Junior Footy – Banyule Colts v Preston: Snags and Bags: A Fighting Finish

Snags and Bags: A Fighting Finish

Round 15 v Preston

 

Despite the aphoris ‘a week is a long time in footy’, a season rolls around so quickly that you barely get the time to adjust to it before it departs once more. With just a fifteen game season fulfilling the junior football schedule, the last home and away round was once more upon us.

 

With the previous two losses ruling us out of finals, the last game was all about pride and settling old scores. To conclude the season, and the junior careers of Gus and Reece, we were to take on Preston at the infamous Banyule back oval. After a few games of luxurious games on the front oval, we were to return to our spiritual home of the ‘cabbage patch’, named so because of its concrete like surface covered by luscious weeds and grasses.

 

The opponent for the day was Preston. If anyone imagined the typical bruise free dead rubber of a final game then that was expelled by the thought of Preston. In our first encounter against them in a grading game this season, numerous sparks turned into a fight after the siren, followed by a tease of, “Have fun in Division 5”, while we walked off. Some of the fighters in our side still hadn’t forgotten that when the siren started.

 

A beautifully sunny day greeted us as we enjoyed switching back to our usual 3PM start time. Static warm ups spilled back into the rooms, where Steve and Gregg went through instructions one last time. Gus was finishing his junior career on his 100th game. Reece was finishing his 10 year long junior association with Banyule. Preston had fired us up, as their words came back to bite them in the backside when they joined us in Division 5. Plus, they had smacked us last time. You always want to get a team back after a loss.

 

Led by Gus and Reece, we strode out of the rooms, past the cricket nets and down the grassy field that led us onto the cabbage patch. With warm ups completed and the toss finally won (got to love it when they call heads) we started the game in surprisingly mild conditions. After 10 minutes the heat was up, but we were four goals up. Two quick goals to Chief, followed by a goal to me and a floater of a goal from Jimmy saw us go out to a quick advantage. From then on the attack on the ball wavered, as Preston decided that the result of the game was futile.

 

With a large quarter time lead being chalked up, Preston came out ready for an attack. Unfortunately, the attack wasn’t on the footy, as we were subjected to knocks off the ball and other various shows of aggression. Despite goals to Eddie, Alex A (or McLovin), Chief and Baz, Preston didn’t tone down the violence. Therefore the defiant Gus stood up, as he is never one to back down when it comes to defending teammates. Nonetheless, we went into half time with a lead that hung around 40 points.

 

We jogged into the rooms in excited spirits. Jacko had the ball on a string. Eddie and Chief were providing a dangerous combo down forward. Darcy, Bakes and Robbo were running off Preston players all too easily. Dan P and Connor H were combining with Max and Coops to provide a mighty team effort that felt rewarding.

 

The second half provided more of the same from both ends, as a rare Preston goal was perpetuated with a rowdy bench yelling obscene orders of their players. The players followed the instructions to a tee, getting yellow cards and giving away an amount of free kicks that would make Hawthorn feel hard done by. However, more goals to Baz, Eddie and Chief gave us even more breathing space at three quarter time. Connor T was doing his usual along half back, while Rohan continually put his body in danger when rough Preston players sized him up. Matty H provided bursts of speed to thrill the crowd, while Mitch C couldn’t lose a one on one battle all day. Josh ran as tirelessly as he had all season. Will created goal after goal from half back and the wing. The Banyule machine was running flawlessly.

 

Therefore, the last quarter allowed Reece and Gus to soak up the day. Mitch L slotted his first goal of the year with a miraculous bender from the pocket. Unfortunately Reece finished the last quarter injured, but it meant nothing when the final siren sounded and we had reversed the smashing handed to us in round four. An icy three cheers and hand shaking conga line allowed us to farewell our top age players. I was privileged enough to chair Reece off with Chief, as Gus and Chief were royalty for just a minute. Then it was past the nets and up to the rooms where we belted out a rowdy rendition of the theme song, before crowding Gus and Reece for one final farewell. These are the moments why you play footy.

 

They say team sport is only as enjoyable as what your teammates make it. Despite not being as successful as last year’s Grand Final loss, I’ve never enjoyed a footy season as much as I did in 2016.

 

Now it’s time to switch to cricket.

 

Banyule: 14.11.95

Preston: 5.6.36

 

Goals: Chief 5, Eddie 3, Baz 2, Mitch L, McLovin, Jimmy, Me.

 

 

Comments

  1. Rick Kane says:

    Well played Banyule, but coming from a Bullanter, ouch.

    I wasn’t at that game, I was across town at Preston City Oval where the Bullants faced Banyule in the U14s. In a similar situation (but reversed, and without the perceived agro suggested in your report) the Bullants turned the tables on Banyule. Last time they met Banyule won quite convincingly. In the return game, and a highly skilled contest the Bullants took the four points by, er 4 points. Both teams met again this week in the First Semi. It should be a ripper.

    Cheers

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