Airport West 10.7-67 def Moonee Valley 3.0-18
After the long trek out to Westmeadows last week it was nice to be back in familiar surroundings – OK – Westmeadows isn’t that far away, but there’s no place like home and the boys made it a four from four start to the season with another strong team effort.
The day’s captains were Josh Pardo and Dante Munoz and what a game they played. I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure Josh brought his own ball – it seemed like he always had the footy. When he didn’t he was chasing, tackling and shepherding. Dante not only made his way onto the goal kicking list, but was like a trampoline in defence; every time the ball went near him in the backline it bounced straight back out of there!
Max Guarnaccia continues to improve each week – he had a few chances up forward and was unfortunately unable to make space to score, however he kept trapping the ball in the forward line, setting up goals for team mates Luke Scicchitano (2 goals), Marcus Kanavas (2 goals) and Flynn Gentile (4 goals). Luke’s third quarter was terrific, winning almost every centre clearance and making the Moonee Valley defenders look like witches hats. I think Marcus has a career as an astronaut ahead of him, because he was always in space. Flynn picked up possessions like Dane Swan and flew like Dale Thomas – refer to photographic evidence, Exhibit A.
EXIHIBIT A – WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU PLAY IN FRONT
It helps with getting the ball if your team mates deliver it with precision – Jack Thomson was able to do that time and time again when tapping the ball in the ruck. Jack also showed his maturity on the field when, after laying a perfect tackle, the umpire awarded a free against him. No whinging – Jack just manned the mark then ran like a rabbit to impact the next contest, setting an example for his team mates.
Jasper Young excelled at marking on the day and in the second quarter he took some important marks which helped set up goals against the wind. He was also part of a three man tackling effort with Flynn and Liam Cox , which in my mind was play of the day. Liam had a great game – he was fearless in breaking open packs and kicked a terrific goal.
Most consistent player of the week was Mitchell Pontin – he cleared the ball often when playing midfield, was dangerous up forward and was like a one man wall down back.
Besides racking up plenty of kicks of his own, Thomas Borg’s shepherding made his teammates look good, providing them the luxury of run down the wing without the pressure from their opponents. He also clearly listened to the instructions from the coaches, as he didn’t flood the forward line and was there at centre half forward stopping Moonee Valley from getting the ball out of their backline. Just like chicken man, Jack Catalfamo was everywhere! It was great to see him use his speed to get to the ball and he didn’t shy away from a single contest.
Tommy Macumber was clever when the ball was on the ground – he was a step ahead of his opponent all day, and a deft tap of the ball in the opposite direction to where his opponent was running allowed him to gain time and space. His delivery of the ball to his team mates was also first class.
Our percentage took a blow when we allowed a few late goals in – hopefully being knocked off top spot will give the boys the drive needed to lift our defensive pressure.
All in all, it was a great contest and the team played terrific footy. Go Eagles!