the goal line after collecting inside top wood. 1 goal down on the last play, Haydo was able to create some space after a successful drive and after receiving a perfect pass slotted the ball in the top right corner with 10 seconds remaining on the clock to draw the scores level and effectively end the game. A seriously impressive team performance, with Essendon winning both quarters in the 2nd half despite being man-down against the top team (who had a bench. Bastards).
Essendon drew with Richmond : 5 – 5 Goals : Haysen 2, Nick 1, Sam 1, Ben 1
JNR MEN Report by Mike Holtz
With the Country Championships in Geelong and other swim meets scheduled on the same weekend, everything was going to be stretched. Our opponents were NYP/Geelong – minus Geelong, and we were able to get 6 boys together for Sunday’s game. Faced with playing a man down for the match, the coaching instruction was clear – play slow, use the shot clock, don’t waste a lot of energy. The boys promptly ignored that and bolted out to a 5-0 quarter time lead off Will’s precision shooting and Cassius’ hard work in front of goals. The second quarter was more of a tussle with NYP scoring and the boys working hard to get 2 goals. Outside of a goalie change on our side for the second half, the boys put the first quarter on repeat to add 10 goals in the second half. The win was highlighted by good communication, great reading of the play and getting into the best positions, and finding players in the best position to score with accurate passing. Well Done!
Essendon/MC/Richmond defeated the NYP Dragons : 17 – 2 Goals : Cassius 6, Will 5, Josh 4, Lucas 2
U14 MIXED Report by Darren Steere
GAME 1 First game up saw Darren fill in for Alex, who was doing her thing in Geelong. Northcote was our opponent and they, like us had a full squad. Attacking the shallow end, always makes scoring hard. And so it was, as they keep us scoreless. The second term saw Emily slot a goal home while we tried hard to add more. The halftime score was 1-6. The third quarter saw us attack, attack, attack, but we couldn't blow their goal down. Finally Wes scored followed by Bonnie soon after. It looked like we were finally getting reward for our hard work, down 3-10 at the break. The attacking continued for us, but we couldn’t find the back of their net. We played so well... but with no reward.
Essendon were defeated by Northcote : 3 – 13 Goals : Emily 1, Wes 1, Bonnie 1
GAME 2 The second game of the day was against the MC Turtles. It was a tight first quarter, with both teams swimming up and down the pool. Emily had a purple patch and scored our first two goals making it 2-2 at quarter time. The second term saw us match MC in everything but the score. We had many opportunities to score, only to see that last pass, miss the target. MC didn’t have the same problem, adding 5, to take a solid lead at 2-7. We faired a little better in the third term, with Wes scoring and Frankie following suit soon after bringing the scoreline to 4-10. Our woes continued in front of goals in the fourth, players finding space, but the bad pass allowed MC to shut us down. Frankie was having a good game adding another goal, but that was all she wrote. Passing, passing and more passing at training Monday night.
Final Score: Essendon 5 lost to MC Turtles 13
(Emily 2, Frankie 2, Wes 1)
Essendon were defeated by the MC Turtles 14s : 5 – 13 Goals : Emily 2, Frankie 2, Wes 1
U14 BOYS Report by Darren Steere
We had a group of 8 players front up at Melb High to face the MC Otters this week. We didn’t get off to a great start with the first 3 of their goals being produced by a player inside the 2m. They added another 2, while I can’t remember a shot on goal by us. Tristan broke our drought and we slowed down their scoring in the second quarter, but it was 1-8 by halftime. While we didn’t score in the third term, we did defend better, only allowing 2 goals. In this quarter, we had a player reported, towards the end of the quarter. Down 1-10. The last quarter saw us lose what we had clawed back as far as momentum was concerned, and MC scootered away with 5 unanswered goals.
Essendon were defeated by the MC Otters : 1 – 15 Goals : Tristan 1