For the 2nd year in row, the Blues opened the season with a visit to T.H King, however there were a couple of differences this year. Firstly, Piers Flanagan led the team out in his first game as Blues Skipper wearing the No.12, a premiership flag was unveiled and there was no lightning storm to be seen.
Unfortunately the game ended in the same vein with St.Kevins coming away with a 52 point win. The Blues may feel that the margin did not reflect the tightness of the contest for large parts of the game, however the Blues could not hit the scoreboard like the reining premier when they had momentum.
Goal Kickers: T. Quinn 3, K. Harper 3, M. Rippon 2, T. Harper 2, A. Cordy
Best Players: I. Fyfe, C. Lappin, R. Eade, A. Cordy, R. Young, J. Taylor
The Blues started the match well, jumping out to a 2 goal lead and dominating the early possession. This wasn’t translated to a lead at the break with St.Kevins kicking 2 in time on. The 2nd term again was even for the early stages however with St.Kevins dominating possession the defensive lines began to open up. Connor Lappin again demonstrated why he is one of the best defenders in the competition however the midfield dominance of the opposition began to take its toll. A run of 8 unanswered goals saw the Blues go into the break 35 points down.
Coach Walker and co went to work and the Blues came out with renewed vigour. Dominance in possession lead to early goals to K. Harper and Quinn and it looked game on again. Unfortunately the Blues let in 2 goals in a minute to undue their good efforts.
However, the Blues came again. With Ayce Cordy dominating the ruck contests, the midfield led by Fyfe, Eade and Young finally took advantage of first use and we kicked the remaining 3 goals for the term. A set shot 45 metres out on the boundary after the siren by the mercurial Quinn reduced the lead to 16 points.
The Blues roared out of the blocks in the last, goals to Tim and Kieran Harper reduced the deficit to 4 points. However, the next centre bounce proved the turning point and showed the quality of the opposition. With Blues in control of the ball, a stumble and slip led to a turnover and an immediate reply. The reining premier sensed a momentum shift and that was it, multiple goals took the game away before you could look for the lightning. With fatigue setting in it was a long last ten minutes.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Blues as the 2017 runners up Collegians visit the Uni next week. However, the lessons on the weekend can be learnt quickly and the Blues will look to get on the Board with their first win.
In other results, new look Blues 2’s and Thirds went down in their opening matches but the Unders had a great opening day, winning at Fitzroy by 62 points.
Check out the match highlights
Goal Kickers: T. Batarilo 2, P. Gardiner 2, W. Loone, J. Mugavin, H. Macinnes
Best Players: P. Gardiner, H. Macinnes, J. Carr, B. Barton, S. Carr, S. Hodge
|Old Xaverians Red||3.7-25||4.11-35||10.13-73||19.20-134|
Goal Kickers: G. Carter 2, A. Batarilo 2, S. Sherlock
Best Players: D. Lindsey, G. Carter, S. Briggs, D. Coleman, A. Batarilo, C. Hitchen
Goal Kickers: S. Allen 5, N. Hucker 2, J. Noonan 2, N. Ziemkiewicz, R. Kilpatrick, L. Holden, M. Scales, L. Cashman
Best Players: S. Allen, T. Scotland, J. Humphrey, R. Kilpatrick, T. Williams, W. MacInnes