Henry and the Jets: Ticking Boxes

Tick that box.


Every week at Heathmont we talk about ticking the next box and focusing on that next box only. Each box represents a quarter of footy. Now, we’ve got eight more boxes to tick if we’re to have a chance at finals and Heathmont’s pen cannot afford to run out of ink at any point in the next two weeks.


Last weekend’s footy saw us tick off another do-or-die round. This time it was up against the second-bottom Mulgrave Lions, and a typical rain-sun-rain Melbourne afternoon had us fearing the worst of conditions as we warmed up. Luckily enough, as I rightly dobbed before the game, “it’ll clear up. The ressies always cop the rain, while the ones get the sun.” A bizarre trend it is which I’ve observed as the season has plodded on, the greatest example so far being That Freak Hailstorm in Ringwood last month.


Both players and spectators could agree Mulgrave’s pen was as mighty as our sword for the first three quarters and some tense faces were seen milling around the team huddle at the last break. Despite a memorable heckle from one of our own supporters – “you’re gonna let this game get away from you” – I remained positive the Jets could run over the top of a fading Mulgrave outfit.


The scoreline at three-quarter time read a measly 4.4-28 to 4.5-29 in favour of the Jets and we all strapped in for a heart-on-the-line final stanza – and, boy, did it deliver (if you’re a Jets fan, which I like to assume most are at this point)!  With our first final-quarter goal coming after just 16 seconds, it was our match to lose from then on. Two roving snags from the goal-square gave Wade Van Leeuwen the opportunity to pull out Xavier Duursma’s go-to celebration, the bow and arrow, earning him a few shakes of the head from team-mates. Meanwhile, the rest of the midfield played with the most intensity and instinct that I’ve witnessed all season long from my post at half-back. And it’s through that instinctive play and trust in one another that I reckon we can harness a finals berth.



Dear oh dear: Goal sneak Wade Van Leeuwen pulls out ‘the Duursma’


A 7 goal to 2 final quarter saw the Jets run out 30-point winners and, with that, we stand just four points outside of the top four (finals contenders for this league). I personally haven’t missed out on a finals series since joining the Jets 5 or 6 years ago and I certainly don’t intend on ending that trend this year.


That’s about all out of the hangar this week, it’s been a quieter one than most. Maybe that’s the calm before the storm.


I’m off to tick another box.



Henry Ballard is a final year journalism student at Deakin University.



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About Henry Ballard

21 year-old student of journalism, local footy, and fluent conversation. Of which I have perfected none and should never hope to.


  1. Henry, good to hear that you and the lads are alive and ticking. Looking forward to next week’s report.

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