Round 4: Strathmore Away
Round 4 – Pascoe Vale 17.8- 110 def Strathmore 6.8- 44
When heading to Lebanon Reserve to play Strathmore, you always know you are going to be in for a tough and enduring contest. We planned well during the week to counteract a style of play which is different from many others in the competition. We knew Strathmore would want to maintain ball control, use hit up kicks and use the run and carry of their young team. We knew if we could control elements of their play it would give us a great chance to rebound and attack from their turnovers.
The game started poorly with a lack of work rate, which allowed the small forwards of Strathmore to score early. We settled and managed to be 5 points down at quarter time. Mainly due to the efforts of the back six to repel constant Strathmore forward 50 entries. After a frank discussion at quarter time, the boys picked up the work rate and the midfield group started to wrestle control around the ball. Much of this on the back of Jesse Boyd minimising the influence of Vavra. Our mids of Mellington, Allan, Ogden and McConnell started to win the ball at the contest and springboard some promising attacks. Our backs again held up well with only 1 mark inside 50 in the first half.
The second quarter was another arm wrestle but in the end, by only allowing 2 marks to 11 in the middle third we played the game on our terms. We had pushed the margin out to 20 points at three-quarter time. The coach requested that the group continue to push hard and maintain the high levels at the contest, our ball movement and opening of dangerous space and the continuation of hard defence to challenge the young Strathmore group. They did this well and soon had pushed the margin out to a comfortable one. Some unusual events in the last with both teams being punished for incorrect 6-6-6 formations, with Strathmore then us getting kicks from the top of the goal square. Gladly after the game, this rule was amended to a free kick in the middle of the ground.
The last quarter saw us kick 9 goals with some great finishing. This was a good reward for all the hard grind in the first three quarters. We started to link up well with our leading forward and our size across the ground allowed us to control the aerial contests. Watson and Archer provided targets all day and were complimented well with the pressure of Cellini and the speed of Cauchi. Dean Clare although not big on possessions impacted the game tremendously through playing his role for the side. Special mention to Jacob Polizzi for his banana goal from the pocket when getting tackled (almost as good as his miss from right in front on his right foot…….)
The pleasing elements from the coaching group were the playing group executed the plan, kept the marks and inside 50 total right down for Strathmore. Our back six were huge and keeping an attacking side to 44 points was great. Our clearances and eleven different scorers is something we wish to see on an ongoing basis.
Our goal at the start of the first month was to be 2-2 in our win/loss ledger. Since we have played three of the finalists from last year, we believe this gives us a good platform to continue to build our season.
Another huge challenge this week against Marbi Park who got the chocolates at Raeburn last year.