U14 – 1 – 2011

button Round 15 – Sunday 7th August 10.00am for 11.00am game

St Marys B  v Fitzroy 1
AK Line Reserve, Grimshaw St Bundoora
Melway ref 20 F2

This is an away game so WHITE SHORTS
Jobs for this week
Boundary Umpire     Steven Richardson
Goal Umpire     Michael Burke
Trainer 1     Tim Darby (First Aid)
Trainer 2     Harry J
Timekeeper     Oliver family
Oranges & Snakes   Ryan family

Coach   Andy Roberts
Asst Coach  Craig Mitchell
Runner  Tony Curran
Team manager  Celia Dowzer
Match report  Ulrik John
Webmaster  Paul Beaumont

button Round 14 – Sunday 31th July 10.30am for 11.30am game

Park Orchards 3.2       5.5       9.12     11.12   78

Fitzroy 1.0       2.1       3.1       6.5       41

For the sixth time in two seasons the U14-1s locked horns with Park Orchards, this time at Stinton’s Reserve. Although it was mild and sunny with a northerly wind blowing, many parts of the ground were a veritable glue pot.

Fitzroy were kicking against the breeze in the first. After an early behind to Park Orchards Robbie won possession in the back pocket and the ball was conveyed from coast to coast through Michael, Aidan, Andrej, and Dan to Lucien who kicked truly. But then the Fitzroy defense came under sustained pressure and despite their best efforts Park Orchards snapped a bouncing goal. Park Orchards added a behind, and then a goal when the Fitzroy defense failed to clear. Aiden made a contest and followed up with second and third efforts, and Noah ran down and corralled his opponent over the boundary. Declan relieved Harris in the ruck. Despite the defensive efforts of Eddie, Ben, Will and Adam Park Orchards added a behind, and an opportunist goal. The ball was in the Fitzroy hot spot when the siren sounded.

With a 2 to 3 goal breeze, and a newly shod George at full forward Fitzroy had reason for optimism at quarter time. It was highly competitive early in the second with bodies going in hard. This along with the conditions underfoot may have explained the number of attempted kicks off the ground, but the umpire was having none of it and awarded a string of free kicks against Fitzroy for kicking in danger. The game remained evenly poised with 2 behinds to Park Orchards before they slotted a goal. A promising entry to the hot spot from a pick up by Michael and assist by Declan hit the post. Adam became the fourth player used in the ruck. Park Orchards were showing good vision in switching play to create loose players and an open path to goal, which delivered a major. But from the bounce Adam and Gus combined in a one-two to kick to Noah whose pass forward was won in a contest by Gus, who had drifted down the ground, and kicked truly. Other notable contributions came from Aidan with 2nd and 3rd efforts, good spoils by Andrej and Declan, and a diving mark into the mud by Max M.

Early in the third Max B was yellow carded for back chat, that gifted Park Orchards a goal. Despite strong marks by Michael, Aidan, and Noah Park Orchards added another two to effectively put the game beyond Fitzroy’s reach. Fitzroy clawed one back from the efforts of Declan who both rucked and roved at the centre bounce, then through Aidan and Dan, who finished off. Unfortunately a handball under pressure resulted in a turn over and a further goal to Park Orchards.

Andy asked the boys to play for their pride in the last, and to win the quarter. The quarter started with Adam back in the ruck, and a scrambled goal to Park Orchards. Fitzroy hit back when Andrej won possession, hand balled to Aidan running past, who kicked to Gus, whose hand pass to Lucien was threaded from an angle. Despite Charles’ efforts on the ball with a mark, and constantly providing a contest Park Orchards added another. Lucien laid a good tackle and recovered the ball when it was spilled, Noah took a strong mark, and Gus’s snap on goal was off line. Max B redeemed himself with a long bomb goal, and Mike produced the comic event of the day when in running into the forward line pulled off a “dead cat” bounce. Aidan, Gus, and Lucien conveyed to Mike whose shot was off line, as was Gus’s through Robbie and Noah. Aidan produced a great smother before Andrej marked and kicked to Michael who marked and converted. The game finished with Michael and Noah in aerial superiority and a further behind.

Next week we face the divinely favoured St Mary’s for the third time this season, knowing that a victory will guarantee that we stay up. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 13 – Sunday 24th July 10am for 11am game

Fitzroy 0.1       1.2       2.3       2.6       18

Beverley Hills 3.4       7.5       9.6       9.12     66

The U14-1s faced up to the toughest assignment in Gold division, Beverley Hills. There was light but persistent rain at Peterson Oval, that made the playing surface very soft. There could be no gripes about who was on the bench because there was wasn’t one.

It was like days of yore with Chas back in the ruck, as Harris was under the weather. An early entry to the goal square by Gus was smothered by Beverley Hills, then swiftly conveyed to the other end for a goal. A quick break from the centre gave Beverley Hills another goal to the ominous and omnipresent no 16. Michael made the clearance from centre and passed to Gus, who marked and played on with a long kick that bounced through for a behind. Aidan placed a great tackle on no 16 and was awarded a free kick and 15 metre penalty, and not long after won another free kick. However Fitzroy were having a hard time advancing the ball beyond centre. Charles put in second and third efforts on the wing to maintain possession, but Beverley Hills were able to add another major.

Harris had a short stint in the ruck early in the second. Max M, Michael and Robbie contested strongly, and Charles effected a good smother, and then followed up with a second effort. Determined defense by Liam, Declan, and Robbie limited Beverley Hills to a behind, but then in a period of 5 minutes Beverley Hills piled on 4 unanswered goals, including 2 consecutive ones to no 16. Robbie laid a good tackle, and Michael was in the thick of it with three kicks to the hot spot, one of which was touched. Finally Chas tapped to Max M, who under pressure handballed over his head to a grateful Aidan, whose kick to Harris was dropped, and then recovered for a goal.

Harris again had a short run in the ruck at the commencement of the third. Liam, Charles, and George did well to convey the ball out of defense, and when the ball was rebounded in, desperate defense by Lucien conceded a rushed behind. Aidan and Michael combined well in the midfield, and from a free kick Charles kicked to the pocket where Daniel was awarded a free, and in familiar fashion ran around the mark, but his shot on goal was touched. Dan again was awarded a free kick for a good tackle, but his kick to the hot spot went without reward. Despite determined defense Beverley Hills hit back with two goals in rapid succession. Considering the conditions George made a skilled pick up and kicked to centre half forward where Aidan was awarded a free kick and delivered to the hot spot. Fitzroy locked it in for two ball ups from whence Chas kicked to Michael who snapped truly.

With Harris off Beverley Hills generously provided a player in the last. It was symptomatic of the way that the energy had gone out of the game. Beverley Hills had six off line shots on goal in the quarter, and Fitzroy three. Much of Beverley Hills inaccuracy was down to determined defense, with Robbie, Adam, Liam, Charles and George asserting themselves. The most notable event in the quarter came when the player provided by Beverley Hills dropped an uncontested chest mark, and then made the only attempt all day to bounce the ball, predictably unsuccessful.

Next in our quest to remain in Gold we line up against familiar adversaries Park Orchards at the topographically challenging Stinton’s Reserve. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 12 – Sunday 17th July 2.00pm for 3.00pm game

Ashburton 2.5       3.8       5.12     7.14     56

Fitzroy 2.2       7.3       8.5       8.10     58

The under 14 Gold’s traveled to Burwood Reserve where they had welcomed Ashburton to the YJFL two years ago. Both sides were clearly affected by the school holidays with slim, or non-existent benches.

Max M won the toss and elected to kick to the slightly favoured southern end. Early on the ball was camped in the Ashburton attacking zone, but Will repelled an entry with a mark on the last line, running with the flight of the ball. Michael made a hard ball get, and won a free kick and a 15 metre penalty. Fitzroy added a rushed behind but Ashburton set up loose players and quickly responded with a goal. Michael made three touches in the pack before winning possession and kicking long for a goal. Declan as ruck-rover combined well with Harris to deliver to Dan, and then to Aidan, whose shot was off line, but then Declan and Harris combined again from where Declan kicked long and true. It was not going all Fitzroy’s way, with Robbie, Will, Liam and George forced into desperate defense, but Ashburton’s next five shots on goal yielded only one goal.

Ashburton started the second quarter as they had ended the first with consistent forward pressure to yield a goal and a behind. But then the momentum shifted Fitzroy’s way. Ashburton preferred to move the ball through the air but when the ball was in dispute at ground level Fitzroy were prevailing. Harris was dominant in the ruck, and Michael, Gus and Max M. were delivering to the hot spot. A mark and shot on goal by Dan, from assists from Charles and George, was touched. A mark by Gus was relayed through Max M and Aidan to Will who marked and goaled. From a centre clearance by Harris, Gus and Charles, Dan won a free kick for a tackle in the pocket, and ran around the mark to thread a goal. Fitzroy were applying great pressure. In one passage from a kick out by Fitzroy the ball was propelled to centre half forward, but for most of the time was in the possession of Ashburton, as they were consistently forced to spill the ball or handball backwards. George marked from a free kick to Charles and added Fitzroy’s fourth for the quarter. Good work was being done in defense to rush a behind, and by Max B with a kick off the ground, and with a mark with 15 metre penalty. Ben rounded out the quarter with another major from a free.

In the first two minutes of the third quarter Fitzroy scored what was to be their last of the match when Aidan’s forward entry was rebounded to Michael who kicked truly from an angle. Fitzroy were still winning plenty of contested possession through Poseidon, Robbie, Gus and Declan but Ashburton were starting to find a clearer path to goal. Luckily they continued to be off target with 2 goals from 6 shots, due to pressure applied by the likes of Liam, Robbie, Max M, and Max B. The margin at the last change was, for Ashburton, an extremely gettable 11 points.

A spent Harris was relieved by Declan in the ruck, and moved to the forward line. From the ante the Fitzroy defense was under siege, but Robbie, Michael, Declan, Charles and Max B blunted the assault until Ashburton scored a goal from a free kick. A series of fine marks to Gus, Robbie, Dan, Gus, and Michael went unrewarded. The margin was further reduced with an off line shot, and a good strategic punch through by Harris at a ball up in the goal square, before Ashburton went 3 points clear with a goal. Alarming times! However that was to be last score by Ashburton. Aidan was awarded a free kick for a tackle, kicked to Harris, who marked and registered a behind. From the kick in Michael won a free kick but his shot on goal was touched. Then from deep in defense the ball was conveyed by Robbie, Aidan, and Poseidon, to Andrej whose kick hit the post and tied up the score. An ominous forward entry by Ashburton was repelled by Max B with a clearing kick and then a mark. Declan laid a good tackle, and then followed on to win possession. The impasse was finally broken with a behind to Aidan, from the upfield efforts of Will, Michael and George. Fitzroy completed their unbroken chain of 5 behinds to wrest the lead when Gus’s shot on goal hit the post just before the siren.

Congratulations to Craig on his maiden coaching victory. N  ext week the boys face a far more demanding assignment, Beverley Hills at Brunswick St. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 11 – Sunday 3rd July 12 am for 1pm game

Glen Iris 4.3   9.5    11.8    14.8     92
Fitzroy 2.2   4.2     5.3       7.3     45

After a stirring victory against Greythorn that bolstered Fitzroy’s legitimacy as contenders in Gold it was back to reality against divisional heavy weights Glen Iris. Injuries, sickness and school holidays had taken their toll, and left Fitzroy with only one on the bench, welcoming Max H and Gabe from the Blues, and with Michael as acting captain.

Fitzroy were kicking against the wind in the first, and Glen Iris used the advantage to score a goal and two behinds early. Charles, Michael and Aidan combined to force a rushed behind. Then from the kick in Aidan gained possession and fired the ball back in where Noah goaled. Glen Iris responded with a goal from a set shot, but Fitzroy hit back with a goal to George from a mark, with assists from Ben, Gus, and Michael. At this point Harris was forced from the ground, and Declan was swung into the ruck. Despite the efforts of Michael, Liam, Max B and Aidan in defense Glen Iris added another. Max B went to the bench to leave Fitzroy a man down. Declan had taken his game to a new level in the ruck, including a great run down and tackle, and Lucien used a handball and pick up to win possession on the wing and propel the ball forward. Despite a goal to Glen Iris after the siren Fitzroy had more than broken even into the wind.

However in the second the level of attrition, and a drop in the wind conspired against the boy’s chances. At times Fitzroy had only 15 on the field, as Glen Iris’ big number 20 ran rampant, and they added 5 goals. At one point with Declan off for the blood rule, Aidan contested the centre bounce. The boys continued to present and there were many bright spots. Declan marked and slotted a goal from the upfield efforts of Harris and Michael. Charles playing a great game maintained possession with 5 consecutive touches, and Eddie outmarked no 20. Charles, Liam, Max B, and Eddie battled manfully in defense. At the end of the quarter Michael scored a left foot goal originating upfield with a mark by Declan, and a transition by Gus.

From the ball up Declan roved his own tap and kicked long to Adam S who marked and goaled. However for the remainder of the third quarter Glen Iris extended their lead by two goals. With Harris unable to ruck and positioned at centre half forward Declan was dominating as a tall follower. Michael, Liam, Max B, Aidan, and Charles also lifted their games in adversity, and Andrej completed a great mark running with the flight of the ball. To add to Fitzroy’s injury woes Will was kneed in the head and was consigned permanently to the bench, with no sub.

Declan was again in the thick of it winning a free kick, and later marking and converting from a pass by Gus. Aidan, Charles and Ben made notable contributions in the midfield, and Max B, Adam S, and Liam put in great defensive efforts. From a free kick on the wing George kicked to Harris, whose kick to pocket was picked up by Noah and slotted. Eddie was overdelivering in defense, rucking at throw ins and taking a great one handed mark. The boys deserved to be proud of their efforts in the second half: despite being undermanned they had continued to be competitive.

After a welcome break for school holidays we next line up against top four side Ashburton. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 10 – Sunday 26th June 10am for 11am game

Fitzroy 6.3       7.6       7.8       7.10     52

Greythorn 1.0       2.2       3.5       4.8       32

There was a sense of déjà vu as the U14-1’s hosted Greythorn at Brunswick St with a strong northerly blowing. Max won the toss and elected to kick to the slightly favoured eastern end.

Things looked ominous when Greythorn had a goal on the board within 30 seconds after a quick centre clearance and a free kick in the goal square. Gus marked on the wing and kicked into the corridor and through Aidan and Andrej the ball was kicked to the goal square, where George with futsal/gaelic skills kicked a goal off the ground. Another quickly followed when George took a high mark on the end of a chain of free kicks to Michael, Declan, and Aidan. Adam took a couple of marks in the forward 50 for the return of a behind. Fitzroy weren’t having it all their way with Dan, Eddie, and Michael repelling Greythorn incursions. Following a behind to Michael, Gus rebounded the kick in to the hot spot, where George marked and converted his third for the quarter. Another followed immediately as Aiden made the centre clearance and delivered to Charles. Noah, Declan and Lucien were providing drive through the centre culminating in a free kick and conversion to Declan. Declan, then rucking at a throw in, tapped the ball in the path of Michael who kicked truly from an acute angle, to register Fitzroy’s sixth for the quarter.

It was Fitzroy’s turn to battle into the wind in the second. Yet again Greythorn made a quick break from the centre bounce but fortunately their shot was off line. Greythorn continued to press forward but a good kick to touch by Michael, and 3 clearances by Max B held them at bay until they scored a major. Michael won a free kick for a tackle and registered a behind. A free kick in the back line led to a precious goal to Harris through an unbroken chain of marks through Adam and Harry. Gus made a clearance from the centre with assists from Declan and Chas but George’s set shot was off line. Good marks were taken by Eddie, Gus, and Declan, the latter contested but awarded to man in front. Unfortunately Andrej had just played on in the scoring zone when the siren went.

The third quarter commenced surreally with the umpire bouncing the ball. Greythorn had clearly regrouped at half time but forward pressure only yielded a behind. Good work was being done in the midfield by Michael, Gus, Lucien, Harris, Adam and Will but forward entries were breaking down due to greater resolve by Greythorn. Similarly, Robbie, Eddie, and Dan were resisting most of Greythorn’s assaults on goal. Robbie in particular was in the thick of it bustling, smothering and tackling. Late in the quarter the umpires were busy, as two of three shots on goal by Greythorn were ruled touched, including one off the boot.

Having seemingly squandered their scoring opportunities with the wind in the third, Fitzroy braced themselves for the onslaught in the last. However early on the boys successfully resisted the tide by maintaining possession with chains of marks and hand ball receives to Eddie, Dan, Gus, Michael, Aidan, Ben, Gus, and intelligently winning the free kick count. However Greythorn got a goal back with a mark and lay off. At the other end Chas’s shot from an angle was off line. Eddie and Dan were combining well on the last line as the ball seemed locked in the Greythorn scoring zone. Determined defense resulted in the concession of 3 behinds only, with notable contributions by Noah, Aidan, Ben, and particularly Declan, in full on “flying doormat” mode.

Come the siren Fitzroy had won the game through constant effort, and with two great, contrasting quarters: an unrelenting attacking one in the first, and an outstanding defensive one in the last.

It’s back to reality next week against our round 4 vanquishers Glen Iris. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 9 – Sunday 19th June 12am for 1pm game

Kew 1.4       6.6       7.8       11.10   76

Fitzroy 3.0       3.2       6.3       7.3       45

Fitzroy faced up to one of the yo-yoing teams from the grading process, Kew. It had been 2 years since we had visited Victoria Park, and no 20 no longer looked quite as imposing.

Fitzroy were kicking with the northerly wind, but up the slope in the first. Initially it seemed that the slope offered the advantage with the Fitzroy defense under pressure. Eddie and Harris combined to force the ball along the far wing, and then when rebounded in by Kew Dan rushed a behind. No 12 for Kew was big, mobile, and strong marking, and creating opportunities, including one that gave Kew a crumbed goal. Michael and Aidan combined to clear the ball from the Kew attacking zone, and the ball was carried to the upper end where hand passes from Andrej and Declan allowed Aidan a true shot on goal. Aidan was in the thick of it with a smother and a hard ball get to carry the ball forward to Liam who picked up and goaled. Fitzroy again rebounded from half back through Gus, Michael, Aidan and Lucien, to the pocket where Michael added a third for the term. A late flurry by Kew was minimized to 2 behinds, including one touched by Eddie on the line.

Come the second it was evident that Kew had been stung by Fitzroy’s first quarter, for they quickly had 3 goals on the board. However Kew weren’t having it all their own way thanks to telling possessions by Robbie, Michael, Andrej, Charles, and Max B. Declan contested a throw in, passed to Harris, whose kick was marked by Harry, but his shot from an angle was off line. Max B took 2 consecutive marks at centre half back to stem the tide, Robbie made a great pickup on the run, and Michael made a smother, then a get, and a 1-2 exchange of handballs, but his shot on goal was rushed. Kew bookended the quarter with 2 goals to The Refrigerator.

Kew started the third with a behind and then reaped the ultimate reward when Fitzroy failed to clear. Further damage was limited by great efforts in defense by Eddie with 2 rebounds from full back, and a good tackle by Max B. Fitzroy hit back with a goal to Declan that started with a free kick to George through a chain of hand balls to Michael and Andrej. Aidan took a great contested mark, and Andrej went for a run from half back to half forward with 4 bounces! Eddie again took a mark on the last line, Liam a strong mark, and Max M made a good intercept. A free kick to Declan for a perfectly executed tackle lead directly to a goal by Aiden. Harris and Andrej took telling marks. Aidan always following the ball won a free kick and kicked to George whose long exploratory kick to the hot spot bounced through! Good work continued to be done in defense by Eddie, Ben, Dan, and Andrej with a pickup and a shepherd.

With an 11 point margin at the final change the game was still for the winning. The determined defense of Fitzroy including Liam, Andrej, Declan and Eddie resisted the Kew assault until Kew kicked a lucky goal off the ground. Kew added 2 more to put the game beyond Fitzroy’s reach but the boys continued to scrap. Robbie, Ben and Liam were prominent in defense, and George was creating opportunities in attack. Fitzroy’s efforts were rewarded with a passage of pay that started deep in defense with Dan, and through a chain of possessions to Lucien, Harris and Adam delivered Michael a mark and conversion. Kew kicked a further goal from a quick centre break, but the boys could be proud of the way they had run close a team accustomed to 20 goal margins.

Next week the U14-1’s season is at a crossroads with a winnable game against familiar foes Greythorn at Brunswick St. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 8 – Sunday 5th June 10am for 11am game

Fitzroy 1 v St Mary’s B

Fitzroy                        4.6       5.6       7.7       7.8       50

St Marys                     0.0       2.4       3.7       5.10     40

Through the vagaries of the fixtures the U14-1s lined up again against their first round vanquishers St Marys, at Brunswick St. The isobars were closely spaced and the northerly wind was blowing. Max won the toss and chose to kick to the slightly favoured eastern goals.

By the time of the ball up the wind had already swung around to the north-west with a 4 goal advantage. Strong marks at the pointy ends, Eddie and George, reversed their usual roles. The boys looked sharp and were straight out of the blocks with Lucien, Aidan, Gus and Max M making productive possessions. Ben won a free kick and through Michael and Eddie the ball was delivered and locked in the forward zone from where Harry scored a behind, and then a goal. From the following ball up Chas, Gus and Harris drove the ball back in, and when St Marys’ attempted to clear Will bravely spoiled, from whence Declan took possession and kicked truly. A rare entry into the arc by St Marys was repelled by Liam. Gus added another major from delivery by Ben and Charles. The wind was now gusting at gale force. A succession of slick handballs by Gus, Michael and Max M as they charged through the midfield ended in a rushed behind. Declan’s shot on goal, after a pass from Will was touched on the line. Michael won a free kick and a 15 metre penalty for a well executed tackle but his kick was off line. However he quickly made amends when the resulting kick in was trapped by Chas, and he picked up and slotted. Fitzroy rounded out a dominant quarter with a further behind.

In the second it was St Marys turn to see what they could do with the breeze. Michael and Gus combined for a 1-2, and Michael punched to deny a mark, but then St Marys no 15 danced and weaved through the defense to kick a goal (how is it that this boy is not playing for the league?). Michael won a free kick, and a perfect chain of low passes through Eddie, Gus, Declan, and Charles delivered a mark to Harris in the goal square, and a precious goal against the wind. Eddie, Michael, and Dan produced sterling efforts in defense, and Robbie laid a good shepherd. Andrej was creating great drive on the half back flank, but Gus was forced from the field when he landed heavily on his head in a contest. St Marys threatened to surrender their advantage by giving away free kicks and 15 metre penalties but added one further goal, and two behinds for the term.

Fitzroy had their last use of the wind in the premiership quarter. It was apparent from the start that St Marys had been fired up at half time. Michael and Andrej delivered to the hot spot but the ball was carried to other end for a behind to St Marys. From the kick in Fitzroy through Gus, Andrej with a bounce that he recovered, and Charles conveyed to Eddie for a mark and goal. St Marys then laid siege to the goals with a strong mark to George at full back, a behind, and another entry that was spoiled by Harris’ face. Andrej passed to Gus who went for a run and bounce, but his shot on goal was off line. Aidan was paying close attention to no 15 and clamped him in a good tackle. Chas won a hard ball and kicked to Will, whose pass to Michael was converted. Forward pressure from St Marys was relieved by Adam with a mark and Dan with a run and 2 bounces, but St Marys made a quick break and scored their first goal against the wind. Chas was prominent in the ruck at the centre and around the ground, Lucien nullified 3 St Marys players in their goal square, and George completed a great smother, and won a free kick, and a consequent 15 metre penalty.

To rebound from a 14 goal deficit earlier in the season Fitzroy needed to defend a 4 goal advantage in the last, against the elements and a recharged St Marys. Conspicuous contributions came with marks to Eddie, Max M, and Andrej, and tackles by Robbie and Will. St Marys added a behind but another forward entry was foiled with a great mark to Eddie. But St Marys kept coming and despite the efforts of George, Michael, Eddie, Declan, Robbie, and Adam St Marys marked and goaled twice in quick succession, to make it a two kick game. Both Michael and Ben laid great tackles and were rewarded with free kicks. Another shot on goal by St Marys was touched on the line by George. Fitzroy continued to defend strongly, with a smother by Robbie being conveyed by Andrej to Adam who registered a behind. Yet another good tackle by Declan was rewarded with a free kick, before Adam was gang tackled by 2 opponents who fell on top of him and left him in distress. Wisely first aid officer Tim advised Adam to stay on the ground until his condition could be assessed. Not long after that the siren sounded.

Next weekend parents have a welcome break, and most of the boys a weekend of frustration, before two games that will potentially define their season, and their prospects of staying up. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 7 – Sunday 29th May 10am for 11am game

Fitzroy 1 v Park Orchards R

Fitzroy                        3.1       3.2       4.4       6.4       40

Park Orchards           3.4       4.9       7.9       10.14   74

Fitzroy’s ongoing rivalry with Park Orchards was resumed at Brunswick St, with the fifth game between these sides in little over a year. The boys welcomed 3 players, James, Sam, and Gabe from the Blues to cover for injuries.

Fitzroy made the first decisive forward move of the opening quarter, when Declan won the ball, handballed to Harris, and kicked in turn to Michael who played on and slotted a major. Aiden and Lucien combined to repel a Park Orchards entry, but the ball was rebounded in for a crumbing goal, quickly followed by another opportunist goal to Park Orchards. Good work was being done in defense by Sam, Declan and Robbie. However a failure to man up was then exposed as Park Orchards, fortunately, added only 3 behinds. Aiden, Michael, and Declan put in good work in the midfield, before Harris did a mighty 30 metre punch from a ball up that lead to a free kick to Harry in the forward pocket, and a conversion. Harry added another from the next entry into the forward zone, on the end of a mark and pass from Gabe. Sam was exerting influence at centre half back, and was part of a strong line down the spine with Aidan and Declan. Park Orchards added a further goal, but then at the following centre bounce Harris won a free kick in his ongoing tussle with his opponent that produced a crumbed behind to Charles.

Early in the second James and Liam did some good work carrying the ball through the centre. Park Orchards managed to lock the ball into their forward line producing 2 behinds and a goal. Declan stepped up to the challenge of rucking in Harris’ place, jumped high and laid a great tackle. Andrej won the ball and went for a run and 2 bounces down the wing, and passes to George and Michael registered a goal. Emulating Andrej both Michael and Aidan also went for runs with 2 bounces but without reward. Charles took a strong mark, and Declan won a free kick at a throw in, passed to Michael but as he entered the scoring zone the siren intervened. After an even first quarter, it was only Park Orchards inaccuracy that kept Fitzroy in the game.

Sam was a dominant presence at centre half back at the commencement of the third with 4 possessions including 2 strong marks, and along with Aiden thwarted Park Orchards’ intentions. However it was not enough to prevent a crumbing goal to Park Orchards. Declan laid a good tackle, then Michael was awarded a free kick for a tackle at half back, and through marks to Aidan and George Fitzroy hit back with a goal. Park Orchards continued their swarming formation assault on the scoring zone with 2 further opportunist goals. That it was not more, was testament to the efforts of Robbie, Declan, Ben, Aidan and Eddie.

As Andy reminded the boys at three quarter time it was a 4 kick game, and Fitzroy were still in contention. And it remained so as Park Orchards were only able to score 4 consecutive behinds due to the defensive efforts of Robbie, Declan, James, Michael, Eddie, and Lucien, but finally Park Orchards broke the impasse with a major. However from the kick in following another behind to Park Orchards Robbie, James, Michael, Andrej and George conveyed the ball the length of the field for a goal. Despite good work at full back by Adam Park Orchards put the game beyond doubt with 2 further goals. Harris scored a consolation goal on the siren at the end of a chain of marks by Michael, Andrej and George.

It was always going to be hard in Gold. Next week we face St Marys at Brunswick St, although results since the first round shellacking suggest that this could be a competitive encounter. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 6 – Sunday 22nd May -12.00pm for 1.00pm game

Beverly Hills v Fitzroy 1

Beverley Hills           5.8       8.12     13.15   16.17    113

Fitzroy                        0.1       1.3       2.4       3.10     28

The ultimate challenge awaited the U14-1’s as they took on perpetual Gold division premiers Beverley Hills at East Doncaster. The mantra for the day was “H.A.R.D.”

Fitzroy were kicking uphill to the eastern end in the first. Despite some good early work done by Max B, Michael and Charles Beverley Hills quickly had 2 goals on the board. At full back a strong mark by Max B, and a punch from behind by Eddie failed to thwart 2 further goals to Beverley Hills. Beverley Hills were peppering the goals, but inaccurate kicking and determined defense meant they kicked 5 consecutive behinds. Lucien and Andrej both laid strong tackles as Beverley Hills rounded out the quarter with a further goal. Fitzroy had made one entry into the 50 for one rushed behind.

Despite Harris’ dominance in the ruck Beverley Hills continued their ascendancy in the second. Robbie, Charles and Max M laid strong tackles, and Eddie made a good punch, and followed up with a second effort. Other notable efforts were a slick 1-2 between Gus and Max M, two efforts from Declan, and a clearance by Robbie. Finally towards the end of the quarter Fitzroy started to get some system as they added a behind from George following a mark by Declan and a run and 2 bounces by Max M, a goal by Dan from the upfield efforts of Charles, Harris and Liam, and a behind to Max M. The inside 50’s (9) were a great improvement but the efficiency was decidedly lacking.

Beverley Hills continued on their merry way in the third with a further 5 goals. Nevertheless the indicators for Fitzroy were improving, tackles for the quarters had gone from 2, to 4, to 6, and there were 6 hard ball gets. Adam made a strong tackle but gave away a free kick, Robbie made another clearance, Charles laid two consecutive tackles in a cameo effort on the wing, and George was awarded a free kick for an exemplary tackle. Dan registered a behind with a trademark kick off the ground, and Liam scored a goal as a consequence of a great spoil by Harry and a feed from Michael. Otherwise it was the Fitzroy defense that was prominent: without the repeated efforts of Declan, Eddie, Robbie, Ben, Aiden and Lucien it would have been far uglier.

Early in the last, with both having eyes only for the ball, Michael and Beverley Hills’ gun no 16 had a clash of heads, and fell to the ground. Somehow from this a free kick was awarded. Fitzroy continued their improvement, with the midfield including Harris, Gus and Michael becoming more influential, 8 hard ball gets, and a marked increase in forward entries and shots on goal. However, a poor conversion rate meant that the only major came from Liam who marked and goaled, from a pass and tap from Gus and Chas respectively. Beverley Hills mosquito fleet of forwards added only three goals due to the ongoing defensive efforts of Declan, Robbie, and Eddie.

As is their custom, at the conclusion Beverley Hills awarded a medal to the best opposition player, Gus.

Next, the grand final rematch against some side. Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 5 – Sunday 15th May –  10 am for 11 am game

Fitzroy 1 v Ashburton R

Fitzroy              3.1       3.3       4.4       5.4       34

Ashburton       1.4       3.6       5.8       7.9       51

The under 14-1’s returned to Fitzroy’s spiritual home to take on division heavyweights Ashburton. For some of the boys it was 5 years since they had last played at Brunswick St. In an effort to inspire them Andy had bought along 3 pieces of memorabilia from the AFL club that was put down a year before the boys were born.

Fitzroy were kicking into the south westerly in the first. Michael made a clearance from full back, then followed the ball down field and received a free kick for a tackle. His kick to the goal square resulted in a mad scramble from whence Chas was awarded a free kick, and kicked truly from an angle. The Fitzroy defense was under siege but Eddie and Declan repelled the ball before Ashburton registered three behinds, the latter two being touched by Max B on the line. Eventually Ashburton’s forward pressure delivered a goal from a mark in the goal square. Aiden restored the margin with a crumbed goal from the upfield efforts of Ben, Charles and Aidan. Dan added a remarkable goal that started with Robbie deep in defense, via Declan and Lucien, when he volleyed a ball that popped up in the goal square. A shot on goal by Ashburton hit the post, thenLucien added a behind for Fitzroy. Fitzroy had outscored their more fancied opponents into the wind.

Ashburton hit back with a goal early in the second. Robbie and Gus repelled another forward incursion but Ashburton regained possession to register a behind. The umpire was being technical in his interpretations, thereby favouring the player being tackled. Notable efforts came from Michael for a tackle, a pick up by Aidan, and a great relieving mark by Harris at full back. Despite this Ashburton added a behind, and then when Fitzroy failed to clear, a goal. A lovely passage of play from a mark at full back by Andrej through Gus, Charles, Chas, Declan and Aidan gave Michael a shot on goal that was touched on the line. Michael added another behind that originated with strong work in defense by Eddie. Fitzroy had failed to kick a goal and Ashburton had bridged, and surpassed the gap. Furthermore the boys had become noticeably more tentative, due to “perceived pressure”.

Early in the third Ashburton added a behind. Despite being well cleared by Eddie, Gus and Michael, Ashburton moved the ball swiftly through loose players in the zone to score a goal. Lucien and Declan were applying persistent pressure to their opponents, and Robbie made two strong clearances in defense, the latter was conveyed by Gus, Michael, Adam and Aidan, to Dan whose kick was off line. The Fitzroy defense was under siege with Robbie and Max B successfully rebounding twice from full back. Harris took a mark at centre half forward, kicked deep to Chas, where it came off hands to Dan who kicked his second goal off the ground. An

Ashburton shot on goal was touched, but Ashburton added a late goal with yet another kick off the ground despite exemplary efforts by Max B, Ben and Robbie.

Robbie was in the thick of it again in the last, and Gus, Lucien, Dan, Aidan, Adam, and Ben gained possessions. Ashburton added a behind and then a goal from two strong marks. Ashburton then put it beyond reach with a goal from a free kick and a 15 metre penalty for a disciplinary transgression. Fitzroy scored a consolation goal when Gus roved a tap from a throw in, and Robbie, Lucien and Declan continued to contribute. Overall it was a harsh reminder of the realities of Gold. George was successfully prevented from leading, and was only involved in two one-on-one marking contests.

Next, the chance to line up against a true measuring stick: Beverley Hills.

Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 4 – Sunday 8th May – 2 pm for 3 pm game

Fitzroy 1 v Glen Iris G

Fitzroy                        2.2       3.4       4.4       4.4       28

Glen Iris                     1.2       2.6       8.9       9.11      65

It was back to the stark realities of Gold division for Fitzroy on Mother’s day as they faced Glen Iris, grand finalists from last year, at Ramsden St. Fitzroy were kicking to the northern end, favoured by a stiff south westerly.

From the off it was intense and physical. Glen Iris pressed forward but the Fitzroy defense only conceded a touched behind. Declan, Aidan and Ben were conspicuous in defense before Gus evaded opponents and kicked to Chas, whose kick to the goal came off hands for a behind. Harris was dominating at ball ups around the ground. After a behind to Glen Iris the ball was rebounded in but Max B intercepted and made a massive kick to the centre. Will was forced from the ground with a painful finger injury, to be replaced by Dan. Ben and Andrej both repelled Glen Iris entries into the forward 50 which lead to a long bouncing goal to Michael from a mark and play on. Aidan and Dan did great work to lock the fall in the forward line enabling a mark and conversion by Chas from free kick to Aiden. Charles added a further behind, but despite good defensive efforts by Aidan, Ben, Max B and Lucien, Glen Iris got their first late in the quarter from a fast break. Sensational work had been done in this quarter by Ben and Liam to tag Glen Iris playmakers out of the game.

Now with the wind to their advantage Glen Iris burst out of the blocks in the second with a goal and two behinds. However their momentum was halted by the efforts of Robbie, Declan, Lucien, Liam, and Max B. Aiden scored a behind from assists from Michael, Harris and Aidan, then made amends with a goal at the end of a chain of marks to Charles and Dan. Glen Iris clawed back 2 behinds but could not finish off despite many entries into the forward 50. Notable efforts included Charles taking on 3 opponents and successfully spoiling the kick, a mark and clearance to Robbie, a hard ball get by Max M, and a mark and strong kick by Adam. Dan added another behind, and at the other end Harry prevented a Glen Iris major with a touch on the line. Late in the quarter Fitzroy thwarted any further Glen Iris scoring by locking up the ball on the western wing.

With no attempt at subterfuge representatives of Beverley Hills were interested spectators, presumably to check out Glen Iris, but by half time may have been shifting their attention to their opponents and what they were doing.

The third quarter started promisingly with a mark and conversion by Gus from an acute angle. However, following a ruck infringement Glen Iris hit back with a quick goal. Glen Iris had changed their method of play and were running off to set up loose players, and were even sending up 2 players at field ball ups in an attempt to nullify Harris’s dominance. So despite notable individual efforts by Max B, Robbie, Ben, Declan, Gus and Aidan, Glen Iris piled on a further 5 unanswered goals.

With wind behind them in the last quarter and Glen Iris rampant it could have been ugly, but the ‘Rob boys regrouped and played a great defensive quarter. Standout contributions came from Declan with a run out of defense and a tap, a spoil and then a tackle by Eddie to win a free kick, a tackle and free kick to Charles, and pick ups on the run by Andrej, Aidan, Ben, and even Harris! It would have been a heroic break even quarter but for a late goal to Glen Iris from a free for a centre square infringement.

Next week the boys host top four side Ashburton at Brunswick St (finally!).

Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Round 3 – Sunday 1st May – 12 noon for 1pm game

Canterbury v Fitzroy 1

Canterbury  3.2   4.2   4.4    6.4        40
Fitzroy          3.2   5.6   6.13  10.1       74

Fitzroy confronted long time denizens of Gold division, Canterbury at their pretty, little, tree lined ground. Noah was a late withdrawal following his finger injury at training on Friday, but contributed as a trainer. Canterbury were notable for their relative uniformity in size, but conspicuously lacked one or more big men.

Although having the advantage of the 2 goal slope Fitzroy spent the early part of the quarter repelling Canterbury attacks, with notable contributions by Declan and Andrej. Chas opened the account with a major from handballs by George and Adam, who had been awarded a free kick at centre half forward. Fitzroy added a second less than a minute later as Harris tapped cleanly to Gus at the resulting centre bounce, and George crumbed the kick off the hands of the pack. Canterbury’s first shot on goal was enthusiastically signaled a goal by the goal umpire despite appearing to have been touched. Behinds followed to George, and to Canterbury, but a failure to clear the kick in was exploited with a major by Canterbury. Canterbury then took the lead with a quick break from centre. Fitzroy responded with a goal to Michael from assists by Chas and Harris. The quarter finished with conspicuous efforts by Max B, Max M, Lucien, Ben and Will and a further behind to each side.

With the scores tied the game remained evenly poised. Andrej took a relieving mark at centre half back before Lucien scored a behind from a chain of passes from Aiden, Michael and Adam. Further behinds followed to rushed, and to Adam after a strong mark. Harris, Max M and Robbie were conspicuous, until Mike passed to Gus who broke a tackle, ran his maximum 10 metres, and handballed to Dan who goaled. Declan was emulating the “Flying doormat” at half back with his clearances. Great tackles by Dan and Marcus lead to a behind and a goal, to Lucien and Michael, but Canterbury hit back immediately with a major. Harris dominating in ruck was even tapping back to advantage in set plays. The Fitzroy defense continued to hold strong with marks to Andrej, Declan, Max B, and Robbie, clearances by Robbie and Max B, a smother by Declan, and a tackle for a free kick by Aidan. Both sides had been going in strongly, and with a 10 point margin the game was still there for the winning.

The third quarter started brightly for Fitzroy with a running goal from Lucien, courtesy of the upfield efforts of Gus and George. But thereafter the boys failed to exploit the advantage of possession and kicking to the favoured end. So although Canterbury only registered 2 behinds Fitzroy scored seven of their own. Nevertheless there were many notable efforts including from Max B, George, and Aiden, but no more than from Declan who late in the quarter propelled the ball forward 50 metres from centre half back with 4 efforts including 2 tackles.

After a seemingly innocuous coming together late in the third Michael was unable to continue in the last, appearing to be concussed. With only 21 points the difference Canterbury clearly fancying their chances, came out fired up, and the game seemed to shift up another gear. The first part of the quarter was fought out in the Fitzroy defensive zone as Canterbury attacks were repulsed by Max B, Robbie, Declan, and Harris. Eventually Canterbury moved the ball the length of the field for a scrambled goal. Robbie took three successive marks at full back, and Declan put in two efforts to clear the ball. Against the run of play a succession of handballs under pressure by Aidan, Max M, Eddie, and George gave Liam a true shot on goal. Marcus took a relieving mark at full back before Canterbury scored another major to put them back in the game. This provoked a remarkable response; in the space of 60 seconds two goals were scored in identical fashion: Harris palmed to Gus whose kicked was marked and converted by George. The purple patch continued at the next centre bounce, but this time Aidan won the clearance, kicked to Lucien, who delivered to George again for a major. The boys rounded out their first ever win over Canterbury with another behind.

The boys may have confirmed their presence in Gold but next week they face the formidable Glen Iris.

Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Sunday 10 April

Fitzroy v Camberwell

Fitzroy             0.0       3.3       9.4       11.7     73

Camberwell     0.4       0.4       1.5       1.7       13

The U14-1’s locked horns with old adversaries Camberwell at YJFL’s headquarters at Bulleen Park. Past encounters with Camberwell have always been tight, they had often decided our finals fortunes, and we had managed to beat them on only one previous occasion.

Max M fulfilling his newly acquired responsibilities as captain, following selection by his peers, won the toss and chose to kick to the apparently wind favoured southern end.

The first quarter was very scrappy, with neither side able to move the ball with any system, and both defenses seemingly dominant. Robbie brushed aside three opponents to win the ball at centre half back, and Declan rebounded on the last line with 3 follow up efforts. Harris was being a good roving ruckman, winning taps at every ball up. The stalemate was broken with 2 behinds to Camberwell. Ben took a strong mark at centre half back, and Adam contested some field ball ups. Declan, Eddie and Michael continued to resist Camberwell’s forward pressure, and Adam and Lucien put in good second efforts. Late in the quarter with the back line under siege Camberwell kicked another two behinds. The game seemed to be following a familiar script.

Fitzroy’s fortunes started to turn in the second, with attacking moves coming from half back. A lovely chain of passes from Harris, Gus, Aidan, Lucien and Andrej down the scoreboard wing was repelled, and Adam went down heavily on his shoulder and head. The Camberwell defense rushed a behind, followed by another behind to Max M. Michael and Aidan were prominent as Camberwell continued to exert forward pressure. Lucien scored a behind from an acute angle from passes from Gus and Aidan. Fitzroy finally manufactured a goal that started at full back with Eddie applying a tackle, and 2 smothers and channeling the ball through Gus, Chas, and Gus again to Noah. Chas marked from a pass from Michael and goaled from a long kick that evaded the defenders fingers. From a beautiful chain of possessions by Harris, Gus, Lucien, and Aiden, the ball was in the air off Andrej’s boot when the siren sounded, followed by it sailing through for a major.

Having broken the impasse with 3 goals in 5 minutes Fitzroy didn’t take their foot off the accelerator in the third. George featured prominently, with a feed to Aiden who goaled, and two goals himself. The first one originated with Robbie at full back and ended with a kick just forward of centre that bounced through with no players in the arc! Eddie took a brave mark running away from the ball. Noah was in the zone with two grabs and conversions in the hot spot, one that also started from strong work by Robbie at centre half back. Camberwell finally managed their first and only goal. Max M, Aidan, Chas, Ben, Declan and Harris featured before Harry marked and kicked Fitzroy’s sixth for the quarter.

Early in the last the rain descended. The Fitzroy defense was still resolute with a clearance by Robbie and two by Max B. Lucien, Ben, Gus, Will, and Mike were prominent. Robbie and Gus fed to George whose shot on goal was off line. A chain of marks to Andrej, George, and Chas delivered to Noah, who recovered, evaded defenders, and majored. Following a behind to Camberwell an unbroken chain of marks from Gus, Eddie, Aidan, and Max M was marked and converted by Noah for his fifth. Declan ran the ball out of defense, and recovered his attempted bounce. Eddie laid a good shepherd to allow Gus and Aidan to push the ball forward. Late in the quarter Harry had 2 shots on goal for 2 behinds, which extended the margin to exactly 10 goals.

Following their traditional practice, Camberwell awarded their “encouragement“ medal to Eddie.

After a welcome 3 week break we next take on Gold division perennials Canterbury.

Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

button Sunday 3 April

St Marys v Fitzroy

St Marys          5.1       10.4     17.8     19.10   124

Fitzroy            2.1       2.2       2.2       5.5       35

The U14-1’s had a sobering re-introduction to Gold division when they went down to the formidable St Mary’s at A.K. Line reserve in Bundoora by 91 points.

With 4 major outs, and three debutants including Marcus promoted from the 2s, Fitzroy had only one interchange. St Mary’s won the toss and kicked to the aerial and terrestrial vector favoured northern end. Both sides seemed tentative early, and it was Fitzroy that was the first to move the ball with system and purpose. Max B made a good clearance on the last line of defense, Declan laid a great tackle at centre half back, and the boys were adhering to Andy’s request for 3 at the ball. From a strong mark by Chas at centre half forward first gamer Adam slotted a goal from his first mark and kick! Despite the worthy efforts of George and others St Mary’s reasserted themselves to kick the next five goals by switching the play and exploiting unmarked players in the forward line. Late in the first Aidan was forced from the field when he aggravated his ankle injury, to be the lone figure on the interchange bench. From the final play of the quarter a pass from Adam was marked by Harris, resting in the forward line, who kicked long into the wind for a major, to make it a 3 kick margin.

Kicking with a four goal advantage in the second, and memories of a similar scenario at Hawthorn Cits, Fitzroy had reason for optimism. However it was not to be. Fitzroy were outmuscled by their bigger bodied opponents, who played on and kicked to loose men at every opportunity. St Mary’s ran the ball in 3s and 4s down the defensive flanks, before realigning to approach the goals front on. Harris was consistently winning the ball ups but it was to no avail as St Mary’s systematically cleared the ball from centre. However Fitzroy players, notably George, Declan, and Max B continued to contest at every opportunity.

St Mary’s were at their assertive best in the third with the ball camped in their attacking half, and the Fitzroy defense attempting to stem the tide. With the prospect of a robust contest at every exchange even normally assertively marking Fitzroy players were dropping marks from perceived pressure.

Fitzroy were playing for pride in the last, and did not disappoint. Harris won yet another clearance and kicked to Noah at centre half forward who recovered the spilled mark, to run and bounce, and kick to Declan at full forward, who goaled. After having his ankle iced on the bench for most of the match, Aidan had returned to the field in the last, but was in the process of coming off when his path intersected with a Fitzroy attack. With vision he intercepted a pass from Chas and laid off to Mike who kicked truly. From the next forward thrust a hobbling Declan hit the post from an acute angle. Fitzroy were reasserting themselves in the air with strong marks to Ben and Charles, and George and Gus were pressing the ball forward. Both George and Will put in great second efforts, and Max M won the ball from a 2 on 1 contest, before Mike kicked his second, and Fitzroy’s third of the quarter.

With no easy games in Gold we look forward to locking horns with past acquaintance Camberwell next week (in Bulleen?). Go ‘Roys!

“Chicken Smallhorn” (the ghost of Fitzroy past)

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