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Match Report Round 13 Sunday July 30th
Port Colts U8 REDS v Ormond JFC
Date: 30th July 2017
Venue: Glen Huntly Park, Caulfield East
This was our return “away” bout against Ormond, right by Caulfield racecourse, at the unusual 1pm timeslot.
The coach’s pre-game theme was to “take the game on” by playing to our strengths: breaking the packs, running hard and getting the ball forward quickly and long by foot. Look for space. Look for teammates. But early stages of this match were very tight. Ormond were clearly ready to play, tackling and harassing our players whenever we got the ball. The Colts were equally intense, so scoring was difficult.
Fittingly co-captain Taylor “Tex” Forbes broke the goal drought with a clever round-the-corner snap on the run. A few good passages of play ensued: a great three pass sequence from Lewis, Taylor and Woody moved the ball silkily into our forward zone. Billy grabbed the ball, evaded a defender, and kicked an almost identical goal to Taylor’s. Upfield Leo (co-captain), Ardi, Henry and Ashton were putting in some majestic efforts just to get the ball. Sam, Johno, Alex and Bryson were bright around the contest.
After half-time the Colts lost a little momentum, as some mistakes crept into our game. A few kicks to poor positions gifted Ormond some easy goals. Our talk all year about not kicking into the “hot spot” in defence became just that-talk. The manning up in the backline once again looked ragged, as some players went looking for easy kicks rather than covering an opponent. In this last home-and–away game of the season maybe some of our team were looking ahead to “Mad Monday” and not concentrating fully on the team game at hand!
It’s all a learning experience for the Colts REDS. Sometimes in sport the most important experiences are when things don’t go right and you have to find ways to cope with that. Pleasingly all players once again put their bodies on the line to get the ball. Football skills and game awareness have improved immensely over the season for everyone. Some memorable moments: Ardi took a spectacular forward diving stretch mark. Lewis flew high for a big airy “speccy”. Woody kicked a brilliant crash goal (except it went through the points!) And Koby dobbed a whippet-like goal to finish.
Next weekend is our glorious season finale with the Lightning Carnival and team break-up. Thank you in advance to all volunteers in helping us draw the curtain on an historic season.
Match Report Round 12 Sunday July 23rd
Port Colts U8 REDS v Mordialloc-Braeside Mustangs
Date: 23th July 2017
Venue: Aanensen Oval, Murphy’s Reserve
Sometimes the footy gods smile on you, other times they frown. Our opponents Mordi-Brae had been one of the tougher challenges earlier in the season with their big bodies and unfettered run from the packs. In truth they had given us a slight “dusting off” at their ground/ golf course. But on our home turf the REDS were never going to let Hannibal's elephants cross the Alps without a “ding dong” struggle.
The team rallied eagerly behind our co-captains: the double AA energy of Albert and Alex. Kicking with the breeze to the Williamstown Road end, it wasn't long before Sam “Commando” Harrison moving freely and unrestricted down the flank scooped up the ball and hooked it around his body for the first goal. Pure Harrison!
In the second quarter defence was critical as the Colts now faced down the stiff easterly breeze. But numerous times we linked up and carried the ball forward. After a great passage of team play involving Bryson, Ardi, Lewis, Koby and Bryson, Billy managed to kick the goal from close in. In the backline Taylor shone with his covering work. He is really turning himself into an attacking half-back of note. The tackling pressure all over the ground was immense, with Ewan of course heavily involved. At one point a poor Mustang became the pressed ham in a Ewan-Ardi sandwich.
With the breeze at the REDS' backs in the (Premiership) third quarter it exploded into “showtime”. Jono roved the ball in the goalsquare, a delicate shimmy, then bang! Goal. Skipper “Poppy” Pop nearly did exactly that to the ball, banging it through the big sticks so hard that it nearly burst. All REDS supporters were so thrilled to see Alex score his first well-deserved major; a fantastic addition to an already great season. Luke “I-own-the-hot-spot” Oliver took a trademark grab, went back, but unfortunately didn't have the leg this time to slot it. It will happen. May the force be with you Luke (sorry, my bad). Then Lewis, defying all laws of geometry, threaded the needle from the boundary. What is it with these left footers? Witchcraft!
Importantly, goals only come from the hard work of others upfield. There were so many good contributors chasing, hustling, marking and kicking to get the ball into good areas. Woody, Leo, Bryson, Ashton and Henry were fine contributors. The manning-up was probably the best it has been all season. Koby and Finn, always creative, found space and the ball many times. Co-captain Albert flew for big marks, held some, and then finished with a goal of his own.
So on this day the footy gods did smile upon our brave band. In fact they beamed! It was one of the best performances by the team this year with outstanding teamwork and a very consistent effort from everyone across the four quarters.
Momentum is a priceless commodity in sport. How do we bottle that, as the team flies into the last few games of the season? If the ingredients involve a mix of enthusiasm and exuberance then all is well. Our next big test (fun game of footy) is the big Port Derby against our mates in the BLUES this Wednesday night. Bring it ON. The REDS are here to play!
Match Report Round 11 Sunday July 16th
Port Colts U8 REDS v Cheltenham Panthers
Date: 16th July 2017
Venue: Le Page Park, Cheltenham
This week’s chapter of the Colts REDS story saw our plucky players face some serious challenges, and show great resilience and spirit to overcome them.
We were nearly back to full strength in numbers for the end of the holiday round. European globetrotter Ewan arrived almost straight from Tullamarine, and to him we say “ευχαριστώ”. It was good to see Ashton again too, though a chance trip-up in our warm–up probably wasn’t in the plan.
Ground conditions were deteriorating, with an icy crosswind, a very hard surface underfoot, as well as the obligatory concrete cricket pitch. Rapidly freezing parents were probably wondering why they didn’t demand “little Johnny” stay with just basketball in term 2!
The game was solid though scrappy. Our players can never be doubted for their enthusiasm and willingness to run hard for the ball. The triple AAAs: Alex, Ardi and Ashton stood out. The Colts used the defensive side of the ground well. Woody, Bryson and Taylor “Tex” Forbes were able to think through a few problems. Though conditions were difficult for accurate kicking, players gave it their best. Did my eyes deceive me or were there a few “barrels*”? And there were some great marks too. Ewan snatched a nice one late, as did Albert and Finn. Tackling pressure was outstanding. Billy, Leo and Luke certainly aren’t frightened to get in there.
The match was even. The Panthers got away from us a bit in the 3rd quarter with a slightly more advantageous wind. We came home with a wet sail late in the last quarter, with Lewis “Captain Blood” Nelson-Holliday long-bombing his second glorious goal right on the final siren.
We had a number of players go down throughout the game, and at times our bench was like a triage unit. Team medic Dr Luke O’Halloran and his team were at their best fixing up our young chargers, and getting them back on the park. Happily no one was mortally wounded, and I was really pleased to see all our players finish up back on the ground by the end. To me it showed admirable courage in adversity. Once again, well done Colts from your proud coach.
*torpedo punt kick
Match Report Round 9 Sunday June 25th
Port Colts U8 REDS v St Bedes/Mentone Tigers
Date: 25th June 2017
Venue: Aanensen Oval, Murphy’s Reserve
It was a giant marquee game this week: finally back at home, on Aanensen Oval, in front of the clubrooms and a steaming coffee bar, to boot. Playing the Tigers and commencing at the very un-rock n’roll timeslot of 8:45am, a big crowd was swelling.
Skipper Sam Harrison regaled us with one of the longer pre-game captain’s addresses of the season. Tolstoy may have to add another chapter to “War and Peace” to beat that one! But it clearly worked. The U8 REDS colts jumped into the fray all cannons a-blazing. Ardi Williams was racking up a heap of contested possession in the centre. What a purple patch of form he has been having for the last month or so! Bryson Walters looked sharp and took a good mark. Koby Turner quickly worked his way into the game, and with his hunger to score, had two majors by half time. Albert Gavril was a rock in defence in the second quarter, stopping at least two goals right on the goal line with sure-handed marks. He is becoming such a valuable player, whatever end of the ground he inhabits. Colts had the better of the contest for the first half, but you could sense, like in many of our games, that our foe would not take this state of affairs lying down.
Our opponents, the Tigers, certainly were a varied side: tall, short, girls, boys, wide, narrow, etc, and it just confirms that in this great indigenous game of ours, everyone and anyone fits in. One of our borrowed players kindly lent to us from the Tigers tackled a Port player early in the second half, before realising that he was in fact playing in the same red and blue jumper. You don’t see that everyday! Tigers’ no. 12 girl played a fine game, using her incredible height advantage over everyone on the field. The Colts were playing well too though: Leo, Woody and Finn deserve special mention. Billy, Jono, Taylor and Henry flashed in and out. There was no denying the effort from all our players. In conclusion, it was another fine match played with the right spirit and attitude.
The U8 REDS now have two weeks off footy, with training resuming on Wednesday 12th July, and our next match on Sunday 16th July. On resumption we have 3 home and away games left, followed by a Lightning Carnival round to finish. Enjoy the break everyone.
Match Report Round 8 Sunday June 18th
Port Colts U8 REDS v Murrumbeena CUBS
Date: 18th June 2017
Venue: Murrumbeena Park, Murrumbeena
This week we travelled into to the lion’s den, playing the Murrumbeena (lion) CUBS. Port REDS got off to a solid start. Our mosquito fleet of Josh, Jono, Taylor, Luke and Henry managed to drive the ball forward numerous times. Albert, roaming untagged between the forward flank and pocket scooped up the ball from a smart Bryson kick to lope in and kick a big goal on the run.
Our backs were holding the fort. Ewan collected the ball impressively at pace and booted it forward to create another attacking thrust down the wing. Then minutes later up forward star mid-season recruit Billy B. took a courageous high chest mark under all sorts of opposition pressure, and crashed to the ground. Dusting himself off, he went back from just outside the goalsquare and sent the pill sailing straight through the hi-diddle-diddle of the big sticks. One of the goals-of-the-year.
Murrumbeena were gathering forces by the second quarter. Alex and Leo defended well as deep backmen, and had a couple of good chats no doubt when the ball wasn’t in their sector! Charlie once again showed great class and poise with an intelligent forward handball straight to a fast motoring teammate. By the half time orange break you could see this was going to be a tight one.
The third quarter (the premiership quarter) did indeed see the CUBS throw everything at the REDS. Their tall female midfielder was playing superbly, whilst some of our defensive work and general ground positioning was looking more ragged. Ewan once again laid some great tackles, and Lewis bagged a low goal, but the tide was turning.
The last quarter saw some fine end-to end footy. Finn, playing in a “Darcy Moore-esque” fashion, seemed to command the centre, collecting the ball cleanly and kicking some monster punts to advantage. Skipper Ardi was playing his heart out in attack, with ferocious desire for the ball, willing his teammates to follow him. Unfortunately two of his flying shots on goals splayed wide. By games end both sides had played a cracking match.
This week at training we can work on our positioning, especially at ball-ups and kick outs, and explore ways to break up our notorious Colts “tea parties” when we have groups of our players standing huddled together on the field. With the coach yelling “Spread! Spread!” from the sidelines, he doesn’t mean the butter on the scones! Delicious as that might be…
Match Report Round 7 Sunday June 4th
Port Colts U8 REDS v Waverley Hawks
Date: 4th June 2017
Venue: Columbia Park, Wheelers Hill
This week saw the Port Reds and their families embark on an early morning road trip along the South-Eastern Freeway to Wheelers Hill to take on the mighty flying Hawks. It was a close match played in fine spirit by both teams. Congratulations to our co-captains Luke Oliver and Henry Manuel, who had clearly put a lot of thought into their pre-game address and provided memorable leadership.
The match was beset by a thick shroud of fog descending in the second half, which made seeing some of the play difficult.
So this week’s report is brought to you by our special “on ground” junior reporter. NB If you are easily upset by selective bias or scores then look away now:
“We were losing by 15 points at quarter time. The score was 15 to zero! The second quarter was great with Lewis being inspiring with 3 goals. Henry Manuel’s handball to Lewis was great, then Lewis just snapped a goal. The visitors managed to be having a win at half time, but you couldn’t forget a great goal by Harry “Jono” Johnson. The Colts were leading by 12 points at half time. [Eds note: Ashton, Ardi and Taylor were providing some impressive link-up play through the middle. Terrific bending boomerang by HJ through the fog…so I’m told.]
The game got even closer in the third quarter with the Colts getting one goal [another tight-angled shot from Josh] but the Hawks came in strong with at least one.
There was a few minus [minor] scores for both teams in the last term. It mainly stayed in the Hawk forward 50. But the Colts backmen didn’t feel the pressure. The Colts backmen were doing great on tackles with some great marks and bits of play by both teams. The Colts got one point in the last quarter! [Solid forward mark by Leo but couldn’t quite get the distance with the kick.] The game got closer with a big tackle in the Hawks’ forward line. There was about 30 seconds left of the game when a tackle was laid. The umpire called a ball-up with about 5 seconds left, but the Colts somehow hang in there and one [sic] by 5 emotional points.”
Match Report Round 6 Sunday May 28th
Port Colts U8 REDS v Ormond
Date: 28 May 2017
Venue: Woodruff Oval, Murphy’s Reserve
Back in the familiar environs of our club, the group partook of a vigourous limbering-up stretch session in the rooms pre-game. Then steely skipper Bryson Walters ably led the boys out onto our hallowed turf.
The game got off a to a bright start with goals coming thick and fast. Forward Ashton Rowley was playing a “blinder”, bursting through packs and kicking truly. By the first change he had a remarkable 3 goals to his name.
In the 2nd quarter, with a slight wind advantage the mids stayed on top, led by long-kicking Lewis Nelson-Holliday, but ably supported by Henry Manuel and Bryson Walters. Both these latter players understood their roles and played selflessly as loose men behind and ahead of the ball respectively. Consequently we were able to feed our forwards with plenty of the ball. Jack-in-the-box deep forward Koby Turner snuck in 3 goals using great anticipation, skill and goal sense. Albert Gavrils’ height, strength and sheer presence was worrying opposition backmen and he bagged his first memorable goal.
With super-sub Alex Pop joining us for the second half the team experienced the unforseen luxury of a man on the bench. Charlie Dillon enjoyed the warmth of the famous blue dressing ground (and sitting on dad Kevin’s knee), before racing back eagerly back into the fray. Freed from the shackles of defence Finn O’Halloran-Scott, Taylor Forbes and Josh “Woody” Woodhouse were able to roam freely in the midfield in the 3rd quarter racking up possessions. A beneficiary was Lewis, playing at half forward and snagging two goals for the quarter.
In a free flowing game, Ormond snatched the first goal of the last quarter. (Would our concentration hold up?) Then there were some important defensive efforts by the Colts. Luke Oliver took a telling pressure mark to repel a dangerous forward thrust. Ewan Karamoskos laid a huge tackle and cemented his rapidly growing reputation as one of the best in the business. New recruit Billy Burnip seemed right at home, finding the footy and showing great promise. Finally the intensity and elan of Ardi Williams was rewarded as he booted his first goal of the season. Siren time, and well done to all the REDS players and parents supporting.
Match Report Round 5 Sunday May 21st
Port Colts U8 REDS v Mordialloc-Braeside
Date: 21 May 2017
Venue: Walter Galt Reserve, Mordialloc
In the battle of the horses (Colts v Mustangs), the game got off to a galloping start for the Port REDS. A fine ruck tap from Albert to our rover Ashton, and the ball booted long down into our forward line. Alas no goal, but champagne football! Skipper for the day Jono had lost the toss, and so for the first quarter the Colts had to battle valiantly into a substantial breeze. A great defensive effort ensued by the red and blue.
In the second quarter Josh was able to open our goalscoring, threading the needle from a fine set shot on a very tight angle. Another Josh kick from our goalsquare (more aptly described as a sandpit), was stopped by their tall timber on the mark. All up the game was very tight with ferocious tackling from Ashton, Ardi, Lewis, Ewan and Alex. Confidence is infectious. Sam Harrison unfortunately sprayed a running shot, from a withering run down the flank.
The 3rd quarter once again saw the Colts battling against the wind, and the Mustangs managed to hit the scoreboard. Some of their players were starting to to look very tall (or was that just the lengthening effect of those red and white stripes?)
Back with the wind in the Colts’ favour, unfortunately most of the last quarter was played in the opposition forward half. This gave our backs plenty of opportunity to show some defensive mettle, and experience real pressure football. They performed with aplomb. Players such as Ewan, Albert, Leo, Charlie and Jono can hold their heads high. The whole team showed super tackling intensity, in a tight “in-and-under” game. It was a great learning experience. We defended well, but can all work on our long kicking, particularly with the wind at our backs. Upwards and onwards to next week U8 REDS!
Match Report Round 4 Sunday May 14th
BYE this round
Match Report Round 3 Sunday May 7th
Port Colts U8 REDS v St Kilda City
Date: Sunday 7th May 2017
Opposition: St Kilda City
Venue: Wattie Watson Oval, Elwood
On a cold, though sunny, morning the U8 Reds put in one of their best team performances so far. Even more commendable was the fact that conditions were tricky, with a solid sea breeze whizzing across the ground.
Every week we see development in players as they get used to the speed and complexities of AFL football. On this day our players, who have been given a licence to get the ball and run, then kick long and straight, found that it worked to their advantage and to the betterment of the team. Many players are now using their natural instincts to “take the game on” and break out into the wide open spaces. It was an enjoyable game to watch for our hardy spectators, and we managed to keep the goal umpires busy with the football regularly sailing through the big sticks, usually off the boot of a red and blue guernseyed player.
There were some “break-out” games from players: Leo Anderson, Luke Oliver, Ewan Karamoskos and Sam Harrison. All got in and found their own football. Well done to them.
Albert Gavril continued to impress with his “super boot” kicks and took a spectacular forward diving chest mark in the goal square. Ardi and Ashton once again provided great run, dash and excitement. Jono was like a ball magnet in the second half with the ball always seeming to pop into his hands (his dad might have to check him for leather poisoning!?)
We peppered the goals with the result that eight of our players finished with at least one goal to their names. Skipper Josh “Woody” Woodhouse and Lewis Nelson-Holliday were lucky enough to get two apiece.
Well done everyone, and enjoy the bye next week.
Match Report Round 2 Sunday April 30th
Port Colts REDS U8s v Cheltenham Panthers
Venue: Woodruff Oval, Port Melbourne
Our seasoned veterans of Reds U8s, now in their second game, were jumping out of their skins and ready to take on the Cheltenham Panthers. After a rev-up in our clubrooms from captain Ashton Rowley, the Colts galloped out to positions on the wide expanses of Woodruff Reserve.
In the 1st QTR our training drills seemed to be paying off. Players were manning up well in defence and mids and forwards were using the spaces well. Bryson Walters and Sam Harrison, playing as smart outside runners were getting the ball beyond the packs and using it wisely. Well done team!
The 2nd QTR saw us control the midfield somewhat, and with our strong back six seemingly impenetrable we finally got some score on the board, albeit one point. Harry J. (Jono) was weaving some magic, getting in-and-under on numerous occasions.
The 3rd QTR was our best. We managed to lock the ball forward (sorry backs!), and slammed home 2 goals from our clever goalsneak Koby Turner. We had a few other scoring opportunities, most notably Ewan Karamoskos chasing the ball furiously towards the goal only to be denied ultimate glory right on the goal line by a desperate Panther.
The 4th QTR saw our backline under pressure as our opponents peppered the goals, and got two back themselves. Leo Anderson has improved every week, and played a disciplined role in the frenetic finish.
By the end nothing could separate these two fine young teams. It was a game played with good spirit and energy.
We can work on our kicking, ball movement and positioning this week at training. Thank you again helpers, with special mention to stand-in manager Kiani.
Match Report Round 1 Sunday April 23rd
Port Colts v Prahran JFC
Venue: Toorak Park, Prahran
An enthusiastic group of players were there early to hear their positions for the first time and soak up the atmosphere of this historic occasion. They listened intently in the tight huddle to the coach’s team strategy: get ball, run with ball, then kick it LOOOONG!
The 1st QTR was a real arm wrestle for both teams. Port gained some advantage in the middle with captain Finn O’Halloran Scott ably leading in the ruck. Josh Woodhouse, Luke Oliver and Henry Manuel were “up and about” looking nippy. Both teams were cracking in with great endeavour but scores remained level.
The 2nd QTR belonged to the Colts. With intense tackling pressure and drive from the mids in Ardi Williams and Lewis Nelson-Holliday, our forwards had plenty of the ball. Taylor Forbes managed to kick our first SMJFL goal from a mark set shot, and celebrated joyfully, arms aloft. Port had put on 7 points for the quarter. Charlie Dillon’s handball in traffic to teammates was notable.
The 3rd QTR saw a momentum shift to Prahran. Their very tall ruckman got the ball moving out of the centre and they streamed forward to score 4 unanswered goals. Albert Gavril and Alex Pop tried valiantly under intense pressure.
The last QTR saw the game tighten up again with the young Colts maintaining their run and desire for the ball. Ashton Rowley was dashing from defence with continued clearances, and Koby Turner found space wide and burned off many opponents with great speed. But scoring was difficult for either side.
All up it was a great debut effort from all the REDS. The boys played with fine spirit and a sense of fair play. During the week we’ll work on kicking over the man on the mark and some defensive strategies, as well as usual skill work, and reading the play. I look forward to next week and the rest of the season with great optimism. A big thank you to all the volunteer helpers on the day.