Gryphs upstage top of the table
- Opponent: West Brunswick
- Match Result: Win
- Played at: Away
Q1 Q2 Q3 Final Score Us 1.3 4.5 8.9 10.12.72 Them 2.1 3.2 5.3 09.03.57
The sun was shining on a brilliant July day at ECR. We settled in to take on the top of the table West Brunswick who were going into the match with only 1 loss for the season. Whilst we lost a few players from the previous match the Gryphs went into the game with a quality outfit.
The West Brunswick outfit looked a little different to the side we played 5 weeks prior. The usual cluster of tall backs, big bodies midfielders and healthy bench players was missing. The start could not have been better a centre clearance had the ball deep inside our forward 50 and our hardness at the footy was evident straight away as Patty Lithgow laid a hard, but fair, bump onto their full back. The result was a stop in play, a stretcher and later an ambulance. Whilst unfortunate and you never want to see any player severely injured, it set the tone for the rest of the day. Whilst they were undermanned they still sat ontop of the ladder and still had a large amount of quality on their side, they went into quarter time with a 4 point advantage.
The second term saw the Gryph’s begin to get some better quality disposals inside forward 50, Pryde was getting his hands on the footy and big Scotty was providing his midfield with first use. The backline was solid as a rock and didn’t let anything through. Entwistle was winning every one on one contest that came his way, at stages he was winning one on threes. The quarter ended with a solid mark from Bongo and resulting goal, however this was quickly followed by him walking towards with bench with an injured hamstring. We went into half time with a 9 point lead but had just lost our key full forward.
The game was there for the taking, you could feel that WB were off their game and we were confident that they would tire in the second half as they were not used to having a limited bench. The third quarter was one of the best I’ve seen at this level, as everyone played their part. Scotty again dominated the ruck, Massis was running with ball in hand, Rob Fletcher was getting his hands on the ball and providing countless quality opportunities and the backs were gelling like they had been playing together for a decade. But the quarter below to Jim Gonis who turned back the clock with some strong marking and penetrating kicking at goal. He finished the quarter with 3 of the teams 4 goals.
The game was not over. Yet. We were playing the top side who knew how to win, they had only lost 1 game for the year and looked determined to not add to that tally. Slowly the opposition etched away at the lead, we needed a settler. In walked Dylan Enwistle. With the advantage of a couple of 25 meter penalties he slotted a goal from 25 out and just about put the icing on. The last 5 minutes was like watching seasoned professionals ice the clock. We hung the boundary, the backs arranged each other and the midfielders put pressure on every opposition kick. A great way to finish a strong determined win. A win that effectively puts us into the first week of the finals.
Bring on UHS-VU next week at the Zoo.