WSL2 Report by Torben Fink-Jensen
This was truly the game that had everything - 28 goals, 22 kickouts, 3 ejections, massive switches of momentum, goals that weren't, referees challenged to keep up with the kickouts, and finally some scorebook/board confusion. And at the end? A draw!
Both teams started with 9 players on a cool night, with Essendon missing a few key veterans such as Phoebe, Kate and Ash, with Emily playing early games in WSL3 to retain her sanity and taking Dani out with it. But we had Maria back and Lara just returned from overseas, so Essendon had a strong core. With all that said, the girls were a bit slow to get started as NYP had no such problems as they played steady water polo to test our defence which was left wanting - just a fraction slow. Lara wasn't getting much chance to save anything in goals as NYP lined up their attacks. It was 0-3 before we got our first goal. But NYP immediately got their 4th and 5th. Essendon struck back with 2 more before the end of the quarter for 3-5. On the plus side for Essendon, NYP were burning kickouts on defence which came back to bite them in the 2nd half. Essendon were much stronger in the 2nd quarter with 2 goals immediately to even it up then a 6th goal to take the lead. Then the NYP no.4 managed to give away a free on attack which she wasn't happy about, and then she struck out to give away a kickout, and then was way too slow to return to her bench, which ticked off the referees again, so she gave away a penalty, which Alex duly scored. She still hadn't made it out of the pool even by then, but she was set for an early shower after that display. Essendon were going into half-time 7-5 up, but unfortunately with the loss of Kyrene also on her 3rd kickout and hitting the showers early. As the second half got underway, it didn't take long for a 2nd NYP player to rack up her 3rd foul leaving them with just 7 players, and some of those sitting on 2 kickouts. Essendon were also getting into trouble with Olivia on 2 kick-outs and Essendon nervously trying to hide her to keep her out of trouble. Luckily, the goals kept coming with Maria and Sarah particularly being deadly in front of goals, and Alex picking up both penalties and field goals. By the end of the 3rd quarter, Essendon were 11-8 up and looking to keep up their momentum and close out the game. In the 4th quarter, NYP were starting to look tired as we kept the pressure on and soon got out to a 14-10 lead with 4 minutes to go. At this point, Essendon had scored 13-5 since NYP's opening burst. But then the wheels came off. Essendon started regularly giving the ball away allowing NYP to swim down with 2 on 1 situations and were not having much trouble putting the ball in the back of the net. At the same time, they were showing desperate defence with more kickouts, but fortunately it was a different cohort of players to earlier, meaning they were able to keep 7 on the field, even if virtually the whole team ended on 2 kickouts. The game slowly headed back up towards a 14-14 score, and with both teams having good chances, but none able to convert, and so a draw it was - even if the scoreboard and the scorebook didn't match! Eventually a draw was agreed and we banked some lessons for next time.
Essendon drew with the NYP Dragons BLUE : 14 – 14 Goals : Alex 6, Sarah 4, Maria 3, Denise 1
WSL2 Game Day Photos (courtesy of Torben Fink-Jensen, see more on our FB page)
WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal
After our non-game last week, we were keen to get some points on the board and make amends. Again we struggled with numbers, but had 7 senior players bolstered with a further 2 juniors giving us a comfortable bench. We got off to a slow start with some haphazard attacks, failing to make centre forward work for us and then doing an average job in defence. This of course allowed Monash to put away 2 unanswered goals, as we made them look better than they actually were. But as the second quarter got underway, we started to string some solid passes up the pool and created some better space in front of goal. We scored through Clare and Emily with LisaMS slotting one in from a quick over the top pass. Monash were consistent though, and scored 2 for the quarter despite our better efforts in defence and we went into the halftime break down 3-4. The game was pretty even in the second half, though the scoreline did not ultimately reflect that. Some inconsistencies between ref calls made our work harder but Clara stormed through the pack towards goal in the third to put her very first goal in for the club! Monash again scored twice for the quarter, growing their lead with better accuracy. We had plenty of attacking play in the final quarter too, but struggled to finish the job. Clara steamed into attack once more to shoot her second, establishing a clear trademark speedy style. Monash stepped up once more to put an end to our attemps with another 3, putting the outcome beyond doubt. Plenty of room for improvement, but we are starting to play better as a team, as we learn how to take advantage of each othere's strengths.
Essendon were defeated by Monash University : 5 - 8 Goals : Clara 2, Clare 1, Emily 1, LisaMS 1
MSL5 Report by Marcus Jones
The Essendon men were down on numbers this week with more excuses than the PWC executive team. However 9 players proudly represented the club and were like Spartan warriors wearing the EWPC hat with courageous pride. The problem was we took too much Spartan spirit into game and proceeded to get kicked out way too many times. However the Spartan spirit did allow us to score freely and score we did!!!! Lee was the Spartan leader taking on all of the defenders and shooting 3 goals in the first half. Including a goal which was dreamwork teamwork with a top shelf pass in from our Spartan Hulk to Lee who rose out of the water like Moses and slammed home the ball so hard the net caught fire.
At three quarter time it was looking pretty good, 10 – 7 up and 6 minutes of play to decide the contest between the Spartans and the Athenians……….however we had issues. Sam was out for the game with cramp related double amputated legs, Lee was too enthusiastic and had 3 major fouls and I just didn’t have any talent or fitness. We did not let this deter us and before the last quarter started we yelled out our Spartan war cry – Cover the Hole!!! And we went to work. The problem was so did the opposition and we got belted by a better organised team – bad quarter from the Spartans – I can see why they didn’t get past ancient history. Anyhow we lost the game as we lost our structure and ability to hold the ball. Don’t worry dear reader we will come back next week – bigger and better.
The Spartans (Essendon) were defeated by the Athenians (Ringwood) : 10 – 11
Goals : Lee 3, Vince the Spartan Hulk 2, Nick 2, Hayden 2, Andrew 1
Kickouts : Lee 3, Hayden 2, Sammy 2, Ben 2, Nick 2, Andrew 1, Vince 1, Sam 1
Youth Girls (16&U) (Editor)
No official report this week, as I don't believe any of the Essendon girls played... perhaps that is reflected in the score 😋
Monash/NYP Dragons/Essendon were defeated by MC/DVE/Geelong : 1 – 13 Goals : TBC
14&U BOYS Report by Darren Steere
It was a disappointing showing this week, with only four boys available to play against Northcote. It's the result of illness and other sporting commitments. With Torben pre-empting our numbers and communicating with Northcote, a scratch match was organised. Hopefully, as the season progresses, our numbers will improve and we can put a team out in the pool.
Essendon were defeated by Northcote : 0 – 8 (FORFEIT GIVEN)