Lacrosse Match Report Round 16 (17th August) – Bendigo Lacrosse Club V Eltham
Final score; Eltham 26 to Bendigo 4
The Warhawks’ final home game of the season. The Maiden Gully ground has proven it very worthy and finished its lacrosse year looking as if it just finished autumn rather than a wet winter, with a firm and closely-cropped green surface, the sight of which had some Eltham players shaking their heads in envy.
The Eltham Division 3 team had a bare ten to start, but they were a very good bare ten. These guys, who were in division 2 last year, are currently stampeding towards the finals and today they were out to boost their percentage. Bendigo had trouble with the Eltham players’ ability to quickly take the ball from the centre and settle into well-practiced forward play. The Eltham forward line was vocal, with their understanding of each others’ play and their ball movement excellent. The Bendigo backline were again missing key players and initially gave Eltham too much room to move, but a timely reminder from Tyrone to the backs and middies, about the definition of “playing tight” stemmed the scoring rate after half time. The first half, and particularly the second quarter (10), was a black-and-gold goal fest, with Eltham scoring 16 to Bendigo’s 2. The Bendigo forward line was unable to settle into any set plays or moves properly and goals came from the usual stalwart efforts of the midfield and a shot by Mike Bell and a nice long shot from “Dan” Brayshaw that had veteran goalie Lance Kaufmann juggling, before the ball bounced in.
After half time, the Warhawks had more of the ball in their forward line and took more shots, but were unable to settle, with shots usually coming from a long way out or being taken before the Eltham backline had been forced to move out of position. Bendigo were doing better in the centre, with Brett Ruiz able to match the Eltham centres and tie up the ball and prevent quick release to waiting Eltham middies. The third quarter Warhawk single goal came from a frantic mop-up of a stopped shot that saw two more valiant attempts to save by the goalie before Alex Orr finally put it in. Eltham were held to five goals. Scores were 21 to 3 in favour of Eltham.
The final quarter saw the Warhawks slot one more goal, when Dave Neander had a long shot with a long pole out of the setting sun that snuck nicely into the gap beside the goalie’s leg. The Bendigo team didn’t lose heart or heads and did not give up under the pressure and the second quarter score blow-out could not be repeated by Eltham in subsequent quarters. A fact noted by a veteran Eltham player after the game, who commented that the Warhawks are looking much improved in areas of stick work and ground balls. He felt we had the ability to beat Melbourne University next week (our final game for the 2013 season). He did, however, laugh that the apparent spiraling mid-life crisis that characterised this reporter’s appalling game would need to be addressed before next Saturday. See you at training on Wednesday, lads!
Special mentions go to Mason Matheson and David Neander for suiting up and helping the rest of the boys on this tough day when they had a right not to due to ailments. Also thank you to Dylan Longmuir for stepping into Lester’s refereeing shoes and helping the club minimise fines from Lacrosse Victoria. He was quiet in the first half but let the whistle talk in the second half, well done Longy!
Goals: Mike Bell, “Dan” Brayshaw, David Neander and Alex Orr (1)
Assists: “Dan” Brayshaw (1).Club votes went to Alex Orr (3), with his usual tireless efforts all over the ground and Mike Bell (2) for his. Gino Iuliano got the single vote for his ability to weather his ‘warm welcome to the cage’ from the Eltham boys. I think he might be glad that Dylan’s going back to goals next week.
Written by John Webb – Forward Line Elder & Assistant Coach