For round two the Blacks travelled down the highway to take on the Parkdale Vultures. The Vultures had been beaten in round one by last year’s combatants the Beaumaris Sharks, while the Blacks were coming off a strong win against Mazenod.
Some wild conditions were on display down at the Gerry Green Reserve with a strong breeze that was swirling across the ground. Thankfully though the rain that had been present for the reserves game had passed over and the Blacks looked forward to proving their dominance over the Vultures in more favourable conditions.
The first quarter got under away and the Blacks immediately demonstrated their ability and strength with an early goal through Lachlan Huntington. What followed from here was slightly disappointing; with the Vultures tightening up across the ground and making it an incredibly hard slog for the Blacks.
The inaccurate kicking that haunted the Blacks 2017 campaign was back as the Blacks went on to kick 9 behinds in the first quarter. The look shared between Blacks fans was one of ‘please, not this again!’ The inaccuracy had cost the Blacks as they went into the quarter time huddle only clutching a slim 8-point lead, despite having eight more scoring shots that the Vultures.
Coach Cameron Roberts implored his troops for a lift in the second quarter and his call was answered by the likes of Matthew Burt, Sam Bennett, Lachlan Knight and Hugh Curnow, who began to push the ball forward for the Blacks on a regular occurrence. Big man Josh Steadman was also starting to gain more and more influence in the ruck contests and in the large packs forming around the ground.
This lift in intensity from the Blacks midfield was matched by a huge VAFA highlight speccy from the one an only Lochie Dornauf, who proceeded to bang the goal home afterwards. The forward line of Angus Locke, Lou Vescio, John Vrodos, Huntington and Dornauf were providing immense pressure to the Vultures backline and creating many turnovers that other Blacks players feasted upon. Credit must be given to the Vultures though who stuck at it and managed to peg a couple of goals back to head into halftime 25-points down, but still with a sniff of victory.
The Blacks though quickly extinguished this sniff of victory in the third term with captain Bede Mahon involved in everything and rewarding himself with a nice goal. Jarrod Carlson also showed just why he is as decorated as any other player at VAFA level, demonstrating a cleanness that was difficult to achieve in tough conditions.
Sam Bennett’s run was proving the difference in breaking the lines and he managed to hit the scoreboard with a great team goal involving some great work from Jordan Quaile, Vrodos and Vescio. The Blacks managed to pile on six goals to the Vultures one and went into the three quarter time break with a 55-point lead.
The final quarter was back and forth with neither side able to capitalise on their time in possession. The Blacks missed a chance to bury the Vultures in the last quarter, but overall after a poor start in the first quarter the boys will be satisfied with the 51-point victory. All eyes turn to next week for the mouth-watering clash with Ajax.
Uni Blacks 12.20.92 defeated Parkdale Vultures 6.5.41
Goal Kickers - L. Huntington 3, L. Dornauf 2, L. Knight, S. Bennett, J. Broderick, J. Vrodos, B. Mahon, A. Locke, H. Curnow
Best - M. Burt, S. Bennett, H. Curnow, L. Knight, B. Mahon, L. Dornauf
The Uni Blacks Reserves ventured from Parkville to Parkdale on Saturday for a good old clash in the wet.
Coming off a solid six-goal win in round one, the side was keen to continue its strong form against the Vultures, who lost their opening match by 171 points.
Players took a while to acclimatise to the grim weather at Green Gully Oval, with rainy and windy conditions making the footy feel like a heavy bar of soap.
Only one goal was scored in the opening quarter before Captain Scott Myers and boom recruit Jack Fuller managed to get on the end of a few majors as the match progressed.
The traveling side took a 22-point lead into halftime and Coach Linc Merlo called on his troops to lay more tackles and apply more pressure.
His message came across loud and clear, prompting the Blacks to dominate the second half on a hail-covered deck.
Snags Mckenzie was excellent in the loose defender role, clutching important marks and dancing around his opponents as he cleared the ball.
Nugget Cousins, Doug Arnold and Tom Monkhouse relished in the slippery conditions and were first to the pill at almost every contest.
The Blackers proved too strong for the Vultures, keeping them goalless for the match and winning by 74 points.
Uni Blacks 9.23.77 defeated Parkdale Vultures 0.3.3
Goal Kickers: S. Myers 4, J. Fuller 3, T. Monkhouse, Z. Harris
Best Players: S. McKenzie, P. Aitken, D. Arnold, J. Fuller, T. Cousins, L. Steere
After a narrow defeat to Old Melburnians in round 1 of 2018, the Phoenix marched down to Harry Trott Oval eager to right their mistakes from the previous week and jump back onto the winners list against Collegians. They were met with sweeping rain, howling winds and sloppy conditions - exactly what a seasoned Phoenix outfit thrive on. New skipper Josh Bowden showed off his skills early by winning the toss and electing to kick with the wind, something he learned from his favourite player Trent Cotchin.
From the first bounce, it was evident that Collegians were not interested in a free-flowing game of football. They were intent on clogging up the contest with numbers and not allowing a single clean possession, a display that would have made Ross Lyon proud. Rohan ‘Tank’ Cleary continued his strong form to start the season, insisting on being at the bottom of every single pack in a heroic display. While the Phoenix pressed hard and controlled most of the play, they failed to convert on the scoreboard, as it took until late in the first quarter for Sam Kelly to drive home the first of the day.
Now fighting into a gale force wind in the second quarter, the Phoenix held strong. Led solidly in defense by Harry Ukich and Lewis Wetherbee, the boys fought off every advance in trying conditions. Eventually, however, Collegians slipped through and put their first two majors on the board, and looked to press for a further lead. Ed King stood up strongly in the ruck (and backline, and forward line) and rallied the rest of the team behind him. In a BOG display, Kingy righted the ship and took control of the game. James Turner won a free kick in a two on one contest late in the quarter and converted beautifully to give the lead back to the Phoenix at the main break.
New Phoenix coach Mick ‘The Pointer’ Farrell had a few choice words at halftime, which got the team up and about. Although his timing was a little off, and the boys had to wait for several minutes after the rev up before actually getting back out onto the field in the last quarter. Nevertheless, it worked, as the Phoenix came out with renewed hunger and attack on the ball. Declan Foott dominated the third term, running past Collegians opponents like they were training cones, even managing a swift bounce in torrential rain. However, like the first quarter, they failed to convert their dominance of the game onto the scoreboard. It wasn’t until David Cooper marked brilliantly and bombed a goal from outside 40 did the Phoenix take true control, and in the words of Coop, “never looked back.”
The game opened up in the last quarter, as Collegians realised they would actually have to move the ball to score some goals, but it was too little, too late. Josh Leviston snapped brilliantly midway through the last term to ice the game. Collegians pressed hard for the remainder of the match, but the defensive unit proved too strong, with Ethan Etheridge and Ryan Duffy cutting off every opposition attack. The game ended as the sun conveniently emerged, the Phoenix coming away 11 point victors.
The challenge continues next week with a trip down to The Snake Pit to face the Snow Dogs of St. Bernards, where the Phoenix will look to continue their winning ways.
Phoenix 4.8.32 defeated Collegians 3.3.21
Goal Kickers: J. Turner, D. Cooper, S. Kelly, J. Leviston:
Best Players: E. King, R. Cleary, P. Eaton, E. Etheridge, D. Foott, R. Duffy
The Unders traveled out to the Carey Sporting Complex for a much-anticipated clash with Old Carey, in the hope of chasing their first ‘W’ for the season.
After a pre-game hail storm which near on sore the flooding of the boy's change-rooms, the weather started clearing up, but not without a first-quarter ‘black storm’. The Boys piled on 6 goals to no score in the first quarter, with the skipper Luke Sevior setting the tone early at the coal face in yet another impressive opening stanza.
With the boys up against a strong breeze in the second quarter, it was inevitable that the Old Carey boys would come out in full attack mode, which they did. They managed to get the game back to level terms until, Cal Welsh, snagged a late goal before the half to send the boys into the break with a 5 point lead.
In the third, the boys knew they had to make the most of the wind and set a score for the Carey boys to chase in the last. Sam Laube and Cal Welsh were electric up forward, cleaning up any crumbs that the big guys created and finishing with elite class on a day where kicking wasn’t made easy. The lads took a 31 point lead into the final break.
Going into the last Coach Smith, set out some basic footy fundamentals in which the boys soaked up and looked to put into action. In what was a season-defining quarter, the boys played the conditions perfectly, killing the ball when in doubt, and linking up with hard running when they had the game on their terms. The boys managed to hold off a solid unit in Old Carey to come away with a 22 point victory.
John Perks dominated in the ruck around the ground and gave the onballers first use on the majority of occasions, with Cooper Direen and Luke Sevior being the beneficiaries of such work.
The Unders now face rivals, University Blues at 9.20am next Saturday on the Uni Main, would be great to see some blacks faithful there to support this promising group of guys.
Uni Blacks - 12.7.79 defeated Old Carey - 8.9.57
Goal Kickers: S. Laube 4, C. Welsh 4, J. Saliakos 3, K. Dawborn
Best Players: C. Welsh, S. Laube, L. Sevior, C. Direen, X. Fitzgerald, J. Perks