Interleague Football Review - SFNL V EDFL

By Will Hunter



Southern FNL 14.9 (93) def Ellinbank & District FL 6.8 (44)

The Southern Football Netball League have at long last broken their senior representative football drought with an emphatic 49-point win over Ellinbank & District Football League on Saturday afternoon.

Close to 1000 supporters flocked to Marriott Waters Reserve, Lyndhurst, for the inaugural WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships, and were treated to a clinical four-quarter display from the stars of the south.

Southern led from go to woah, extending their lead at every change on their way to an historic 14.9 (93) to 6.8 (44) triumph.

Coach Ben Lockwood said it was the consummate team performance, and praised every single one of his 23 charges for their adherence to the team’s structures and game plan.

“We identified how we wanted to play and where we wanted to be strong and the boys executed (that plan) almost perfectly,” Lockwood said.

“We wanted to play fast, manic footy, we wanted to test out their defensive side and we played quick-tempo, high-speed footy.
“We made mistakes doing it, but what we did was we were always able to, with our defensive pressure, get the ball back off them.

“We had to show them up for pace and we did, so that was a pleasing aspect of it.

“All 23 blokes understood what they needed to do and executed to the best of their abilities.”

Ellinbank entered the game chasing their fourth consecutive interleague victory, but Southern’s intensity at the contest showed this would not be an easy task.

St Pauls teenager James Sziller proved he was up to the standard early, slotting the game’s first goal in the opening minute. Southern added another two in succession to get the early jump on the visitors.

Ellinbank attacked hard with the wind in the second term, but could make no inroads into the three-goal quarter time deficit thanks to a water-tight Southern defensive unit led by Pat Carroll, Brody Hodic and Andrew Frost.

Southern then clicked into gear after the long break, slamming on five goals to one in a dominant third term the third term to take the wind out of Ellinbank’s sails.

The home side simply ran the EDFL off their legs and their midfield dominance, both inside and out, allowed their fleet-footed and vastly underrated forward line to come into the game.

Southern’s manic pressure on the opposing ball carrier was also immense, leading to plenty of midfield turnovers and repeat forward 50 entries.

As a result, Matt Troutbeck and Callum Cathcart began hitting the scoreboard with increasing regularity.

Despite holding an imposing 42-point advantage at the final change, Lockwood implored his players to go hard in the opening five minutes of the last quarter to eradicate any hope of an Ellinbank fightback.

He needn’t have worried, as the Southerners simply picked up where they had left off.

A couple of late goals to Ellinbank were mere consolation prizes that did little else other than minutely limit the eventual scoreboard damage.

East Brighton skipper Andrew Jansen, who was superb on the wing and across half back all afternoon, moved forward and put the icing on a very sweet cake with a long-range goal right on the final siren to kick start the Southern celebrations.

Oakleigh District’s Carroll won the medal as best on ground with a sublime display in defence. He collected a heap of possessions roaming loose in the back half and never wasted a disposal, while also clunking plenty of intercept marks to repel Ellinbank’s forward forays.

Carroll also provided the undisputed highlight of the afternoon, climbing high above his Ellinbank opponent to reel in a towering hanger in the last quarter.

The Southern midfield was also dominant, with Ricky Thomson, Ed Sim, Nathan Robinson and Jarryd Allan providing plenty of hardness around the contest.

In the air, the ruck duo of Brad Neurath and Stu Cleeve thoroughly outworked Ellinbank’s sole ruckman in Matt Gray, while Chris Horton-Milne won plenty of the footy at the big men’s feet.

Division 3’s first ever interleague representative, 17-year-old Mount Waverley winger Jackson Smith, also impressed, despite this being just his seventh ever game of senior football.

The backline rightly received much adulation for their remarkable job in muzzling the dangerous EDFL forwards in Ryan Gillis and Nathan Lieshout, but Lockwood said the supposed ‘no-name’ forward line impressed him the most.

“Our backs were super… but the most pressure was on our forwards,” Lockwood said.

“We didn’t have a recognise big name forward like they did, so we had to play that fast brand of footy to make sure our forwards were getting one on one opportunities.

“All lines for the day were good, but our forwards, probably being the lesser lights, held up really well.”

Troutbeck and Cathcart were the stars of the show with nine goals between them, while Joel Jones-Hampton and Nick Gilbert presented well and showed plenty of endeavour throughout the afternoon.

[caption id="attachment_11402" align="aligncenter" width="600"]PHOTO CREDIT: Momento Sports BOG Pat Carroll racks up yet another kick. Photo by Momento Sports.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11404" align="aligncenter" width="400"]PHOTO CREDIT: Momento Sports EDFL's Matt Gray and SFNL's Brad Neurath contest the ruck. Photo by Momento Sports.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11405" align="aligncenter" width="601"]PHOTO CREDIT: Momento Sports Joel Jones-Hampton moves it forward. Photo by Momento Sports.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11407" align="aligncenter" width="601"]PHOTO CREDIT: Momento Sports Callum Cathcart in full flight. Photo by Momento Sports[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11408" align="aligncenter" width="600"]PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix Zippy Jordy Peryman finds space. Photo by Photogenix.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11409" align="aligncenter" width="600"]PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix There's no stopping Ricky Thomson. Photo by Photogenix.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11411" align="aligncenter" width="601"]IMG_8571 Ben Lockwood and Tony Lavars collect the prize.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11410" align="aligncenter" width="602"]IMG_8573 The boys pose with the silverware.[/caption]



Southern FNL 8.10 (58) def by Ellinbank & District FL 18.16 (124)

EARLIER, the Southern youngsters were comprehensively outclassed by a bigger, stronger and more mature Ellinbank & District FL outfit in the Under 18 Graincorp AFL Victoria Community Challenge Under 18 match.

Played as a curtain raiser to the senior football clash, this was billed as an exhibition of the brightest under age players both competitions have to offer. Unfortunately, the much younger SFNL side was let down by their poor opening quarter as the EDFL streaked away to an eventual 11-goal win, 18.16 (124) to 8.10 (58).

Ellinbank won the toss and kicked to the southern end of Marriott Waters Reserve with the aid of a five-goal breeze. The visitors made full use of this early leg up, piling on three quick goals in the opening five minutes before the Southern boys had even known what hit them.

The stronger bodies of the Ellinbank boys gave them a sizable advantage around the contests, allowing them to extract the ball with relative ease and break multiple tackles.

Their run and spread was particular damaging, and allowed fast entries inside forward 50, resulting in multiple scoring opportunities. This was not helped by Southern’s poor decision making and skill errors coming out of defence, leading to turnovers in the centre corridor. These rarely went unpunished.

The quarter time score made for dire reading for the SFNL, with Ellinbank leading 9.4 to 1.1 and looking like streaking away to 100-plus-point annihilation.

However, the Southern boys showed remarkable mental fortitude from that point on to work their way back into the contest. They stemmed the bleeding with a four consecutive goals to open the second term and showed genuine flair and a vastly improved work rate.

Injuries to Troy Smith and Steve Mylonakis left the boys short of rotations in the second half – a massive disadvantage on the enormous Lyndhurst venue. Nevertheless, Southern showed a lot of grit and determination in fighting it out to the end.

However, for all their competitiveness after the first change, the damage inflicted in the opening term couldn’t be undone, and ultimately proved to be the decisive factor in the game.

Diminutive St Kilda City star Jesse Firebrace dazzled off half back and was a deserved winner of the best on ground medal. He looked to take the game on at every opportunity and used his sizzling speed to break the lines.

Ayang Nyanjok proved a dominant force both in the ruck and up forward (two goals), while Michael Halim, Ricky Johnson, Nick Lloyd and Nathan Foster provided vital drive off half back and through the midfield.

[caption id="attachment_11398" align="aligncenter" width="601"]PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11399" align="aligncenter" width="601"]PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11400" align="aligncenter" width="601"]PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_11401" align="aligncenter" width="601"]PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix PHOTO CREDIT: Photogenix[/caption]

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