Round 16 had arrived and with it, the rain had returned. Both our Seniors and Reserves were feeling confident heading into Old Scotch, off the back of a strong run of form across both grades of late. The Seniors coming off a season defining win against Old Haileybury whilst the Reserves were equally convincing against the same opposition. The Phoenix season unfortunately ended on a flat note with Williamstown pulling out, though it was great to see many of the lads supporting the Seniors at the main. Meanwhile, the 19s were across the road at the Crawford in a must win clash to keep the season alive.
On the weekend the Blacks played Old Scotch at the Uni main with optimism in the air after a strong run of form. With hopes of rain holding off until night-time, the weather however set in and turned it into a drizzly day for footy, which had proved a helpful supplement to other home games this year - most notably, against St Kevin's.
The first quarter was an arm wrestle between both teams with players trying to find their feet in the trying conditions. Scotch started well booting the first two goals of the game. A quick kick off a free from Ben Stephenson to Nick Hey allowed Hey to start the Blacks off on the scoreboard for the day. Aussie Steere then streamed through the centre square launching the second Blacks goal for the quarter putting the Blacks in a good position. Scotch, then stringed together 3 straight goals finishing the quarter in a good position.
As the rain continued to fall Tom Cousins continued to lay monstrous tackles and the boys fought on. The pressure rating of the Blacks however was off par, and Scotch continued to slowly pull away throughout the second. Goals from Hey and Makieng towards the back half of the quarter kept the Blacks in touch going into the main break.
Four goals down at halftime the third quarter became a do-or-die quarter for the Blacks and looked promising in the early minutes. With multiple chances to trim the Scotch lead early chances went begging and Scotch continued their strong performance in the slippery conditions. Finishing the quarter adding 1 goal 6 behinds to the scoreboard it makes you wonder what could have been for the Blacks if opportunities had been converted.
The final quarter once again proved that the Blacks keep fighting all the way to the final siren. A strong effort by all players especially the back six carried the game through to its completion.
In what was an unfortunate outcome the Blacks' inaccuracy Infront of goal and inability to replicate elite pressure showed to be the leading factors causing the loss. The boys however fought all the way through till the final siren with Nick Hey kicking two goals claiming the Best on ground with his strong performance. Now sitting in 7th position on the ladder, the team is looking forward to refreshing over the bye weekend and finishing the season off strong. With 2 games remaining, 2 wins would bring the season tally to 9-9 and consolidate the Blacks back in the Premier A division.
A huge game for the Uni Blacks who took on the formidable Old Scotch team (2nd on the ladder), the Uni Blacks were seeking redemption after their previous encounter against Scotch. This week, the Blacks introduced seven new players from last week into their lineup, injecting fresh energy and talent into the team. Among the newcomers were Jotaro Howard-shibuya, Jordan Tunbridge, William Goyder, and four talented U19 lads, including Benjamin Little (making his debut), Samual "Unc" Henning (also debuting), and Angus Conheady (debuting), along with the return of the silky Tom Harris.
The first quarter kicked off with a cautious pace, both teams engaging in a midfield battle for control with the blacks led by Sam Robertson and Jordan Tunbridge. However, Old Scotch managed to break through with some exceptional goals, resulting in a formidable 6-goal lead while the Uni Blacks struggled to find their rhythm.
As the game progressed into the second term, the Uni Blacks found their footing. Lachlan Pereira displayed his skill with a classy banana goal (and an even better celebration) that added a spark to the team's performance. The emergence of Angus Conheady was a standout moment, as he showcased his tenacious attack on the ball and impressive intercept marking. Despite these efforts, the Blacks entered halftime trailing by 8 goals.
The third quarter witnessed a resurgence from the Uni Blacks. Tom Harris and Samual Henning began to shine in the midfield, turning the tide in their favour. Samual's booming 60-meter goal injected a surge of energy into the team, while Lachlan Miller's dazzling run left spectators in awe. Miller's incredible pace allowed him to leave four Old Scotch players in his wake before setting up the reserve's leading goalkicker Oliver "Doughnut" Bouchez for yet another goal.
The final quarter brought both challenges and opportunities for the Uni Blacks. Old Scotch managed to score a few early goals, but the Blacks soon regained control. Sam Ackland-Evans and James Connelly anchored the backline with their resolute defence, while Lewis Steere's dominant presence in the midfield was a sight to behold.
Ultimately, the game concluded with a loss for the Uni Blacks, succumbing to Old Scotch by 8 goals. Despite the setback, the second half showcased the Blacks' determination and even performance. The best players for the Uni Blacks included Sam Robertson, Angus Conheady, Sam Ackland-Evans, Hugo King, Benjamin Little, and Oliver Bouchez.
As the team heads into a bye week, the future looks promising. Some of the seniors and reserves U19 players will be representing the Blacks, showcasing their talents at the Crawford at 9:20 this Saturday, so get down and watch Murray's men go to work. Meanwhile, the rest of the team will be gearing up for a chance at revenge against Old Brighton, setting the stage for what we all hope is a thrilling encounter (and a Blacks win).