Round 7 of the season seen the La Trobe University under 19’s play on a day which draws the biggest crowds of the year for the La Trobe Football Club. It was ‘family & friends day’, an event which brings plenty of spectators to watch all the home sides play. Many onlookers throughout the day were from parents, who had travelled in from the country for surprise visits. The 19’s kicked off the big day of festivities, followed by the reserves, seniors, then finishing up with the women’s side. The under 19’s were facing a very fit and roaring to go St Bedes/Mentone Tigers AFC, who, just like the hosts, were searching for their second win for the season. The Tigers were able to walk away from La Trobe University oval with the four points, winning the game 11.8 – 74 to 5.9 – 39.
With the two sides lining up against each other at the early start of 9:20am, there was always going to be one key factor early on in the game, the morning dew that had formed across the ground. This had made gathering the loose ball and overhead marking incredible difficult. Despite the wet conditions and the heavy Sherrin, St Bedes/Mentone were able to capitalize on La Trobe’s poor use of the footy, kicking the first five goals of the game. It wasn’t until halfway through the second term, that the hosts were able to kick their first major of the day. Heading into the main break, La Trobe trailed St Bedes/Mentone by 31 points. Once again, the home side found themselves in a position that they were all too familiar with already this year.
As the second half was underway the wind had quickly picked up, ultimately, favouring the pavilion end of the ground. St Bedes/Mentone used the wind to help set up a structure which allowed them to have total control of the play, opting to leave their loose players in defence, they had more numbers when La Trobe looked to attack, enabling them to rebound back inside their forward fifty. Heading into the last quarter La Trobe’s coach, Theo, asked simply that his troops give their 100%, to help gain some pride in front of the large crowd. The Tigers kicked the first two goals of the last quarter into the breeze, however, pressure from La Trobe around the ground definitely lifted, as they kicked the last three goals of the game, finishing up 35 points behind at the final siren.
As the two sides shook hands and departed the ground, a depleted silence fell on the struggling home team. Frustration filled the locker room, as the reality of their sixth straight loss sunk in. La Trobe’s coach quietly asked his players, that they evaluate their performance from the last two hours, over the next couple of days. He was pleased with his sides ability to not give in, for their “100% effort in that last quarter”. The better players for La Trobe were winger Tyler Costa and midfielder/forward Daniel Skaer. Looking onto next week, the under 19’s face rival club, Old Paradians AFC, in what should be a thrilling contest, after their round 4 encounter saw Old Paradians win by less than a goal.
By Aydin Payne