Juniors start year in earnest
Under-10 The under-10s had their first game for the season in hot conditions at Euroa.
We split the kids in to two teams as both clubs had plenty of numbers.
It’s great to see so many kids in the under-10 age group which can only be good for football in the region.
All the kids gave their best, going in hard for the ball.
The most pleasing things were how much improvement there has been in only four weeks of training and how many parents were there to help and support the kids.
Next week we face Seymour at Avenel, with all the kids excited for the challenge ahead.
Under-12 It was a really good effort by the team at Euroa.
Despite being beaten, the players’ efforts out on the ground were solid.
Euroa has a lot of skilful, quick players who move the ball well.
Although Tabilk was beaten convincingly, the scoreboard didn’t truly reflect the evenness of the game, with plenty of pressure applied.
Newly-appointed captain Angus ‘‘The Engine’’ Murray was terrific all day. His hard running was a tribute to not only his fitness, but his determination. His ability to read the play and push hard to get to the right spots was on display and he tore the opposition apart when he took a mark or was awarded a free kick.
Angus played on quickly at every opportunity and really broke the game open for his team-mates.
Angus also had a teamhigh 10 tackles for the game.
Debuting for Tabilk, Nathan ‘‘Nails’’ Whitler rucked tirelessly all day and was strong over the ball.
He constantly ran hard to get to contests and for his efforts he won the newly established ‘Grizzly’ award.
This award is given to the player who puts out maximum effort and does the hard things like tackling, shepherding and running hard to the contests.
Nathan also earned a new nickname for the postmatch report for his ‘‘hard as nails’’ approach to footy.
Harry Shiner was good playing in the centre of the ground. His confidence has grown since last year and he’s super keen to hold that spot in the middle of the ground.
His pressure around the packs and his marks was a highlight of his game.
Conorsaurus Peterson took off where he kicked off last year.
Playing on the wing he ran all day and not only tackled hard (he had seven for the game) but he also got a fair bit of the footy himself.
Ben ‘‘No More Mr Nice Guy’’ Shelton certainly is getting a habit of leaving his manners in the clubrooms.
Taking off from where he left off last year, Ben was solid at every contest, taking quite a few marks and driving the ball out of defence on many occasions. Keep up the good work, Ben.
Jack Beresford was lively in the backline and popped up with a nice mark. It was great to see him get into the thick of the action in just his first game.
Oscar ‘‘Livewire’’ Loweke also impressed, starting in the backline but looking better suited up forward.
He was close to kicking goals on a few occasions and looked dangerous when the ball was in his hands.
Wilbur ‘‘The Rock’’ Gladwin was solid in the backline. He chased hard, laid tackles and even took on a bloke double his size in the last quarter.
Ely Reid started at fullback before moving forward in the second half, when he proved to be a massive headache for the Euroa defence.
He was a great target up forward, taking some great grabs.
Score: Euroa 8.6 (54) d Tabilk 0.5 (5)
Best: Angus Murray, Nathan Whitley, Harry Shiner, Ely Reid, Ben Shelton, Will Gladwin, Oscar Loweke, Conor Peterson, Jack Beresford.
Under-14 With a nervous 20 players, we were off to a slow start in the first quarter with Euroa kicking four unanswered goals.
After making small changes in the field, the tide started to swing Tabilk’s way with two unanswered goals in the second term.
The arm wrestle was led by Jonno, Orlando, Liam and Josh, while Robbo, Nick and Ben were unrelenting.
The team had a spring in its step after half-time and picked up the pace.
With Burns in the guts and Dalton and Fox-Old on the wing, getting the clearances from the centre was making a difference, with soccer guru Orlando kicking a cheeky goal.
With Barnes, Bubbles and Nicko standing staunch in the backline and the Tassie recruit holding strong, Euroa knew it was in for a game.
However, going into the fourth quarter, Tabilk was spent.
With the ball was going into Euroa’s forward line numerous times, O’Brien, McMaster and Sommers were like a brick wall keeping everything out.
Winning was in arm’s reach, but not to be on this occasion, and Tabilk went down by 11 points.
The boys stood tall against a strong opposition and can walk away with their heads held high, knowing there is a lot more football to be played in 2017.
Score: Euroa 6.10 (46) d Tabilk 4.11 (35)
Best: J. Robertson, O. Sepulveda, W. Burns.
Goals: L. Whirling, J. Robertson, O. Sepulveda, T. Barnes
Under-16 With a skeleton crew of 17, the Tabilk boys took on one of the premiership favourites in Euroa.
The coach’s message was all about contesting when the ball was in their area and they did that in spades.
The boys tried hard all day to follow those guidelines and although the scoreboard did not flatter the boys in blue, the coach and parents were very happy with the effort the boys put in.
Daniel Mawson worked hard under the pack all day and received the North East Antennas award, while a rock-solid Nick Smidt got the Neil Beer award for his consistent attack on the football.
The three leaders — Tom Garner, Jack Sampson and Cain Murray — all led from the front and Mitchell Lusted made a smooth transition from the under-14 team, working hard in defence and around the ball.
Tabilk had a good spread of goalkickers with Jack Sampson, Dan Mawson, Nick Smidt and Mitchell Berens all registering on the scoreboard.
It will be another tough one against Seymour next week but the boys should rise to the challenge.
Score: Euroa 20.11 (131) d Tabilk 6.3 (39)
Goals: J. Sampson 2; N. Smidt, D. Mawson, M. Berens
Under-10 The youngsters were excited to play their first game for the club and they performed admirably.
The club thanks Seymour Lions Club, which was fantastic in setting up and ensuring every child had maximum game time, and a special thanks goes to the parents who assisted. Well done boys.
Under-12 After a frantic first quarter with neither side able to gain any dominance, the Saints re-gathered and skills came into play with some great contests, accurate kicking and team play resulting in a number of goals.
The centres and onballers did their best to get the ball to the forwards.
All in all, it was a pleasing performance by the under12s with an emphatic 73-point victory.
Score: Seymour 1.0 (6) lt St Mary’s 12.7 (79)
Under-14 The Lions really took it up to the Saints in the first quarter with vigour and purpose and managed to get on the scoreboard first.
The second quarter saw the Saints play with renewed endeavour and they managed to start dominating the play and progressively made the scoreboard tick over in their favour.
Each quarter saw the boys step it up a notch, with the Lions battling hard.
The Saints were eventual winners by 50 points.
Score: Seymour 2.2 (14) lt St Mary’s 9.10 (64)
Under-16 A fast pace was set by both teams after the first bounce.
Spirited play led to injuries to Dylan Cook and Lachlan Aldous, which meant St Mary’s under-14 reserves of Tom Allen and Morgan Spencer had to play out the rest of the game, which they did admirably, with no-one on the bench to relieve some tired players.
Hudson Kaak, Keegan Grant and Corey Jones led the way.
The Saints turned it up in the final quarter and a solid team effort got them over what is a very good side for the Seymour Lions this year.
The Saints won by 33 points.
Score: Seymour 6.7 (43) lt St Mary’s 11.10 (76)
Under-12 The under-12s made a promising start to the 2017 season against cross-town rivals St Mary’s.
The team arrived nice and early with a great attitude and a mindset to get the job done.
Warm-ups and pre-game routine were difficult to control, with the team bubbling with excitement and anxious to get its first game of the season under way.
Thankfully, the energy was focused at the first bounce and the arm wrestle began in earnest.
Seymour went into the first break trailing St Mary’s but the enthusiasm and drive had not diminished.
Unfortunately, the second quarter got away from the Lions due to some poor manning up and tired legs which allowed the St Mary’s team too much room to run.
The second half was very promising with Seymour finding plenty of grit and determination to minimise the scoring of St Mary’s, but its efforts weren’t reflected on the scoreboard.
Chelsea worked tirelessly in the backline, making a contest at every opportunity and getting front position the majority of the time.
Jet worked hard across the centre, laying solid tackles and looking after his team-mates with effective shepherds and bumps when needed.
Hunter’s speed and aggressiveness at the ball allowed him to run free with relative ease out of the backline, which ended in some promising plays down the length of the field.
The team learnt a lot from this first game and will continue to improve and build in the games to come.
Score: Seymour 1.0 (6) lt St Mary’s 12.7 (79)
Under-16 It was a great start to the season on a magnificent Kings Park ground.
Although Seymour didn’t come away with a win in its first round, the contest demonstrated that the Lions are on the right track for some success this season with a solid contest against their cross-town rival St Mary’s.
The game started at a ferocious speed with St Mary’s setting the pace with fast and clean ball movement from the midfield into the Lions’ defensive zone.
Although the Lions’ backline was under relentless pressure, with St Marys having 10 inside 50s for the first term, it was able to limit the damage on the scoreboard.
While the Lions lifted as the term progressed, with five inside 50s and even numbers in the clearance stats, the term belonged to the Saints.
The second quarter was won by the Lions, who took control from the start with their strong tackling and efficient ball use allowing them to outscore the Saints by two goals with half the inside 50s.
The Lions’ use of a loose player across half-back helped them shut down the Saints by restricting supply to their key forwards.
The Lions were able to transition the ball out of defence on several occasions by linking up with quick direct movement though the midfield and providing their forwards with scoring opportunities.
The Lions again started strong in the third term with numbers around the ball in a tight contest that was pretty much played across the middle of the ground.
However, the Saints were able to score a couple of quick goals from free kicks, denting the Lions’ confidence, which allowed the Saints to score a further two goals before the siren ended the third term.
The final quarter showed what a hard fought contest the match had been with several of the Lions players starting to slow. However, they kept the contested pressure on the Saints, which allowed the Lions to keep the scoreboard ticking over and outscore the Saints for the quarter.
While the Lions didn’t come away with the four points, they showed their supporters they can match it with quality opponents in what was a fairly even contest.
Josh and Hamish won the two awards on the day with their repeated efforts.
Score: Seymour 6.7 (43) lt St Marys 11.10 (76)
Local rivals Seymour and St Mary’s played off in round one at the weekend, with St Mary’s proving too strong in all grades of football and netball. Pictures: Wayne Aldous