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Thread: Sydney AFL Round 1 2015

  1. #1
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    Sydney AFL Round 1 2015

    SYDNEY AFL ROUND 1 2015
    Article and Photos by Michael Shillito

    There’s often a sense of optimism as a new season gets under way. Talk to people from virtually every club, and they’ll tell you how strongly they’ve trained, how well they’ve recruited and about the young talent making their way through. The possibilities are enormous, the potential enticing.
    Of course, not all the dreams become reality. Form is fickle, and injuries can decimate even the strongest playing lists. But as the season begins, there’s a sense of optimism and enthusiasm; as we wait to see what prophesies of footballing greatness will be fulfilled as the year unfolds.

    But sadly, the optimism wasn’t there during the pre-season at Campbelltown. Once the strongest club in Sydney, years of limited success had taken their toll. The numbers at training, and the quality recruits weren’t there.
    The Blues waited, hoping they could turn it around. But it wasn’t to be, and on the eve of the season, they found themselves forced to withdraw from Premier Division. They continue to field teams in Division Four and Under 19s Division Two; but their presence in the top division will not be a feature of the 2015 season.
    That left nine teams remaining in Premier Division; with a bye every week. Sydney Uni, who would have been Campbelltown’s opponents in Round 1, had the opening round bye.

    That left four games to be played in the opening round. The first of them was a rare Friday night game at Henson Park; an Eastern Suburbs University derby as UTS played host to UNSW-ES.
    As the game started, heavy rain was falling at Henson Park. With the wet weather and the defensive prowess of both teams, a low-scoring slog was expected. But instead the game opened with far more positive football than expected; both sides attacking whenever possible in an evenly-contested first term in which there were several changes of lead. Four goals apiece for the quarter saw the Bats two points ahead at the first change.
    But after an evenly-contested first quarter, UTS stepped up another gear in the second, and the Bulldogs were unable to match it. More options began to present themselves up forward, while in defence they shut down any attempted forward pushes by the Bulldogs. Five unanswered goals in the second term stretched the lead to 32 points. And with the rain getting heavier in the third term, making ball handling even harder, it wasn’t looking likely that the Bulldogs would get back into the game.
    And that’s how it unfolded. The third quarter never reached any great heights, the tricky conditions wouldn’t allow it. And with three goals to one, the lead extended to 48 points at the last change, it was clear that this was the Bats’ night.
    This is UTS’s fifth season in Premier Division. Every year, they have played UNSW-ES in the opening round, but this year is the first time the Bats have won an opening round clash. Going on with the job in the last quarter with a run of four goals to one, the final margin blew out to 68 points. A handy start, and a handy percentage for the Bats to launch their season and begin the quest for the elusive finals berth.
    Ben Moyle, Brendan Browne and Jordan Law were standouts for the Bats; a team that boasted many new faces and a new sense of excitement about the possibilities for the season ahead. For the Bulldogs, Ryan Farrelly, Kane Latham and Adam McIntyre toiled hard in challenging weather conditions on a night when the run of play wasn’t running their way.

    The remaining matches were played on Saturday, with Mike Kenny Oval hosting a night game for the first time; a 6:30 start for a replay of last year’s Prelim Final between Pennant Hills and St George.
    In the last two seasons, the Demons dashed the Dragons’ Grand Final hopes. But both sides, keeping the same coaches as last year and with team line-ups far more settled than many others in Premier Division, have positive expectations for this year and again anticipate being there at the business end of the season.
    In the early exchanges, it was St George who looked the stronger team as they burst out of the blocks with a display of attacking, positive football that left the Demons to do the chasing. And it wasn’t long before the scoreboard was ticking over in the visitors’ favour. Six goals to one, and a 30-point quarter time lead, was a fair reflection of the Dragon dominance throughout the opening term.
    For the Demons, the first quarter hadn’t been up to their lofty standards. But whatever Chris Yard said to his charges at the first break had the desired effect, as the Demons tightened up their defence, worked harder around the ground and slowly but surely worked their way back into the game. The second quarter saw the Demons recover much of the ground that was lost during their sloppy first term, a run of five goals to one reducing the margin to just five points at half time.
    Two determined sides were in contention in an exciting third quarter, an arm-wrestle in which neither was prepared to concede an advantage to the other. Both sides created plenty of scoring chances, but some inaccurate finishing would cost the Dragons dearly. Little separated the two sides around the ground; but with five goals to three for the term, the Demons took the lead in the premiership quarter and held a narrow four-point advantage at the last change.
    The advantage the Dragons had built for themselves during the first quarter was gone. The tide had turned, and in the last quarter they found themselves unable to keep up with the fresh legs of the Demons. Five goals to one saw Pennant Hills run out 29-point winners; a result that had looked unlikely at quarter time, but a result that shows that again the Demons will be hard to beat in 2015.
    Tom Angel, Theo Moraitis and Michael Talbot featured prominently around the ground, picking up plenty of the ball during the Demon revival. St George were well served by the efforts of Alex Wynn, Travis Martin and Declan Donohue. It’s been well over a decade since Pennant Hills have missed the Premier Division finals, and it would be a brave pundit to predict they would miss out this year.

    There was many changes for the Eagles over the off-season. The Sydney Hills name was gone, and the East Coast name is back. A sponsorship deal saw Bruce Purser renamed Kanebridge Oval. And with the club no longer fielding a NEAFL team, their strongest players returned to Premier Division. Although the Eagles have had an ongoing presence in Premier Division during their NEAFL existence, there were many big names returning to Premier Division for the first time since completing their premiership three-peat in 2011.
    While they’d been away, Manly had entered Premier Division and taken premierships in their first two seasons. So when the Eagles and Giants were drawn to meet each other at Kanebridge Oval in the first round, it was a match that promised much. And it certainly delivered.
    The first quarter was goal for goal, a shootout where both sides threw their forward lines open and looked to blast the other out of the contest. It was four goals apiece in an entertaining quarter of football, with Manly two points ahead at quarter time.
    The Eagles have never beaten the Giants in Premier Division, but this was a very different East Coast side compared to the two meetings last year. And around the ground, the NEAFL players of the last three years began to shine. It was looking like the dominant Eagles of three years ago were back, as names not seen in Premier Division in that time asserted themselves around the ground. With a run of seven goals to two for the quarter, the Eagles led by 27 points at half time and looked in control.
    Manly attempted to get back into the contest in the third quarter, but could only manage behinds. Six of them in the third quarter, but they were unable to draw twin flags from the goal umpires. The Eagles were forced to contend with more pressure around the ground than they had experienced during their dominant second term; but they would kick the only two goals for the quarter to lead by 34 points at the last change.
    There had been some high-standard footy on display, but with such a lead it was looking like the Eagles were comfortably headed for victory. But the last quarter was truly remarkable, one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of Premier Division.
    Even in the early stages of the last quarter, there were few signs of Manly reducing the gap, as the Eagles found themselves 40 points ahead. But as the quarter unfolded, and fatigue began to set in, the Eagles noticably ran out of puff; while Manly kept coming. By the time the clock ticked into time-on, the home side had slowed to a walk. But the Giants began to pump the ball forward with more regularity, and the scoreboard was ticking over more often with the margin shrinking.
    The Eagles had scored two goals in the last quarter, but weren’t able to conjure up another. And the Giants were finding the big sticks more frequently. Their sixth came with less than two minutes to go on the clock, cutting the margin to nine points. The seventh came a minute later and suddenly there was only a kick in it, but only a few seconds to go.
    The Giants got the centre break, and the ball found itself in the possession of Tom McCaffery; and as he was lining up a shot at goal, the siren sounded. The pressure was enormous, but McCaffery made no mistake; prompting amazing scenes as the Giants had pulled off the most unlikely of wins.
    Wills Brassil, James Brain and Tom McCaffery were best for Manly on what was a day to remember for the defending champions. Trent Stubbs kicked five goals to be the Eagles’ best, while Damian Charleston and Andrew McConnell also gave good service all day for the Eagles. But this was Manly’s day; a day when they somehow managed to snatch a game that had never looked possible.

    Last year saw Western Suburbs return to the finals for the first time in several years, while North Shore missed out on playoff action. But with both sides boasting several new players, both were somewhat of an unknown quantity when they matched each other at Gore Hill Oval on Saturday afternoon.
    Little separated the sides in the first quarter, both taking their time to hit their straps in a goal-for-goal opening term. Three goals apiece for the quarter saw the Magpies leading by a point at quarter time. But the Magpie defence tightened up in the second quarter, preventing North Shore from getting their game going. But, although looking good around the ground, the Magpies weren’t able to apply a lot of scoreboard pressure. Three goals to one was enough for a ten-point lead at half time; but it could have been more.
    When the teams returned for the second half, it was North Shore that took the upper hand. Bomber players who had little influence during the first half began to pick up touches of the ball, and attacking options began to present themselves. It wasn’t long before the Bombers took the lead, the first two of four unanswered goals for the quarter. Squandered chances in front of goal would cost the Bombers a bigger lead, but a 20-point margin at the last change seemed comfortable enough.
    But within five minutes of the last quarter starting, three Wests goals in quick succession had seen the North Shore lead cut to within a kick. The Bomber defence was under pressure, but held firm as the Magpies continued to attack. The Magpies were never able to take the lead, but did level the scores as the clock ticked into time-on before a late goal on the run from Matt Buskariol re-established the lead for North Shore, enabling them to hang on for a thrilling, morale-boosting, six-point win.
    Ryan Hezlett, Tom Harvey and Liam McColl were North Shore’s best. Jake Ross was a star up forward for the Magpies, kicking six goals; and along with Yannick Milligan-Saville and Pat Wilmot was among their best. Four very valuable competition points for North Shore; and in what promises to be a tight race for positions in the finals, a key psychological boost and confirmation that the Bombers are headed in the right direction.


    University of Technology 4.3 9.5 12.9 16.13 (109)
    Uni NSW-Eastern Suburbs 4.1 4.3 5.6 6.5 (41)
    Goals : UTS –
    J Hewitt 3, S Tregoning 3, J Howard 2, T Lloyd 2, J Law, R Kirkhope, T Larby, J Caica, C Radford, M Mitchell. UNSW-ES – R Farrelly 2, A Foote, J Parmenter, J McAnespie, A McIntyre.
    Best : UTS – B Moyle, B Browne, J Law, S Tregoning, T Larby, J Hewitt. UNSW-ES - R Farrelly, K Latham, A McIntyre, H Annear, T Widmer, A Foote.
    At Henson Park, Friday 10th April 2015.

    Pennant Hills 1.3 6.5 11.7 16.9 (105)
    St George 6.3 7.4 10.9 11.10 (76)
    Goals : Pennant Hills –
    T Wales 3, D Preen 3, T Moraitis 2, M Carey 2, D Dell’Aquila 2, T Angel 2, T Widmer, T Edmonds. St George – T Martin 2, D Donohue 2, A Wynn 2, N Ryan 2, S Wilsen, N Shaw, J Hill.
    Best : Pennant Hills – T Angel, T Moraitis, M Talbot, M Johnston, A Crisfield, D Dell’Aquila. St George – A Wynn, T Martin, D Donohue, J Hill, J Doughty, M Wild.
    At Mike Kenny Oval, Saturday 11th April 2015.

    Manly-Warringah 4.2 6.4 6.10 14.14 (98)
    East Coast Eagles 4.0 11.1 13.2 15.5 (95)
    Goals : Manly –
    C Petersson 3, J Pola-Smith 3, T McCaffery 2, C Livori, H Washington, B Fowler, D Bonney, J Parker, S Batten. East Coast – T Stubbs 5, A McConnell 2, D Spiteri, J Dimery, D Charleston, M Eastman,
    S Turner, Jon Vlatko, D Costello, S Reed.
    Best : Manly – W Brassil, J Brain, T McCaffery, R Wearne, C Pettersson, R Whitton. East Coast – T Stubbs, D Charleston, A McConnell, J Dimery, E Kruger, D Costello.
    At Kanebridge Oval, Saturday 11th April 2015.

    North Shore 3.3 4.7 8.14 10.15 (75)
    Western Suburbs 3.4 6.5 6.6 10.9 (69)
    Goals : North Shore –
    D Schacher 2, M Buskariol, L Genovesi, E Strudwick, D Fitzgerald, C Parsons, T Weston, J Saunders, M Varjavandi. Wests – J Ross 6, J Zoppo 2, P Bevan, B Mumme.
    Best : North Shore – R Hezlett, T Harvey, L McColl, M Buskariol, D Fitzgerald, R Wason. Wests – Y Milligan-Saville, J Ross, P Wilmot, S Pearson, J Zoppo, C McGrath.
    At Gore Hill Oval, Saturday 11th April 2015.

    BYE - Sydney University.

     Play
    Won
    Draw
    Lost
    For
    Agnst
    Pts
    %age
    Strk
    UTS
    1
    1
    0
    0
    109
    41
    100
    265.85
    W1
    Pennant Hills
    1
    1
    0
    0
    105
    76
    100
    138.16
    W1
    North Shore
    1
    1
    0
    0
    75
    69
    100
    108.70
    W1
    Manly
    1
    1
    0
    0
    98
    95
    100
    103.16
    W1
    East Coast
    1
    0
    0
    1
    95
    98
    0
    96.94
    L1
    Western Suburbs
    1
    0
    0
    1
    69
    75
    0
    92.00
    L1
    St George
    1
    0
    0
    1
    76
    105
    0
    72.38
    L1
    UNSW-ES
    1
    0
    0
    1
    41
    109
    0
    37.61
    L1
    Sydney Uni
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    0
    NA
    NA
     


    Black - Confirmed finallists
    Green - Currently in a finals position, but not yet guaranteed a place in the finals
    Blue - Not currently in a finals position, but still a chance to qualify
    Purple - Will not be competing in the finals
    Red - Wooden spoon, probable relegation



    Division One:
    Sydney Uni 9.8 (62) d Macquarie Uni 6.6 (42)
    East Coast 15.15 (105) d Southern Power 6.9 (45)
    UTS 16.8 (104) d UNSW-ES 8.7 (55)
    Balmain 12.17 (89) d Holroyd-Parramatta 5.10 (40)
    Pennant Hills 7.10 (52) d St George 6.5 (41)
    Ladder – East Coast (4, 233.33%), Balmain (4, 222.50%), UTS (4, 189.09%), Sydney Uni (4, 147.62%), Pennant Hills (4, 126.83%), St George (0, 78.85%), Macquarie Uni (0, 67.74%), UNSW-ES (0, 52.88%), Holroyd-Parramatta (0, 44.94%), Southern Power (0, 42.86%).

    Division Two:
    Round 0
    Moorebank 12.6 (78) d Randwick City 7.9 (51)
    Round 1
    Blacktown 22.8 (140) d North Shore 4.9 (33)
    Randwick City 10.12 (72) d Western Suburbs 5.4 (34)
    Manly 10.12 (72) d Penrith 6.11 (47)
    Camden 10.9 (69) d Moorebank 9.8 (62)
    Ladder (Match Ratio) – Blacktown (100, 424.25%), Manly (100, 153.19%), Camden (100, 111.29%), Moorebank (50, 116.67%), Randwick City (50, 109.82%), Penrith (0, 65.28%), Wests (0, 47.22%), North Shore (0, 23.57%).

    Division Three:
    Sydney Uni 11.13 (79) d East Coast 6.6 (42)
    UTS 10.12 (72) d UNSW-ES 7.8 (50)
    Penrith 25.9 (159) d Western Suburbs 1.1 (7)
    NorWest 13.17 (95) d Gosford 7.7 (49)
    Pennant Hills 11.7 (73) d Balmain 3.13 (31)
    Ladder – Penrith (4, 2271.43%), Pennant Hills (4, 235.48%), NorWest (4, 193.88%), Sydney Uni (4, 188.10%), UTS (4, 144.00%), UNSW-ES (0, 69.44%), East Coast (0, 53.16%), Gosford (0, 51.58%), Balmain (0, 42.47%), Wests (0, 4.40%).

    Division Four:
    Round 0
    Moorebank 11.9 (75) d Randwick City 6.3 (39)
    Round 1
    Wollondilly 10.10 (70) d Camden 4.11 (35)
    Campbelltown 7.18 (60) d Holroyd-Parramatta 9.5 (59)
    North Shore 9.15 (69) d Southern Power 6.10 (46)
    Macquarie Uni 15.15 (105) d Randwick City 2.7 (19)
    Moorebank 11.7 (73) d Manly 4.5 (29)
    Sydney Uni 13.9 (87) d Blacktown 9.7 (61)
    Ladder (Match Ratio) – Macquarie Uni (100, 552.63%), Moorebank (100, 217.65%), Wollondilly (100, 200.00%), North Shore (100, 150.00%), Sydney Uni (100, 142.62%), Campbelltown (100, 101.69%), Holroyd-Parramatta (0, 98.33%), Blacktown (0, 70.11%), Southern Power (0, 66.67%), Camden (0, 50.00%), Manly (0, 39.73%), Randwick City (0, 32.22%).


    Division Five:
    Penrith 18.24 (132) d Camden 3.3 (21)
    UNSW-ES 13.8 (86) d UTS 6.15 (51)
    Pennant Hills 11.10 (76) d Moorebank 6.5 (41)
    Sydney Uni 14.19 (103) d Randwick City 5.4 (34)
    Holroyd-Parramatta 19.7 (121) d Balmain 5.3 (33)
    Ladder (Match Ratio) – Penrith (100, 628.57%), Holroyd-Parramatta (100, 366.67%), Sydney Uni (100, 302.94%), Pennant Hills (100, 185.37%), UNSW-ES (100, 168.63%), UTS (0, 59.30%), Moorebank (0, 53.95%), Randwick City (0, 33.01%), Balmain (0, 27.27%), Camden (0, 15.91%), NorWest (DNP).
    Note – North Shore withdrawn from competition.

    Under 19s One:
    Pennant Hills 14.7 (91) d St George 4.6 (30)
    Manly 13.17 (95) d East Coast 4.2 (26)
    Sydney Uni v UNSW-ES - cancelled
    North Shore 10.18 (78) d South Coast 7.6 (48)
    Ladder (Match Ratio) – Manly (100, 365.38%), Pennant Hills (303.33%), North Shore (100, 162.50%), South Coast (0, 61.54%), St George (0, 32.97%), East Coast (0, 27.37%), UNSW-ES (DNP), Sydney Uni (DNP).

    Under 19s Two:
    Moorebank 5.13 (43) d Balmain 3.5 (23)
    Holroyd-Parramatta d Campbelltown – forfeit
    Western Suburbs 18.10 (118) d Penrith 9.8 (62)
    Pennant Hills 10.9 (69) d Southern Power 6.10 (46)
    Ladder – Wests (4, 190.32%), Moorebank (4, 186.96%), Pennant Hills (4, 150.00%), Holroyd-Parramatta (4, NA), Southern Power (0, 66.67%), Balmain (0, 53.49%), Penrith (0, 52.54%), Campbelltown (0, 0.00%).



    NEXT WEEK’S FIXTURES (Lurker’s kiss of death in bold)

    Premier Division:

    Saturday 18th April
    Olds Park – St George v Sydney Uni (2:10pm)
    Picken Oval – Western Suburbs v East Coast (2:10pm)
    Gore Hill Oval – North Shore v UNSW-ES (2:30pm)
    Weldon Oval – Manly v Pennant Hills (2:30pm)
    BYE – UTS.

    Division One:
    Saturday 18th April
    Olds Park – St George v Sydney Uni (12pm)
    Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v UTS (2:10pm)
    University Oval – Macquarie Uni v East Coast (2:10pm)
    Gwawley Oval – Southern Power v Pennant Hills (2:30pm)
    Sunday 19th April
    Henson Park – Balmain v UNSW-ES (2:30pm)

    Division Two:
    Saturday 18th April
    Gore Hill Oval – North Shore v Moorebank (12:30pm)
    Weldon Oval – Manly v Camden (12:30pm)
    Pioneers Park – Randwick City v Penrith (2:10pm)
    Sunday 19th April
    Picken Oval – Western Suburbs v Blacktown (2:10pm)

    Division Three:
    Saturday 18th April
    Picken Oval – Western Suburbs v East Coast (12pm)
    Adcock Park – Gosford v UTS (2:10pm)
    Mike Kenny Oval – Pennant Hills v Penrith (2:30pm)
    Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney Uni v NorWest (2:30pm)
    Sunday 19th April
    Henson Park – Balmain v UNSW-ES (12:30pm)

    Division Four:
    Friday 17th April
    University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Wollondilly (7pm)
    Saturday 18th April
    Gwawley Oval – Southern Power v Sydney Uni (8:30am)
    Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v Randwick City (10am)
    Gore Hill Oval – North Shore v Moorebank (10:30am)
    Weldon Oval – Manly v Camden (10:30am)
    Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Blacktown (12pm)

    Division Five:
    Saturday 18th April
    Gipps Rd Oval – Holroyd-Parramatta v UTS (12pm)
    Mike Kenny Oval – Pennant Hills v Penrith (12:30pm)
    Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney Uni v UNSW-ES (12:30pm)
    Bensons Lane – NorWest v Camden (2:10pm)
    Sunday 19th April
    Henson Park – Balmain v Randwick City (10:30am)

    Under 19s One:
    Saturday 18th April
    Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney Uni v East Coast (8:30am)
    Olds Park – St George v South Coast (10am)
    Gore Hill Oval – North Shore v UNSW-ES (5:10pm)
    Weldon Oval – Manly v Pennant Hills (5:10pm)

    Under 19s Two:
    Saturday 18th April
    Monarch Oval – Campbelltown v Monarch (10am)
    Gwawley Oval – Southern Power v Penrith (12:30pm)
    Sunday 19th April
    Henson Park – Balmain v Southern Power (8:30am)
    Picken Oval – Western Suburbs v Pennant Hills (12pm)

    Women Division One:
    Saturday 18th April
    Picken Oval – Western Suburbs v Balmain (10am)
    Gwawley Oval – Southern Power v Wollongong (10:30am)
    Sydney Uni No 1 Oval – Sydney Uni v UNSW-ES (10:30am)
    University Oval – Macquarie Uni v Newtown (12pm)

    Women Division Two:
    Sunday 19th April
    Rosedale Oval – Auburn v Blacktown (9am)
    Rosedale Oval – UTS v Gosford (11am)
    Rosedale Oval – Randwick City v Manly (1pm)
    Rosedale Oval – Moorebank v UNSW-ES (3:10pm)
    BYE – Penrith.

    Follow me on Twitter - @tealfooty

  2. #2
    Warming the Bench
    Join Date
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    I was at the east coAst manly game and they were down by 46 with about 19 to go ..... Manly did not get the last goal off a centre break at all and fatigue did not come into at all

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