WSL2 Report by Torben Fink-Jensen
After a fairly comfortable win last week against the Richmond Tigers, we were hoping to continue our streak against Richmond's development team, the Cubs. Essendon were missing amongst others Kate, our usual goalie, however we welcomed back Lisa Anderson after a season out. This meant Claudia was in goals, and to avoid exposing her to long shots, we chose to press up on defence to restrict their chances. Essendon were pretty strong early, scoring goals to Mietta and Lisa before Richmond came to life and tightened their defence. Alex also scored from the field before Richmond hit back : 3-1 at the break. The 2nd quarter was a bit frustrating with several shots hitting the inside of the goalposts and sliding across goal but not making it in. Richmond were not laying down and every time Essendon scored, they hit back with a goal of their own making it 6-4 at halftime. The 3rd quarter was tight and the girls missed a number of good chances. Darren was pulling out what little hair he had left as we also threw some average passes and had to slog back down the field to defend. Two of our goals were from penalties which were well taken by Alex and Maria respectively. We did keep things tight at the back and Richmond only managed one goal to make it 8-5. Essendon got a goal early in the 4th quarter to go out to 9-5 which gave us a cushion. We then missed a couple of clear chances, which gave Richmond some hope. Strong defence kept Richmond out though, with Claudia not putting a foot wrong, and the odd goal allowed us to keep ahead of the game. Richmond had a late flourish as Maria fouled out and Alex damaged her shoulder, but they couldn't get any closer.
Essendon defeated the Richmond Cubs : 12 – 7
Goals : Alex 4, Maria 2, Ashleigh 2, LisaA 1, Mietta 1, Lara 1, Sarah 1
WSL2 Game Night Photos Courtesy of Torben Fink-Jensen (see more on our FB page)
WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal
This week we were reminded that miracles truly can happen. Our squad of 11 was down to 9 at the 24hr pre-game mark before dropping to the bare 7 with just 3hrs to go. Up against the perpetual winners and almost always undefeated side of StCaths it wasn't a great prospect without a bench. Ten minutes pre-game, and only 5 of us are at the pool. One player has arrived at the wrong pool - but is on her way. The other won't make the game start. So there we were, man down as the first whistle blew. For a brief moment, the heavens opened up (or was it the StCath's defensive zone) and Isi put away a cracka to get us straight into the lead 1-0. And that was the highlight of Q1. We needed to defend strongly and keep a tight reign on their stronger players but they still managed 3 goals to round out the quarter 1-3. Then our 7th player arrived and it was game on. In the second, we smashed StCaths. There, I said it. Four unanswered goals. Three of them through Isi (whose mad as hell mood was paying dividends) but the highlight was a tap-in goal to Heidi at centre forward (I don't think even she believed she'd done it!). Up 5-3 at the halftime break... and just a hint of a win was in the air. It was an even third term with plenty of to-ing and fro-ing. LisaAs was on 2 majors so we sent her to sit at CF for the quarter where she provided a lovely pass to Isi who bagged her 5th goal. St Caths answered with one of their own before the term ended, but we were still up 6-4. As the final quarter got underway we began to tire. Clare, Isi and Heidi had done the bulk of the hard swimming yards up forward, while Sandra and LisaMS cut off the breaks and cleared the ball out from the cage where Susan was having a birthday deflecting and frustrating StCaths attempts. With 3 on the bench, they came at us hard and fast scoring within minutes (6-5). We matched them with another game highlight - a beautiful trademark backhander from LisaAs (7-5). Not quite done - they scored again (7-6) before our BOG starlette Isi put away her 6th goal for the night (8-6). Just 40sec left and they scored (8-7) just 20sec left on the clock. Our ball, our centre pass back and we ran down the clock to see a miracle arise from the chlorine steam. What a game... what a great team effort! What a win! Dreams do come true....
Essendon defeated St Catherine's : 8 – 7 Goals : Isabelle 6, Heidi 1, LisaAs 1
Unfortunately, the club has made the difficult decision to withdraw our team from this grade. A number of players who had indicated a commitment, have since reneged leaving us with a partial team. The SL4 and SL6 squads will now be combined, which is not ideal given there are 16 players to accommodate. Discussions are currently underway with another SL4 team to accommodate several of our players for the remainder of this comp.
MSL6 Report by Marcus Jones
When the Essendon SL6 boys play a team called Old Hailbury we expect to see people at least over 40 maybe over 50 not a bunch of fit uni students who can swim and play. Calling this team ‘Old’ is false advertising and should be outlawed by Dan Andrews (because he can – we know now). The age of the opposition made it tough for our guys but we were bolstered by some SL4 talent. Goalkeeping superstar Nate, Vince – the goal scoring machine, and the Silver fox himself – Lee. The battle was on which required hard swimming, which we did, it required good passing, which we didn’t and it required good shooting which we did after quarter time. We struggled and battled and at three quarter time we were up by a goal. We scored the 1st goal of the last quarter and things were looking great – then our poor passing came into play and they scored two goals – bummer – match draw. Special mention to Nate Hansen who was a brick wall in goals, Vince was like Optimus Prime and shot goals with 5 defenders on him and Sammy who played really hard.
Essendon drew with Old Young Haileybury : 7 – 7 Goals : Vince 5, Lee 1, Hayden 1
JNR Men Report by Mike Holtz
After forfeiting our first game, it was frustrating to have a bye this week. And then came the news that our R3 game next week was being forfeited by the oppostiiton. So no games til R4 ☹
U14 Mixed Report by Alex Steere
GAME 1 : This week we were off to a better start, with a full team of 7 for our first game of the day. The team worked hard in defence to put pressure on MC/DVE. Wesley, starting the game in goals, made a great save, moving the ball quickly up the pool to Bonnie for our first goal. We continued to fight for the ball and Emily worked hard for a steal which saw Frankie scoring our second goal. In the second quarter, we struggled to hold them off, as they made several long passes down the pool that our defenders couldn’t cover. We held onto the lead, however, with another beautiful long pass from Wesley to Bonnie who scored another. In the last 2 secs of the quarter, Amelie scored to further our lead. We didn’t score at all in the 3rd quarter, but took plenty of shots, just weren’t able to find the back of the net. Wesley scored one last goal in the final term to secure the win.
Essendon defeated MelbColl/DVE Aquatic : 5 – 4 Goals : Bonnie 2, Frankie 1, Amelie 1, Wesley
GAME 2 : Our second game for the day was won before it even started with NYP/Monash forfeiting due to lack of players. With Jack and Zach playing with us for this game, we had enough players to share, and played a scratch match, lending some of our players to the other team each quarter. We continued to build on the momentum from the last game, and started to work together and look for each other in attack. Even when we found ourselves up against our own players in a different colour cap!
Essendon defeated Monash/NYP Dragons : 8 – 0 (Forfeit)
U14 Boys Report by Darren Steere
It’s hard enough finding a car park at Melbourne High at the best of times, but near impossible when they’ve locked the gates. So it was a surprise to find more boys lining up to play Richmond than the week before. Richmond was loaded with top aged boys and we were on the defence from the start.
We did defend well, but that’s about all we did. We couldn’t promote the ball much further up the pool to put Richmond on the back foot. All our players will be better for playing two top clubs back to back.
The quarter by quarter scores: 0-4, 0-7, 0-13, 0-20. A special mention to Felix in goals, who was under seige for most of the game, and pulled off many saves.
Essendon were defeated by the Richmond cubs : 0 – 20
With our WSL1 team finishing on the bottom of the Winter Comp ladder and a number of players unable to commit to training for this comp, a decision was made to drop down into WSL2. For two of our elite players this was not a great outcome for their development. Whilst Sabina is still pondering a move, Lilly has found a place with Richmond's WSL1 team - but we are delighted that she will remain an Essendon registered player. Here she is, in her new "uniform".