Round 3: Strathmore at Lebanon Reserve

In a must win game with our backs against the wall, Pascoe Vale couldn’t afford to come away from Lebanon Reserve sitting 0 and 3.  After a disappointing loss against Keilor, we chose to focus on going back to the basics and the three key fundamentals of football: when we have it; when they have it; and ball in dispute.

Strathmore, like us, had some key players missing from their lineup through injury, but were always going to bring a fierce contest and we knew that no matter what we did, they would put up a fight. Their perseverance in the third quarter to get the game on their terms just showed why they remain a team to beat.   

From the outset we knew that the game would be won or lost through the guts. The mids had a huge task to limit their equivalent's impact and set up a ferocious attack and spread from the contest. The pressure from Ben Ross, Sam Caruso and Dean Soncin made Strathmore earn every kick.  Ruckman, Giles Guest, and the mids came ready for the contest and focused on getting the ball forward. Shayne Allan provided the polish to set up two crucial first quarter goals to put us on the board early.

In the second quarter we managed to get some breathing space but inaccuracy in front of goals still gave Strathmore a sniff. We knew that they would come at us hard in the third and they worked hard to reduce it to a three goal lead by three quarter time. At the huddle we reinforced the message of no complacency and going back to the basics. Repeating what we had done well for the first two quarters would bring the game home.

Strathmore made the start of the last quarter a contest with repeat stoppages, but to our mids credit, they worked tirelessly to get the ball to the outside and spread from the contest.  Matthew  Watson stamped his authority on the game by finishing the game with five majors, but it was his first goal of the final term, snapped from 40,  that  gave us the spark we needed. From there on, the boys didn’t look back.

A real positive take out of the weekend was the return on investment from a week focus on both the fundamentals of football and importance of all 22 players to play their role. There were individuals that knew they had to step up and perform and that is exactly what they did. Those who had been down on form found that spark that found them a place in the side in the first place. It was great to see the team come off the ground with smiles all around and to sing the song for the first time this season. Now we need to use this as our platform to build on and bring our best footy week in week out.

Looking to next week - Maribyrnong Park

This week, training will be spent setting us up for the task ahead, training with intensity and the will to improve. Again, our focus will be on making sure we are doing the basics well: forwards working overtime on their conversion; backs concentrating on touch and disposal; and mids will be mastering their stoppage work craft.

This week we play Marby Park, a well-coached side that plays an exciting brand of football. Once again, it will be a battle through the midfield, won by the team that can settle first.  We are looking forward to the challenge and hope to see all the Panther faithful cheering us home to collect what we hope to be our first win on our home soil. With a Past Players reunion and Ladies Day on in the Pavilion, it should be a busy afternoon down at Raeburn.

Final score: Strathmore 7.8-50 Pascoe Vale
Goal Kickers: M. Watson 5, S. Allan 4, D. Petrone 2, D. Soncin, L. Hansen, J. Polizzi, B. Ross
Best Players: S. Allan, M. Watson, L. Hansen, B. Ross, D. Soncin

Other results in Round 3

Senior Women 37.20-242 v Keilor Park 0.0-0

Strathmore 22.15-147 Under 19.5 0.2-2

Strathmore 11.7-73 v Reserves 9.6-90

Airport West 8.8-56 v Under 11 Div 2 2.4-16

Aberfeldie 2.2-14 v Under 11 Div 5 6.5-41

East Sunbury 9.7-61 v Under 11 Div 8 3.1.19

Under 11 Girls 0.1-1 v Moonee Valley 5.7-37

Under 13 Div 2 21.17-143 v West Coburg 1.4-10

Aberfeldie  10.1-61 v Under 13 Div 6 7.1-43 

Keilor 6.5-41 v Under 13 Div 7 4.4-28 

Under 13 Div 2 Girls 3.6-24 v Glenroy 3.2-20

Under 15 Div 2 21.13-139 v Keilor 3.4-22 45.26-296

Under 15 Div 5 0.0-0 v Burnside Heights 45.26-296

Under 15 Girls Div 2 11.11-77 v Taylors Lakes 1.2-8

Under 17 Div 1 2.5-17 v Strathmore 15.13-103

Aberfeldie v Under 17 Div 4 7.9-51

Under 18 Girls 3.1-18 v Sunbury  10.6-66

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