Women’s Div 3
This week Div 3 were up against Manly at home and the girls came out with the same intensity that they finished last weekend’s game with. Louise laid a good shepherd which resulted in the first goal in the opening two minutes of the game. The second goal was scored soon after our first; however Manly hit back with two goals and St George were only two points up at the quarter time break. Jen and Bianca were the goal scorers for the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Lauren lining up for her first ever goal; unfortunately, it fell short and was pushed through for a behind. She got another chance later on in the quarter and didn’t waste it, she picked the ball up off the ground and ran in to score our only goal for the quarter. Going into half time we were only 3 points up.
The girls lifted the intensity even more and came out on fire in the second half, they were getting to the ball first and always going in for second efforts. Kaylan kicked her first goal for the game, Michelle and Jen were laying some fierce tackles while Lauren had clean hands and was getting a lot of the ball. There was an awesome passage of play which started with Kelsey who kicked to Nicole who then kicked to Chantelle, unfortunately it didn’t result in a goal but it does show that everyone is improving with every game they play. Manly was held scoreless in the third quarter and St George were 11 points up heading into the fourth quarter.
Manly scored early in the last quarter, but they didn’t stand a chance against our midfielders Kiona, Jen and Lauren who were brutal in the contest. Kaylan scored her second goal, Ash was awarded a 50m penalty which resulted in Lou taking a mark and scoring a goal, and Kaylan kicked a ripper of a goal to seal the game.
Some outstanding efforts from KB in the ruck who gave the midfielders the first use of the ball, Nicole in the last quarter was unstoppable, Kiona who played a tough game in the midfield laying some hard tackles and Michelle was always first to the ball. It was a real team effort and St George came out winners by 3 goals.
Special thank you to Kaylee as the runner, and to Sammi and Mary who were the goal umpires.
Congratulations to Kaylan who was awarded the player of the game this week from one of our sponsors – Beauty on bonds.
St George 7.6 – 48 defeated Manly 5.0 - 30
Kaylan Prestwidge – 3, Lauren Marcos, Jen Jusmin, Bianca Robertson and Louise Grady
Best on Ground
Amy Henry, Kaylan Prestwidge, Nicole Betts, Michelle Chiofalo, Maggie Ritchie, Bianca Robertson
Men’s Div 1
A tougher task awaited the Dragons div 1 boys this week. The top of the table North Shore at Gore Hill on the synthetic turf.
A tough week on the selection table with many outs seeing us have only 20 players for the game.
The task proved too much for the boys with North Shore dominant for all of the first half and the Dragons down by 10 goals at half time.
The third quarter saw the dragons improve with the ball camped in our forward line for much of the quarter but we couldn’t capitalise and failed to get our first goal of the day.
In the last quarter our effort didn’t drop off which was a good thing to see. Despite being dominated on the score board we did get our first goal of the day.
It was a major loss by 130 points which probably showed the difference between the top of the division and where we are at, however it was good to see the effort remain throughout the entire game from everyone especially with only 20 players.
Women’s Div 2
This week our Div 2 girls were up against South West Sydney Magpies. But there was a little more to it than that. The Dragons were up against our Premier Division coach from last year, who this year is wearing the black and white at South West Sydney. Did our girls have it in them to get across the line against our former club coach?
We had the home advantage and certainly made the most of it, with a quick start from Alyssa kicking the first goal of the match within the first 5 minutes. That was soon followed by another goal and Alyssa had 2 to her name. Our back 6 kept the Magpies goalless in the opening quarter and the scoreboard looked quite nice at quarter time.
Dragons 2-2-14 to Magpies 0-3-3.
The siren started the second term and somehow out of nowhere Lilly had already scored a goal. What an excellent start, again! The girls were buzzing at the centre bounce that followed, until Maddie and Hannah both went off with what looked like serious arm/hand injuries. Could we cope without one of our ball magnets and key rucks? The Magpies scored their first goal at the 10 minute mark, and quickly scored again with an exceptional torpedo making it 2 goals in 2 minutes. Our heads started to drop, realising this wasn’t quite a fairy tale like the first quarter and quickly brought us back to reality. The girls knew they had to knuckle down and knuckle down they did. Quick replies by Jess and Louise helped re-energise the girls, along with fantastic ruck and clearance work by the star midfielders. It was great to see both Maddi and Hannah back on the ground doing what they do best. Emma made a great save down back with her skilful defensive work which turned into a great team goal- Kiera supplying a forward entry and Louise taking a beautiful mark under pressure from the long bomb in. The goal was converted to finish the second quarter with the Dragons still in the lead.
Dragons 6-3-39 to Magpies 2-4-16.
South West Sydney came out with intent in the third quarter, and the Dragons were under immense pressure from the get-go. The ball remained in the Magpies forward 50 for quite some time, but again our superb back 6 won the battle with plenty of smothers, tackles and 1% away from the contest. One thing the girls learnt this quarter was to pick the ball up and not soccer it along the ground, or in this case taking an almighty air swing (cough cough Shelby). But well done to Shelby for her second effort, assisting Louise to run in and clean up and convert the goal. Jess took a beautiful swan dive to mark and convert yet another. Then quickly assisted Mia and Lilly to set up another brilliant team goal. The Dragons dominated this quarter but lost focus just towards the end allowing the Magpies to score a goal in the last 2 minutes.
Dragons 9-3-57 to Magpies 3-5-23.
The fourth quarter was quite scrappy from both teams. South Wests scored the first goal of the term after 6 minutes. The ball headed again to the Magpies forward 50, however Flick, Alex and Sarah were unstoppable performing tackle after tackle to hold up the ball. The girls managed to organise an excellent coast to coast effort, again showing the fabulous teamwork on display today. The girls deserved to celebrate the team goal, but unfortunately the ball came off the outside of Jess’ boot. The Dragons made sure they had the last say and finished off the game with a great goal from Lilly.
Well done to Ali Simpson who won the Beauty on Bonds MVP voucher this week. Her incredible work throughout entire game allowed for great running out of the backline and beautifully set up the forward entries. Her excellent pressure around the contest made sure the Magpies didn’t get their hands on the ball for much of the game. Well done Ali.
As always, thank you to the umpires, goal umpires, runner and volunteers who assisted during this match. Also, thank you to the girls who stayed around from the previous game to cheer on their teammates and support the club. There was an outstanding atmosphere in the grandstand.
Premier Division Reserves
All was ready for the game against Inner West at Picken Oval with a 10.20 start.
A fine day emerged that brushed away the clouds & rain that happened early morning.
The U19s were in progress.
The surface was wet, there were patches of puddles around the ground. Wet weather football was the object which included some soccer skills.
I asked the boys were they nervous. A few sort of whimpered “no”, well I said I am.
Before the game we learned one of our players withdrew whilst our ruckman Campbell Andrews showed the coach & I his broken toe. Gallantly, he agreed to play. I asked him how did you do it. He said on the coffee table. I said I hope the coffee table was alright…I couldn’t help myself.!
Similar to last week, we dominated for most of the quarter. It was a scambling affair as expected, but each side not willing to give any quarter. We scored a goal by Nick Ryan with great play from centre field. The backs were superb in stifling raids in this quarter.
Similar to last week again, we seem to reduce our intensity which allowed the Magpies to gain momentum. We scored a goal but the opposition scored 2 goals & 3 behinds. Whilst we were still leading 22 points to 17, we were outplayed despite our efforts. The opposition appeared to get their combinations working much better. A few great marks were the highlight given the heavy sodden ball.
At halftime playing coach Stephen Willo Wilsen was absolutely livid & said so in no uncertain terms.! The Magpies appeared to have more players in the breakdown & contest. Something had to change.
Tactically, Willo brought himself in the centres from his position in the forwards to control the play, lift the team & to set the tempo for the rest of the game.
Well, you would have thought a new team was on the field.
All players, bar none, rallied to the cause. Fine goals scored by Nick Ryan & Fin Ritchie & 5 behinds indicates our dominance to their 1 goal & a behind. Campbell Andrews started to dominate the ruck with the rovers taking advantage.
The effort continued but now the boys had to wither frustration exerted by some of the Magpies. Despite upteen unlawful plays & a referee who has different opinions (throughout the game), we outplayed them admirably.
It ended up a hard fought, grinding win.
The sense of relief in reversing the trend & winning the game manifested itself in the singing of the Saints song. It was sung so loud, with such pride & gusto, it raised the roof. The commerarderie between the boys at the end of the game was immensurable & so special.
In his 149th game, Nick Ryan scored 4 goals against formidable opposition. All players contributed & I could listed the team but noted players were Andrew Sims, Campbell Andrews, Liam Bognar, Aaron Fanous, Cameron Laing & Connor Sofee. However, without Willo’s tactics, inspirational fiery speech & play on the field, I doubt the team would have won the game.
Inner West 3-7-25
We fronted up to Picken Oval on a wet Saturday with an unusual start time of 12.20pm to play Wests on their home ground. It was another chance to see how we are progressing and also to play in different conditions given the heaviness of Picken Oval.
As expected, it was a hard slog for most of the day.
There is a saying in footy the game was a ‘game of two halves’. Well never a truer word said when describing this game.
The first half was all the Dragons. Hard at the contest with plenty of run saw St George start to get on top of the Magpies. Although up against a much bigger and more experienced ruckman, who was also a contestant of the TV Show ‘Married at First Sight’, we managed to win the hard ball contest and surge the ball forward.
3 first quarter goals followed by 4 goals in the second quarter was just reward for the effort Saints we putting in. Wests managed 2 goals for the half, one from a dubious free kick and the other after half time siren.
Half time Saints 46, Wests 15.
Come the third quarter we knew the drill, Wests would come out hard. To our credit we were able to meet this head on in the first 7 minutes of the second half with a goal each.
From here, things didn’t go as we wanted. 3 quick goals to Wests saw them start to believe. A further 5 goals to 1 for the remainder of the game saw the Dragons suffer a 7 point defeat.
This week’s Dragons of Old guest was Mark ‘Macca’ Magrath, a member of the St George HOF. He chose Conor Flanagan as this weeks winner of the mug based on his commitment at the footy and commitment at the opposition when they had it.
The great news is we get the chance next week to work hard and turn things around.