June 3, 2017, 2:00 pm
The trip from Brunswick to Oak Park is only a short one but you always feel like you have entered a different world down in the gully that is Therry Penola’s home ground. Strange things seem to happen there and Saturday was no exception as we blew a golden opportunity to take the points.
The game started normally enough, with both sides evenly matched in the first quarter, which tended to be marked by wasted chances and turnovers, before we kicked the opening goal of the second term to take a two-goal lead.
Then things got weird. Egged on by a crowd that was well lubricated by beverages on sale at the neighbouring EDFL game, the home side started to niggle us and we got well and truly sucked in. First, we conceded a soft 25-penalty in front of Therry’s goals; next, we thought it was good idea to throw the goal-kicker to the ground after the ball had gone through the posts to concede another; then, in a state of disarray, a free kick was awarded against us at the centre bounce and a third goal in a minute ensued. Brunswick supporters were left dumbstruck while the home supporters were crowing.
The horror continued until we had conceded seven goals in-a-row, as we went from two-up to five-down. Thankfully an end was put to the rot as – led by an inspired Dean Beaumont on the last line of defence and the class and composure of 16-year-old Daniel Mott off the back flank – we kicked four of the last five goals of an extremely eventful term.
The weirdness returned after half-time, as we dominated play early for no reward then let through a succession of easy goals.
We fought it out in the last quarter but the bird had flown and Therry joined a group of four teams – including us – with two wins for the season.
Despite the heavy loss we had a number of very good players on the day. The trouble was too much was left to too few.
Mott was excellent; Beaumont inspiring, as was Cameron Fox; Tim Weaver’s strong form continued, as it did for Geremie Ganino and Scott Thomas; another teenager Dom Sullivan was exciting with his four goals; and first-gamer Brett Sheehan showed he has the ability and courage to be a good senior player.
The break for the long weekend cannot come too soon as we hope to get some of our leaders back on the field for some crucial games in coming rounds.
John Pascoe Fawkner Reserve
Francis Street and Winifred Street, Oak Park