Uni of Qld AFC Div 2 Reserves match report

By Avan Stallard

In Tasmania, they play on gravel. In The Northern Territory, they play on dirt. In the north they play through cyclones, in Melbourne they play in equal parts mud to grass, and even up here in Logan they play on fields of syringes and broken rum bottles. It is a man’s game – and a winter one – after all.

But in St Lucia, home to ornamental oval 7, we’re rather more refined. A light dew on the ground? Close the oval. A cold front moving west from the Falkland Islands? Close the ground. A green ant killed by impaling itself in someone’s arse? A weekend of mourning: close the ground.

So it was, banished to netball courts and other indignities, the boys – already with the disadvantage of not really knowing each other as footballers – were a little underdone from a training perspective. The only solution to a lack of preparation was basic footy. The game plan was simple: maintain structure. Kama wasn’t looking for individual heroics, just simple, disciplined, old-fashioned footy. Learn your position. Stay in your position. You are not a sea-gull. The footy is not a chip.

Surprisingly – given the inexperience of the team – the boys made a good fist of it. The wings especially did a good job of maintaining position, and as a result winger Paddy Hammond found himself in just the right spot on a good dozen occasions. Smart footballer. With the centre-line fairly disciplined, no other positions were tempted to creep. The result was a great contest in the first quarter, Fuzzy a stand-out. Kedron and Uni had equal amounts of football, and there was confidence going into the second quarter.

But despite the contests remaining fairly even, two things started to rattle the team. One was the ability of the opposition to convert movement into their attacking 50 into goals, as opposed to our poor conversion. It would be easy to blame the forwards, but the quality of delivery just wasn’t there. That was compounded by the lack of crumbing when the ball went to ground – this, despite the game-plan which was all about using those targets, and crumbing them. When to sea-gull, when not to? If only we can find the balance.

The second quarter was also a difficult one due to a few mistakes that gifted Kedron goals. Captain Cupcake’s mind wasn’t properly switched on – at the time he was thinking about the deplorable clubbing of baby seals, and how soft that seal leather would be compared to his harsh old footy boots – when he waltzed through a mark, donating Kedron 50 metres and a goal. Heart-breaking stuff. Only upside was a richer fines kitty.

The third quarter was the one that really hurt us, though. They could smell blood, and as a result the Kedron team’s confidence soared. They started playing more unpredictable footy, they had players manically switching from position to position to position, and it was generally chaotic – at least from our perspective. There was also the problem of Kedron’s Copperfield kid. One moment he’s in the centre, the next, forward pocket. You look up and he’s gone. You look back and he’s on the other side of the ground. Perhaps he had an identical twin who kept running out of the bushes near goal? Not a lot of bushes near goal though… Anyway, he was damaging, to say the least. Backs like Bort and Ben, who both played very strong, committed and disciplined games, held things together admirably, but by the time we dropped an extra man back there – mostly stopping their run – the damage had been done.

Fourth quarter was a tough one. Fitness overall was less than acceptable – none of us, apart from Cam Scott who ran and gave his all the whole day, we’re quite up to scratch. That hurt us more than normal because of the carnage strewn across our benches. Chadd ‘McLovin’ Friend, rumoured to be made of twisties, glass and sticky-tape, but certainly showing plenty of toughness, ended up in an ambulance with a broken wrist. Unbreakable Mitch Gregory copped a gash to the chin and a trip to a lady with a sewing kit. Kent – one of the most solid backs you could ever wish for – was out with dodgy ribs. Big Tom, who showed some great signs of poise and presence early, was out with a shoulder injury.

They’re the excuses, but thankfully I can save them for another week, as the fourth quarter was fought out to the last. Marty Saunders, who played another good game, dropped into the backline with Cupcake to help stop the Bermuda effect (‘they just disappeared off the radar… and now here they are, amazing’). With that plugged, the rest of the game was fought out pretty evenly. Again, Uni have trouble converting opportunities, but Mum would have been proud.

2.1 to 3.1
2.3 to 7.4
2.3 to 13.12
2.8.20 to 16.13.109

Goals: Matt Chee 1, Jason Hope 1

Best Players: Martin Saunders, Ben Nilsen, Patrick Hammond, Avan Stallard, Bort Edwards, Alex Foulstone


  1. johnharms says

    Avan, so nothing has changed in 29 years. In thosae days it was South Brisbane who had triplets (it seemed) playing. Thanks for a terrific report. JTH

  2. Awesome Salad, I am sure the boys will bring it togther.. Timmy

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