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2023 Winter State League - Round 4

WSL2 Report by Hamish Quick and Andrew Cover

Apprehension and nervous excitement were abundant as Essendon's WSL2 team prepared for a top-of-the-ladder clash against the Footscray outfit. Essendon looked a little more resilient fielding a side of 11, while the Footscray bench was bare from any sign of substitutions. As always, Essendon won the first swim-up and put Footscray under pressure, and after 4 minutes of playing time a short ‘time-out’ blood rule from a ball to the nose of the Footscray Goalie from a fantastic shot by Alex, enabled a little respite for both teams to regroup – however strong contesting saw both teams with three goals by the end of the first quarter. The 2nd quarter began as the first did with LisaAndo again winning the swim-up, and with a quarter time pep-talk from guest coach ‘Maddy’ on how to counter their oppositions playing tactics, saw Essendon add another 3 goals by half time while restricting any goals into the net for the opposition – Katie was on fire blocking all attempts. Essendon up 6-3 at the main break. The short pause in momentum was quickly dashed for Footscray, as Essendon tactically managed to get 3 major fouls to an opposition defender, forcing them to play out the remainder of the game one player down. Despite this, both teams managed to score 3 goals throughout the quarter, with the score being 9-6 at the final break. By the time the final quarter started, Footscray were using energy reserves and cracks were showing. With no attempt to try for the swim-up and players exhausted, the Footscray team were scrambling to swim or play at their best, enabling Essendon to dominate the final quarter of play. Quarter highlights include LisaAndo’s impressive back-handed flick-into-goal and a hat-trick of 3 power scores from Kyrene, crushing any hopes of a comeback by Footscray. By adding 7 goals to Footscray’s 3 by the final siren, with goals scored by many Essendon players, it was a well deserved win. Well done to the whole team. Essendon defeated Footscray : 16 – 9

Goals : Alex 4, LisaAndo 3, Kyrene 3, Ash 2, Claudia 1, Lara 1, Maria 1, Sarah 1

WSL3 Report by Lisa Murray-Segal

With a healthy squad size of 9 we were keen to step up from last week's disaster game, though recognised we were facing StCath's, a strong physical team. We welcomed Isi back into the side sporting a glowing tan following her stint in Europe and Emily was on board from the junior contingent to bolster speed. StCaths fielded 10 players and wasted no time demonstrating why they've consistently won this grade and are currently 2nd on the ladder. Three unanswered goals in the first. We picked up our defence a little better in the second, but were finding it hard to capitalise in attack. They were covering Isi at CF well, and we became stagnant instead of moving around until Clare broke through and nailed our first. But StCaths weren't slowing down despite our efforts and put away another 3, so it was 1-6 at the halftime break. Our second half was a definite improvement as we gave ourselves more space up foward and started to take more shots. Emily scored from out wide, but StCaths managed another 2. So we started the final quarter down 2-8 but we continued to play better mixing things up a little at CF and around the goal. Sheridan put a nice shot away, and Emily backed up her previous efforts with an identical goal (trademark shot I'd say!). We couldn't stop the flow of goals at the other end, where StCaths landed another 3. We could at least look back at our 3-5 effort in the second half as proof we'd turned things around and now just need to start the game in the same way! Special thanks to Dom (Emily's dad) for scoffing his dinner poolside and sitting on the table for us, much appreciated!

Essendon were defeated by St Catherine's : 4 – 11

Goals : Emily 2, Clare 1, Sheridan 1

MSL5 Report by Hayden Woods

This week the boys headed out to Caulfield Grammar School for the first time ever. Given the impressive facility and the traffic-induced extended travel time, many would be forgiven for thinking that the new locale was part of the newly available Commonwealth Games regional hub. Indeed, a number of players were late arriving to play a Richmond team that was an eclectic mix of fit and energetic youth and old farts. Several returns to the team, including Millsy from a near fatal case of mild man-flu, meant a star studded bench of 4 was available. Lee hit his afterburners and once again dominated the swim-offs, however the team spent much of the first half getting hurt on turnovers after not quite managing to nail quality shot opportunities and finished the half well down on the scoreboard. Things began freeing up in the 2nd half with The Rats starting to dominate play by making it count in the back of the net and leveraging fresh legs off the bench. A 12m rocketship from Lucas on the 3rd quarter buzzer to bring up his 3rd goal (almost as good as Andy's goal from the previous week), capped a dominating quarter before things moved back into arm wrestle territory for the last term. The boys were able to hold their nerve and stare down a late attempt to draw level before BeeWee nearly managed to extend the lead in the dying seconds taking on 3 Richmond players but alas was not able to convert from his 7 shot attempts. A solid and gritty win.

Essendon defeated Richmond : 9 – 8

Goals : TBC (Bryan 3 assists of unparalleled brilliance)

Youth Girls (16&U) Report by Danielle Tulloch

Another early Sunday morning start playing against Richmond - this time the under 14s team. Essendon was represented by Amelia, Frankie and Emily. A strong battle in the first with lots of fast breaks. Emily scored a penalty but it wasn’t converted. The first quarter ended at 2 all. In the second, Richmond came out very strong. They shot with accuracy and put away three unanswered goals. A better start in the third, saw the M/N/E team finding their voice and directing the team play. Quick goals to both teams early but we played much better as a team to peg one back, finishing the quarter down 5-7. The Essendon girls found their form in the fourth with both Amelia and Emily scoring from fast breaks. Amelia found excellent space this quarter and with her accurate shots set up a number of great plays. Unfortunately the refs didn’t hear the shot clock and allowed a Richmond goal after time. This didn’t deter the M/N/E team who played their best during this quarter. Frankie continued with her tight defence and looking for options to pass. The goalie had a chance to score swimming the entire length of the pool. Emily converted her miss and she also scored another goal on a fast break with an Alex Steere inspired spider move. The final score showed the M/N/E team going down by just one goal (the goal after the shot clock was the difference!!)

Monash/NYP Dragons/Essendon were defeated by the Richmond 14s : 9 – 10

Goals : Emily 4, Amelia 1, Jemma 1, Amity 1, Nat 1

YthG Game Day Photos (courtesy of Danielle Tulloch, see more on our FB page)

14&U BOYS Report by Tim Elmore

For the first time we had 8 able to play this weekend. It was good to have some players back after winter. Richmond is a strong side who play a very physical style of water polo, but our boys never gave up and showed they are improving every week, finding space and getting lots of opportunities to score. Some of our newer players took on the challenge of goalie and showed great promise in the area, as well as Ignatius scoring for the first time this year.

See you on the pool deck.

Essendon were defeated by Richmond : 3 – 13

Goals : Jack 2, Ignatius 1

14&UB Game Day Photos (courtesy of Ben Gilbertson)

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