A team of a mix of young-bloods, new comers and Club stalwarts took to the field at midday. With the mercury holding level in low double figures and the ubiquitous wind ensuring that the game would be as interesting as in past years, spectators had on the winter woollies.
With new Reserves Coach, Brad “Boof” Turner at the helm, and ably supported by Captain Chris “Lloydy” Harper, the first quarter was fairly scrappy but, with some position changes, the boys started to show some fluidity, with 188-game veteran hard-running Chris Turner kicking the first goal of the game.
Big Colt Brandon “Walshy” Edmondson, in his first game of football, showed tenacity in the ruck and down forward, laying some great tackles. Being kicked in the face while on the mark changed his outlook for a minute or two but he went on to show that the right attitude can beat experience. Michael “Beasty” Vanbeest was brilliant on the wing with some excellent movement of the ball and assisting in contests. Watson and McCullum proved a handful in the centre and club icons Micka Hemming and “Tonguer” Clarke added experience in their respective positions.
Unfortunately, the Hawks were too good in the final quarter, with the locals beating the visitors by five goals at full-time.
Injuries and player unavailability has been costly for the club this year and especially so the weekend just past, when an undermanned reserves side took on the undefeated Kingborough Tigers.
We eventually scrapped a side together with the help of four Colts players in Jordan Mccallum, Jai Bannister, Luke Alsford and Kieren Isles who doubled up to ensure a full squad hit the field.
The side played good football for the first half as we applied as much pressure to our opponents as we could, but their better skills and speed eventually wore us down and being a well drilled side kicked away from us in the second half. To our credit we battled hard all day and we could walk off the ground knowing that at least the group that took to the field where out their playing for each other.
Our back line was terrific all day considering the amount of football that was in their area. Mick Grimsey played the majority of the game injured; Daniel Donavan continued to spoil his taller opponent and Wally Dare, Mick Hemming and Adrian Pennicott repelled as best they could.
Andrew Kennedy is starting to find some good form and set the scene early with some courageous football. Chris Russell toiled all day in the ruck. Jordan Watson played well above his years, as he was on the bottom of many packs and got plenty of possessions.
Some positives to come from the day were that we won the last quarter and the young players that played showed that they are well capable of playing in this grade and above.
This weekend we need to bounce back when we take on the Central Hawks at home, who are breathing down our necks on the ladder.
Round 14 saw the Two Blues take on the Dodges Ferry Sharks on our home turf of Anzac.
The reserves side went into the game bolstered by some handy inclusions from the side that went down to New Norfolk but, we were still aware of the fact that the Sharks were playing some good football and building momentum from their slow start to the season.
We started the game the way that we intended with intensity and lots of run. Our skills were good and we gave our forwards plenty of football. At the first break we held a 21 points lead and got the start we wanted.
This soon came crashing down and when the pressure was put back onto us we started to become undisciplined and unfocused which in turn gave our opponents too many easy goals.
In the second half our attitude, our work rate and our decision making all improved and we bounced back to play some very good football including a last quarter in which we kicked nine goals and kept the Sharks scoreless.
Mick 'Micka' Hemming, Mitch 'Lil' Leale and Mick 'Lofty' Grimsey were solid in defense all game. Our midfielders in Phil 'Philphy' Ashlin and Jeremey 'Jez' Pfeiffer knocked up getting possessions and Dave 'Country' Smith up forward held everything that came his way.
We still have a lot of improvement in us as a team and we need to play four quarters of good football and eliminate the bad quarter that we so often play. This week we play the ladder leaders in Kingborough, and we will need a four quarter effort to knock the Tigers off.
On Saturday we travelled to Boyer oval to take on New Norfolk in perfect conditions.
The Eagles jumped us early in the game and played with intensity on their home turf and we found it difficult to find any momentum especially up forward were we wasted some opportunity on goal and we went into the first break chasing a four goal deficit.
To our credit we fought back into the game by playing some hard in and under football led by Ricky 'Batty' Batt, Andrew 'Toungy' Clarke and Matt 'Stoney' Stone and by three quarter time we were only down by 2 points.
The last quarter was disappointing in the fact that we didn’t fight the game out and we finished the game with a five goal loss.
Our preparation was low key and this cost us. If we are to progress to the highs that I believe we can achieve then we must all start making a sacrifice for each other on the field, off the field and on the training track. We need to be improving and not become satisfied or content with our season so far.
Other players who played well were Mick 'Micka' Hemming, who steamed out of the backline all day and took on all that fronted him. Mitch 'Lil' Leale also provided some smarts in the backline.
In the forward line Mark 'Rudders' Rutherford provided headaches for the opposition and Jeremy 'Jezza' Pfeiffer scored two goals while playing on the ball. Chris 'CT' Turner continues to sacrifices himself for the team.
Next week we are back at home to play an improving Dodges Ferry. We need to improve on last week’s effort and get back on the winners list.
On Saturday we took on Triabunna at Anzac Park. We were aware that we needed a big win to give ourselves a chance of moving up the ladder. This game also marked the 200th game for club stalwart Adrian ‘AJ’ Pennicott.
Our first quarter gave us the start we needed as we moved the ball quickly and accurately to our forwards. The next two quarters where good quarters but where pedestrian in the fact that we just were going through the motions and then we finished off the game with another good quarter that gave us a 200 point victory.
Adrian Pennicott: 200 Games
For the majority of the game our tackling pressure was ok and our ability to run and link up through the lines was good but we fumbled the ball quiet a lot when the conditions were good for ball handling.
Senior coach Justin Rainbird played at full forward and kicked five goals as well as giving plenty of goal assists. The team was rotated a lot and regular back men Mick Hemming and Adrian Pennicott performed well up forward.
Senior players coming back from injuries in Aaron Hilder and Luke Goodsell both made valuable contributions to the team. Aaron picked up numerous possessions playing in the center and Luke took a lot a valuable mark playing at either end of the ground.
In what was a good team effort, others that played well were the ruckmen Josh McWilliams and Chris Russell as well as on-baller Matt Stone.
Next week we travel to the large expanse of Boyer oval to take on New Norfolk.