Team Manager – JOE DONNOLI & DE PELLEGRIN
Assistants – JOHN RYAN
After a frustrating, stop-start year, which has seemed more like a round-robin carnival than a true season, our boys were left to lament the fact that the season had finished for them a week earlier than anyone else but the relegated Kew team.
Having beaten each of the other teams but Ashburton prior to this week, our boys went in to finish the season on a high. And at quarter-time, after a term in which players marked well, kicked strongly, scored truly and consistently found targets, it looked like the season might end well.
After the game started with a goal by Ashburton in the first minute, most of the rest of the quarter was dominated by Fitzroy. Isaac, Daniel and Ben Mac all combined to move the ball forward to David, who sent a soaring ball forward for the Roys’ first goal, closely followed by Micah bursting from the pack and sending the ball to Aidan for the team’s second.
James then marked strongly, passed beautifully to Tom Rob who quickly moved the ball to Josh, who kicked truly despite the wind’s efforts to move the ball wide. Shortly after Josh kicked to Daniel who kicked a beautiful, long kick for goal. And while Ashburton got some of the momentum back late in the quarter and capitalised with a goal before the siren, Fitzroy could claim the quarter as their own.
Ashburton started the second quarter with a quick first goal also, but Ben Mac took one of his many marks for the game, before passing to Daniel who kicked his second goal. Lewis, Oscar, Tom and Harry P all helped to keep the Roys in the game, with defensive pressure contributing to Ashburton’s wayward kicking for goal. At half-time, the scores were Ashburton 6. 9. 45 to the Roys 5 straight.
While the second half saw the larger bodies of the competition leaders come to the fore, strong tackles by Oscar, solid marking by Harrison, James and Ben C and continued running by Harry D-T and Lewis helped keep the Roys in the game. Goals by Ben C, James and Lewis saw our boys finish the season with an impressive 8 straight goals to Ashburton’s 16 12.
And while flat in the rooms afterwards, Hugh stepped forward on behalf of the boys and parents to thank Dean, John, Michael and Joe and everyone else who had given up so much of their time to get our boys on the training track and the playing field each week.
Round 13 match report vs St Marys
To say the track was heavy is an understatement. After several hours of heavy rain Whatmough Park was awash and the heavy ball and wet conditions were bound to test the Fitzroy boys who enjoy a fast, running style of football.
St Marys was out of the blocks as soon as the siren sounded and immediately took control of the game. While the Fitzroy players were unable to capitalise on scoring opportunities up forward, the opposition piled on eight goals to none in the first half to set up a straightforward victory. Fitzroy players were out marked in almost every contest and struggled to hit targets with kicks and handballs. They could not adjust to the physical style of play and gave away a number of free kicks while St Marys won the contested footy and kicked with accuracy. Hugh, Josh and Tom R were able to hold on to the ball and pass it to team mates while Aiden, Lewis, Micah and Harrison worked hard across the mid field but the team was unable to move the ball forward. Charlie, Ned and Oskar showed their usual courage and determination in the packs while Harry P and Fraser W battled shocking conditions in the puddles and mud on a very tough day for our back line players.
The Fitzroy goal drought was broken in the third quarter when Daniel kicked a clever goal, and then Oskar booted a beautiful long bomb that went through for our second goal and breathed some life into the game for a moment. Micah kicked a much-needed goal in the last quarter but when Fitzroy hit the post late in the game, the third time for the day, it summed up a sad match and we were all grateful when the final siren sounded. St Marys enjoyed a convincing 50 point win 12.7 (79) to 3.11 (29).
Match Report – Round 12
Sticking to their tradition of not singing the song until back in the rooms, the boys certainly had reason to sing it with gusto this week!
After sticking close enough to the Hawks throughout the first two quarters, the boys put in the best third quarter they have played this year. Following it up with a determined last quarter, in which everyone lifted, the boys emerged victorious by 8 points.
Lewis played a beautiful game from the outset and while well supported by Isaac, Tom R and Josh, the boys again relied on the hard work of the backline to keep them in the game during the first half. Oskar, Fraser and Harry P kept the pressure up throughout, with some fantastic tap outs and taps through by Harry P foiling several potential scoring moves.
The game started well for Fitzroy with Josh kicking a goal in the opening minute and the team keeping the Hawks to only two goals by quarter time. Despite a sore back, Ben C came into the game in the second quarter with two goals in two minutes. At half-time, the scoreboard showed the Roys down by 12 points.
An early goal by the Hawks in the third quarter could have signalled the beginning of the end for our boys, depleted badly by injury and absences (and the late arrival of Aidan!). But, some good moves forward, particularly by Daniel, saw the ball get to Ben Mac who scored a much needed goal. The team then started delivering the ball to the forward line much more effectively than they had all game and the results were three more terrific goals by Ben C, including one after the ¾ time siren.
The question was could our boys make up the 8 point deficit in the last quarter for a win? Parents and supporters almost couldn’t bear to watch. But each player rallied and the ball was continually smothered, tapped away and picked up and moved forward. Aidan, Tom S, Hugh, Ned, Anthony all played strongly and Daniel celebrated his birthday with two fabulous goals in the last quarter. Martin’s continued pressure up front was rewarded with a goal and then Lewis capped off a great game by sending a torpedo forward that bounced all the way through for the team’s 11th goal.
The final score was Roys 11 3 69 to Boroondara Hawks 9 7 61.
Well done everyone, particular Dean and John (who unfortunately missed it due to illness!).
Round 11 Match Report vs. Kew Rovers
With only one on the bench and a couple of our players suffering winter colds and flu, it was an undermanned Fitzroy team that traveled to Stradbroke Park to play Kew Rovers. It was bound to be a tough assignment.
Kew Rovers got busy straight away and scored a couple of early goals despite defensive pressure by Isaac and Fraser W and a strong mark by Martin right on the back line. Harrison and James were reliable at half forward, taking some beautiful marks and moving the ball forward. Effort from the Fitzroy players was eventually rewarded when Ben C received a perfect tap from Hugh after a boundary throw in and kicked a goal, then Hugh quickly followed up with a lovely long goal from a free kick. At quarter time Fitzroy was 14 points down and appeared to be still in the game.
During the second quarter Kew Rovers started to dominate, playing well as a team, winning the contested footy and holding marks. Aiden, James and Lewis read the play well and showed courage trying to keep possession while Ned, Tom and Anthony were tenacious chasing down opponents. Ben Mac was able to score a much-needed goal after marking a well directed kick then Isaac received the ball from Ben C, kicked a goal and kept the match alive for Fitzroy.
Unfortunately the third quarter was played completely on Kew Rovers’ terms as the Fitzroy boys started to run out of legs. The backline really struggled to contain the Kew Rovers forwards. Some subtle position changes with Harry P and Martin rotating at full back seemed to provide some run in the Fitzroy defensive zone but Kew Rovers kicked long high goals well out of reach of the Fitzroy defenders and set up a commanding lead. Oskar, Josh and Ned applied physical pressure in the packs but Kew Rovers really controlled the play. Fitzroy struggled to score for most of the quarter. Tom hand balled to Lewis who kicked a goal but it was a six goal to one quarter with the opposition absolutely in charge of the game.
Nearly all the Kew Rovers players played the final quarter of the game forward of centre. They crowded their forward line making life very tough for the Fitzroy defense. Isaac, James and Harry D-T each added goals to the Fitzroy score but our boys were outplayed and at the end of the match Kew Rovers had notched up an impressive win 19.11 (125) to 8.4 (52).
Match Report – Fitzroy v Ashburton
For the players who remembered well the drubbing the Roys U13s suffered at the top Ashburton ground two years ago, this week was not a game to be looked forward to with any joy.
And, unfortunately, history repeated itself with depressing familiarity – but even more cruelly when the team lost Riley early on with a suspected broken collarbone.
Going down by 12 goals, the Roys played an Ashburton team which was simply too good. The comp leaders, even if depleted by some absences, played strong, attacking footy throughout on a ground they obviously know so well. Over and over again, the Ashburton players surged forward, finding team mates in space whose only aim was to keep moving the ball to –and through – the goals.
Many of the Roys players battled on and some played well in patches, but overall the team’s effort was disappointing – something they were all given the opportunity to reflect on in a longer-than-normal team session in the rooms afterwards.
Daniel kicked three of the team’s goals, including a lovely snap from a ball delivered well by Lachy and a fabulous effort off the ground. James marked beautifully in the first quarter for the team’s first goal and Ned, Aiden and Ben Mac kicked truly for a goal each.
Let’s hope the bye gives the boys a chance to recapture some of their winning spirit.
Round 8 match report vs St Marys
A wonderful milestone was acknowledged before the start of play with Riley, Ben Mac, Daniel and Frazer Kinens running through a banner to celebrate 100 games. Congratulations!
It was obvious that the weather would be a big factor in this match. A howling wind blowing down the ground would make it difficult to kick with accuracy. The eastern goals proved to be the scoring end. Only one goal was kicked against the breeze for the whole game.
Fitzroy started strongly in a hard, physical game. Early action was on both wings and Oskar, Riley and Lewis played good defensive footy in the back pockets when St Marys got the ball close to their goal square. Micah and Ben C ran hard through the mid field and Hugh protected his team mates with some valuable shepherding. The first goal of the match was the result of impressive teamwork as Ben C tapped the ball to Daniel who kicked off the ground. Then Aiden kicked a beautiful goal on the run, moments before he was involved in a nasty collision resulting in him leaving the ground and heading off to hospital with a gash on his forehead. In tough conditions, James took a beautiful mark and goaled before St Marys defied the odds and kicked a goal into the wind.
Fitzroy took an 11 point lead into the first break but then struggled to move the ball forward as the second quarter developed into a scrappy affair resembling rugby more than football. The ball was fought over in big packs and Fitzroy failed to add to its score while St Marys kicked three quick goals to be 11 points up at half time.
The second half started with Fitzroy needing to take full advantage of the wind. Our boys had plenty of the ball up forward this quarter. Harry D-T, Ben Mac and James chased hard, David and Lewis were terrific and Josh landed tackles and kicked straight. The intensity of effort was exemplified in a wonderful Micah tackle that brought his opponent to the ground and earned Micah a free kick, and a desperate smother by Hugh. Daniel kicked three goals and gave Fitzroy a narrow lead of six points to set up a tense final quarter. The Fitzroy players had a tough job defending their lead as St Marys booted long from half forward towards goal, aided by the wind, and flooded their back line so the Fitzroy forwards could hardly get a hand to the ball. St Marys piled on another three goals and in the end had a comfortable win 7.14 (56) to 6.4 (40).
Match Report – Round 7
Having been held goalless to half-time by the Boorondara Hawks in our first encounter for the 2011 season, it was a pleasure to see our boys kick three lovely goals in the first quarter to go into the first break a goal down. Charlie set the ball rolling after our first foray down the western flank saw the ball moved forward by Ben Mac, over the mud to Ned and then to Charlie.
Ned then contributed to the second goal by getting it out of the centre to Daniel who kicked to a diving Harrison who marked beautifully on the goal line and then kicked truly. And in one of the best displays of skill this year, Ben C gathered the ball from the mud and drove the ball forward for a masterly goal. Throughout the quarter Ned was superb in ruck, ably assisted by Josh, Dan Riley and Isaac.
And while we didn’t add to our major scores in the second half, there were some brilliant marks in defence by Isaac, Riley and Fraser to prevent Boorondara kicking more than one goal for the term. And lots of passages of play which saw Fitzroy move the ball forward. Anthony passed to Charlie who was unlucky not to add to his goal tally at that stage. Later in the quarter Tom R took the best Fitzroy mark for the season when he hung back with the flight of the ball.
Hugh stopped the first of the Hawks’ forward moves in the third quarter and Harrison followed his earlier goal with another much needed six pointer. Fraser took a great mark in the goal square to prevent another major score by the opposition and Ben Mac stayed free on the wing to take four marks for the quarter before moving the ball forward each time.
As has been the pattern for much of this year, the Roys played a superb last quarter, dominated by the determination by Lewis who burst from the pack over and over again. Daniel, Josh, Isaac and Lewis all contributed to getting the ball to Ben C who was able to kick off the ground for a great goal. He then followed up with another goal later from a free kick.
So, Round 7 saw a much more determined, skilful and effective team than played the Hawks in Round Two. Well done boys.
Match Report Round 6
Our round six clash against Kew Rovers started well with Harry P, Ben C and Harrison breaking through a fabulous banner to celebrate their 100th games played with the Roys.
And, apart from a period in the third quarter when Kew Rovers rallied, the celebrations continued right through the game until our boys were able to sing a rousing version of the Club song in the rooms afterwards!
The game started with a goal to Ben C in the first minutes and plenty of movement to our forward line. And while Kew scored soon after, Harry P twice repelled other moves forward and then David moved the ball beautifully out of defence to Riley, who kicked to Ben Mac on the wing. Ben moved it to Ned who skilfully passed it to Micah to bring up the Roys second goal in the first five minutes. Parents watching asked if they dare hope for a good result. A goal to James right on the siren saw Fitzroy go into the first break with a handy lead.
Little did spectators know at that stage that the Roys would play their best quarter for the year in the second term, to lead 9. 3.57. to Kew Rovers 2. 2. 14. at half-time.
Kew started the quarter well, with their second goal in the first minute, but the rest of the quarter belonged to us. Ben Mac marked and passed to Daniel who goaled, before then passing the ball to James a minute later for James’ second. After some desperate play in packs, Aiden showed off all his skills with a snap which resulted in a great goal, before taking a courageous mark shortly after and passing truly to Ben C for his second of the day.
Throughout the quarter, Ned and Hugh were herculean in the ruck and in moving the ball forward, with Hugh scoring after a great pass by Harry D-T. Ample support was provided by Josh, Lewis, Riley, Isaac and Tom R who played the second half with his head bandaged after a heavy second quarter knock. Tom S was unlucky not to feature in the goal kicking after some great shots for goal kept up the Roys’ momentum.
After a beautiful mark by Riley led to another terrific goal by Daniel early in the third quarter, the Roys lost their momentum and confidence and let Kew Rovers back into the game. Two quick goals were scored by the Kew team and these were followed by another two, before the Roys steadied somewhat in the last part of the quarter. Against much bigger opponents, Anthony and Fraser defended valiantly. The margin at the last break had been whittled down to 25 points.
The last quarter saw the Roys lift again with some great marks on the goal line by Riley and Fraser to stop Kew Rovers moving closer. Charlie came into his own and goaled, after a well-deserved free kick. Hugh and Ned’s rucking was again finding targets and Lewis stormed through packs to get the ball out of the centre. Harrison made the ball his own with a fabulous grab before goaling and Hugh moved the ball to Ben Mac who steadied before kicking the Roys’ 13th for the game. Some lovely marking by David in the dying minutes kept Kew from scoring again. Well done Roys!
Round 5 match report vs Kew
Our team has suffered some heartbreaking defeats at Victoria Park Lower during the last few seasons, but this week saw the Roy Boys enjoy an emphatic win against Kew. The onlydownside was seeing poor Rory dislocate his shoulder early in the game. Rory, we’re all thinking of you and sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
The game started with the ball in Kew’s forward line for a moment while the boys were finding their feet on the muddy ground, then the Fitzroy goal kicking party began. Hugh scored from a free kick, James received a beautiful pass from Ben Mc and kicked truly, Josh ran into an open goal, Ben C kicked a skilful goal around his body and Daniel booted an accurate long bomb after marking a centering kick from James. All these goals were the result of superb teamwork. Riley pushed the ball forward from half back, Ned tackled with strength and Micah created opportunities with excellent marking and direct kicking. David and Harry P were reliable in defence, allowing only one behind to be kicked by Kew while Fitzroy established a comfortable lead of 34 points by quarter time.
Of course, everyone was keen to get on the scoreboard. So much so that at the break, Dean urged his players to avoid flooding and give the forwards a chance to go one on one with their opponents. Worthwhile advice, but tough to comply with. Kew flooded their defence for the rest of the game, to the point where at times it was difficult to see what was going on in the goal square and who our goal scorers were. So, apologies for any mistakes in this match report. We believe that Daniel kicked three goals in the second quarter, one off the ground and a couple from set shots having been delivered the ball by team mates James and Harry D-T. James marked a great kick from Isaac and played on to kick a quick goal, then Ben Mac and Charlie combined in a lovely passage of play resulting in a long goal by Charlie. Meanwhile Oskar, T Rob, Frazer K and Harrison toughed it out in the back pockets and Micah applied pressure all over the ground. Fitzroy took a nine goal lead into the third quarter 10.8 (68) to 1.1 (7)
After half time, there was no stopping the Fitzroy boys. Early in the third term, Harry D-T kicked off the ground for his first goal and James, Daniel and Charlie added to their tallies. Ben Mac was always exactly where he needed to be (usually running down the wing) ready to tap the ball on to his team mates and Josh was sending the ball forward with direct kicks while Aiden was flying high and winning the contests. Micah was all over the ground, grabbing the ball and running forward while Anthony stuck like glue to his opponent, denying him any possessions.
The last quarter saw Isaac score a goal from a well-earned free kick and Harry D-T showed all his skills, kicking three majors. James took an amazing contested mark in a huge pack in the goal square then goaled and Fraser W delighted everyone with the last goal of the match. The back line had a relatively quiet day and Fitzroy secured a satisfying win 21.20 (146) to 2.2 (14), although Harry P was very upset to let a goal through in the last quarter.
Our congratulations to Isaac, who has been selected in Division 1 U14 Yarra Squad.
Match Report – Round 4
It was a sign of just how much our Roy boys are loved by their mothers when so many were there to cheer them on this week in such awful weather, instead of being tucked up at a nice Mother’s Day lunch somewhere!
And for the first half our boys gave supporters plenty of reason to cheer, keeping Ashburton tightly held and setting up some lovely passages down the ground to goal.
The first half was dominated by the efforts of Lewis in both defence and the middle, the indefatigable Harry P, Riley, Tom and Fraser in defence and Ben Mc and Daniel on the wings. Ned, Hugh, Charlie and Ben C gave their all throughout, ably supported by Anthony, Harry D-T, David, Harrison and Josh.
Aidan, James and Harry D-T scored three lovely goals following passages of play which saw the Roys move the ball effectively from one end of the other. Unfortunately we didn’t get too much of a chance to enjoy Micah’s usual brilliant bursts out with the ball after a head high collision with Ned in the second half left them both bloodied.
And while the margin was only three goals at half-time, Ashburton hit their straps after the long break , with our boys having no reply to their speed, determination to move the ball forward and their bigger bodies. Rory took some lovely marks in the last quarter and Oskar threw his body in whenever called on.
Round 3 match report vs St Marys
Our matches against St Marys are always close, tense and, at times, emotional. This game was no exception. It was a tight tussle all day and late in the final quarter, when Fitzroy looked to have it “in the bag” with a comfortable lead, St Mary’s posted a couple of quick goals then a behind to bring the margin back to one straight goal. It was a nail biting finish.
The game started with a lot of action on the wing. Lewis was flying high and applying physical pressure but St Marys were out of the blocks early and scored the first goal of the day. Fitzroy then hit back with Ben C running hard through the centre and Ned taking a great mark and passing off to Daniel who goaled. James impressed our supporters, taking a mark right in front of goal and kicking straight to give Fitzroy a six point lead. Across half forward, Harrison, Lachie, Hugh, Josh and Ned all worked hard trying to conjure scoring opportunities without due reward, but at the defensive end of the ground, Riley, Harry P and Ben Mc collaborated to win the ball and frustrate their opponents so Fitzroy managed to hold the lead until late in the second quarter when St Marys kicked two quick goals to take a 4 point lead at the long break.
During the second half, Fitzroy looked determined to take control of the game. The intensity lifted with Micah crashing through the packs and great second efforts by Anthony, Rory and Frazer K holding up the opposition’s play. Lewis and Ben Mc combined to deliver the ball to James who marked and goaled, then Hugh dribbled the ball through the goal posts in true Buddy Franklin style and Fitzroy looked on top of the game. The next goal showed excellent use of the centre corridor; Harry P kicked in from full back to Charlie who bombed it long to the forward line where James added to his tally. Following a massive scramble in the goal square, Hugh goaled from a free kick before St Marys was able to steady with a couple of goals. Then Riley took a magnificent overhead contested mark and set up a very handy goal by Ben C just before the three quarter time siren.
At the break Dean urged his players to maintain intensity. His instructions were followed with desperate tackling at half back by Isaak, Tom and Fraser W. Both Bens kicked goals, Ben C capitalising on swift transfer of the ball from the back line and Ben Mc kicking a beautiful long goal after a skilful centering pass from Daniel. Fitzroy looked to be home. But the last few minutes were truly nerve-racking when St Marys closed the gap to six points. The siren couldn’t come quickly enough, but when it did the Fitzroy boys had secured their first win of the season, 9.7 (61) to 8.7 (55). We all hope Oskar has recovered after hitting his head early in the match and will be fit to play next week.
Match Report Rd 2
Returning to our home ground wasn’t quite as welcoming as we would have liked, with the team in the very odd position of being goalless at half-time. But, luckily, it proved a game of two halves with our boys looking like they might even snatch a late victory.
In the first half, the Boroondara Hawks dominated the play with their boys first to the ball and marking strongly. While our boys chased valiantly, they were let down by too many spilled marks, which, if held, would have provided much needed momentum.
Throughout the first half, the Hawks ability to score goals was consistently well held by the hard work of the tireless Harry P, Oskar, Harrison and Tom Robinson. Our big men, Ned and Hugh, worked hard across the ground and Charlie, Micah and Harry-DT made the most of their opportunities. As usual, Ben Mac enjoyed running the length of the ground. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to follow up a great mark in front of goal with the team’s first major score.
The Roys ran out strongly from the beginning of the first half and the ball was moved forward beautifully along the grandstand wing by Riley, Harrison, Charlie and Daniel. Ben C held his ground in several marking contests but it took until midway through the third quarter for the team’s first two goals to be kicked by Aidan. Daniel and Rory battled strongly in the Roys forward line and the Roys were pumped going into the last quarter with the wind.
As with the previous game, the team played a strong last quarter with Charlie setting the scene with an early mark. Ben Mac landed a crunching tackle which helped move the ball forward to Ben C whose efforts were finally rewarded with a goal. The Hawks’ first foray forward in the last quarter saw a brilliant smother by Harrison and Oskar followed up by driving the ball through the centre to Riley and Daniel who both helped get it to James for goal. Unfortunately the Hawks were able to steady and kick away again for an ultimate win 9.14.68 to 4.8.40.
Round 1 Match Report vs Kew Rovers
We began the 2011 season playing Kew Rovers, the reigning premiers, expecting a tough game of footy and it was. The first quarter was a wonderful display of courage and grit with both teams desperate for the ball, making scoring shots hard to come by. Isaac, Riley and Oskar worked hard at half back while Ben C found plenty of space on the far wing to help keep the ball moving forward. Lewis had all his fine skills on show, taking some amazing marks and crashing through packs to deliver the ball to his team mates. Ned kicked Fitzroy’s first goal of the season and Kew Rovers were held to a single goal for the quarter by some frantic work at full back by the Fitzroy defence players. At quarter time the scoreboard reflected a tight contest with Kew Rovers 1.2 (8) to Fitzroy 1.1 (7).
Unfortunately Kew Rovers established a match winning lead in the second quarter, moving the ball with ease off half back into their forward fifty. Despite the best efforts of our defending players, Kew Rovers scored two goals early in the quarter before Lewis took a strong mark, starting a passage of play that resulted in Micah getting Fitzroy’s second goal of the day. Another three goals were added to the Kew Rovers tally before the siren, and the half time score was 6.3 (39) to 2.2 (14).
The third quarter was played in light drizzle and Kew Rovers immediately applied more pressure with an early goal. However, the Fitzroy boys were able to respond with some hard footy. After an intense scramble in the midfield Daniel kicked a well-needed goal while deep in the back line Harry P and Riley supported each other, with help from Harrison, to hold Kew Rovers to just two goals for the quarter. The three quarter time score was 8.5 (53) to 3.4 (22).
A highlight of the final quarter was a brilliant tackle by Oskar on one of the opposition star players. It resulted in a goal to Josh and a boost of confidence to the team. James found himself at half back where he provided some height and Fraser and David battled hard across the back line to limit scoring opportunities. Unfortunately though, Fitzroy was unable to reduce the lead the Kew Rovers set up in the second quarter and were eventually defeated by 34 points, 9.10 (64) to 4.6.(30).