The 2017 Grand Final will be played at Casey next Saturday when the boys take on Caulfield Grammarians. Unfortunately, the U/19s were beaten by Old Ivanhoe in their Grand Final. Both teams have had brilliant years, with a good team spirit ensuring finals action. For more about the U/19s match at Box Hill.
A pleasant Sunday morning greeted the Bloods’s fans as they dusted their passports for the journey to Box Hill. It was typical finals conditions – a little heavy underfoot but perfect sunny conditions otherwise. After a very solid victory over Marcellin in the Prelim, the boys were up and about. And it was a good start. Ollie Sharp and Will Paul were proving effective in the middle and after 10 minutes of play Spencer Ward snapped truly to give the Bloods the early advantage. Ivanhoe soon replied however which was slightly against the run of play. The boys appeared to be doing all the attacking but weren’t being totally rewarded. It was a good free flowing game with both teams attacking the ball with gusto. Another goal from Sam Hall Kahan gave us a bit of breathing space and while the lead could have been greater, it was good to have the nose in front.
The second quarter proved decisive. Roles were reversed and Ivanhoe appeared to be making all the running. They kicked two early goals before Jack McHale scored a major to keep the game tight. Riley Thompson and Joel Constable were leading a defence that was being tested. Ivanhoe were making better use of their chances and ended up kicking six goals for the quarter, including one on the bell of half time.
An arm wrestle ensued for the first five minutes of the third quarter and despite numerous forays into attack it was proving difficult to get the goals on the board. Lyndon Montgomery, wearing the famous No. 15 was getting more of the ball and providing some drive off half back as was Raynor Seccull. But once again Ivanhoe were taking their opportunities and their strength overhead was proving decisive. We were only able to add the one major for the quarter through Jack McHale and faced a 37 point deficit at the last break after Ivanhoe kicked another goal right on the siren.
The boys threw caution to the wind and attempted to run on at all costs. Led by Spencer Ward and Will Paul, there were some positive passages of play. But it was to prove too hard a challenge and Ivanhoe were able to get some goals in the second half of the quarter. They proved to be too good on the day.
Best for the Bloods was Spencer Ward, capping off a great season. Indeed all the team and support staff can be pleased with their efforts over the course of the year. While not winning the flag, the boys played all year with the right spirit and approach to the game. There were gams during the year when they took to the field with the bare minimum so it was a great effort to even reach the finals.
It wasn’t to be our day, but the season for the U/19s can be considered a success.
Best Players: S. Ward, W. Paul, R. Thompson, J. Constable, S. Hall-Kahan, J. McHale