Welcome back to a Preliminary Final edition of Macleod JFC history. This week we head back to 2011. With four teams still in the premiership race, the optimism at the ‘Nest’ was high.
The Under 12’s, in Brown division, won their first semi-final against Park Orchards and took on the loser of the second semi-final Fitzroy 1. The match was played at the Burwood Road Reserve top oval and Macleod went in with some confidence after playing well previously against the ‘Roys. Fitzroy lost their second semi-final to Bulleen-Templestowe: 4.3 (27) to the Bullants: 6.8 (44). Throughout the season Macleod had played Fitzroy twice for a win apiece, round 3 at the Ramsden Street Reserve were the lions got home, 11.3 (69) to the Eagles 8.4 (52). Then in round 10 at Macleod Park, Macleod won 11.6 (72) to the Lions, 8.5 (53). On Preliminary Final day, Fitzroy being a much bigger side overall didn’t seem to worry our boys, as our boys lead from start to finish. We kicked two goals in the first quarter to have a slender lead at the quarter time break. But in the second quarter, with our boys producing great team football managed to extend their lead to a healthy 33 point lead at the half time siren.
Fitzroy started the third quarter with renewed zest and kicked two early goals, but as the quarter progressed our boys managed to equal Fitzroy’s tally for the quarter to have a five goal lead at the three quarter time siren. Because of the state of the game, Macleod had the luxury of resting players for the ‘Big Dance’, but that didn’t seem to upset the balance of our boys, as the margin increased to the final siren and record a 45 point win. Macleod 10.10 (70) eliminated Fitzroy: 3.7 (25). Our goal kickers were Peter Tskoumis with (3), 2016 Colt Bailey Grioli (2), Zac Hankinson (2) and the singles came from Ben Laws, Josh Broomhall and Christan Farchione. As you would presume, the team was named best…
Fortunately, as it happens in some years, the fixturing on this day served Macleod well because following the 12’s final, was the 14 Brown Preliminary Final. Following on from their shock loss to Ivanhoe in the second semi, our boys took on a previous Gold division side in the Camberwell Sharks. Camberwell won their first semi-final against St.Damians, 18.22 (130) to the Saints 6.7 (43). The teams only had the one meeting previously that year, at Macleod Park, where the Camberwell side got the chocolates, 11.9 (75) to 7.9 (51). The Macleod players heads that day were firmly fixed on the following weeks top of the table clash against Ivanhoe and accordingly played like it. On Preliminary Final day, the skies were blue, but there was a slight breeze blowing uphill towards the left pocket. Camberwell won the toss and kicked downhill in the first quarter, giving Macleod the first use of the tricky breeze. We had the first four shots on goal but could only manage 1.3 (9), but by the end of the quarter, Macleod had a 2 point lead. 2.4 (16) to 2.2 (14).
The second quarter was very similar to the first quarter as Camberwell peppered the goals, but at half-time the scores were locked on 4.7 (31) apiece. During the third quarter, the wind had change direction and was now blowing straight down the middle and going to the downhill end. Despite this, the quarter was quite an even for about 18 minutes where both sides had added 3.1 (19). But just before the three quarter time siren, Camberwell kicked their fourth goal. As the ball was about to be bounced back in the centre, the siren went. But in that instant, a melee erupted, a dubious free kick was awarded to the Camberwell ruckmen and aided by a 15 metre penalty, kicked their fifth goal from the 40 metre arc. Camberwell lead at three quarter time, 9.8 (62) to 7.8 (50).
With the eyes rolling in our boys heads at the three quarter time huddle, coach Wayne Hansen produced one of the best speeches ever heard at the Macleod Junior Football Club, and not only did he calm down our boys, who were seething over poor umpiring decisions, he then turned the situation into a massive positive and our boys went back out with renewed verve and vigour. Jay Frampton, playing as a medium crumbing forward kicked the first two goals to get our boys going, but the master stroke was to move midfield ruck-roving dynamo Jake Ponchard into the ruck and move big Charlie ‘Buckets’ Dunbar to full forward. Charlie also managed to kick two goals in the last quarter, the second and final goal, was a mark originally taken by my son Caidyn in the goal square, but only to be taken off him and given to big Charlie as he was infringed upon. He duly delivered… The crowd was at fever pitch in that last quarter as Macleod soared past Camberwell to record a well earnt victory. Macleod 13.12 (90) eliminated Camberwell 11.11 (77).
The result of this was that the under 14’s were so determined, after all had looked lost and from there they were never going to allow themselves to receive a loss again for the year. Our best that day were, Jake Ponchard with (1.1), Charlie Dunbar (2.1), Macleod senior Reid Brandt (2.2), Haydon Manuel (1.2), Jordan Bulman (2.3), Riley Salvador (2.1), Jay Frampton (3.0), and Leigh Bulman. Jaydn White and Big Daniel Coulson kicked the remaining behinds. In closing of this week’s article I’d like to quote Brazil’s greatest ever soccer player, Pele. ‘The MORE DIFFICULT the victory, the GREATER the happiness in WINNING.’ On a personal note, I’d like to congratulate the 2016 Colts team on a wonderful season. Though they lost their semi-final last week, they gained many more admirers. Having to ‘punch’ above their weight for the whole year is a true testament of this great team. I wish the best for the departing top age Colts on their endeavours in the future years. Well done boys.
Wayne Hall (Colts Team Manager).