Olinda junior footy results

Luca Smith flies for another strong mark. Picture: SUPPLIED

The U9s Friday night comp only has a few rounds to go and this week was the first with only one match played by each team. The kids had a ripping time, as usual, but were ready to go for another game!! Both team played really well and their footy improves every week. The modified nature of the game, with zones, ensures everyone gets a red hot crack at the footy!

A cracking winter’s morning greeted teams across the valley on Sunday morning, as our junior teams headed out to the various grounds to do battle with the league’s best. As one of our mighty U10s asked his coaches, “Why can’t they make the quarters longer when the weather is like this?”

The U10s were off to Seville and really enjoyed their morning’s footy. Whilst scores aren’t kept, Coach Ben said that the majority of the game was played in our half with multiple scoring shots and goals. Young Sol Smith snagged a couple whilst Syd Higgins won the medal for his dash across half forward past opposition defenders to snap a goal. Great stuff Syd! Billy Brown also led the way through the middle and Ben said that the experience these boys are having in the U11s is really showing in their age group. The sun out on a crisp Sunday morning made all the difference for players, coaches and spectators alike!

The U11s came up against the toughest opposition away at Monbulk that they have faced in some time. It was a see-sawing game with only two points separating the team at half time. Whilst Olinda had the advantage at 3/4 time, early goals in the last quarter to Monbulk had the game up for grabs. Coach Stuart and his team furiously worked the magnets and plotted their way to find a win, which they did with goals to Connor Lourey and Syd Higgins, who kicked the winning goal with a great mark and set shot! It was great to see the team challenged and find a way to win. Well done boys!

The U12 girls travelled out to Wandin on a spectacular crisp morning. There was great energy leading into the match with the girls celebrating Jess Verheyen’s birthday before the game. Wandin provided to be too strong for the girls but strong marks to Lulu Rayner and Reagan Seamer were a feature for the girls. Claire McPeake was a rock down in defence and Lucy Cremeane rucked well. Jasmine Thompson’s kicks to teammates on the wing generated forward movement whilst Franki Edquist’s run down the wing, in just her second game, was great to see.

The U13 boys headed down to Mt Evelyn to test themselves against one of the stronger teams in the division. Like the U11’s, this was a tough see-sawing contest where neither side could break through with regular scoring. Ollie Haynes run and dash through the middle was great, winning loose ball. Spencer Garrett and Ned Monkhurst intercepted the ball well across half back for rebound efforts and Ollie Millwood’s height in the contest also proved telling. Rio Neish and Will Benkiron, in the end, found ways to kick goals and get the boys the win, in what was a pleasing result for the coaches.

The U15 boys hadn’t really been tested since moving up to the top grade, and had played with the consistency and polish to match it with their opposition. This week, though, with five outs, mainly upper age key position players, and against a very strong Mt Evelyn outfit, they would be tested from the outset. Olinda struggled to match the bigger Mt Ev bodies in the contest which enabled them to win the ball in the middle and score easily. Cass Hine’s height and strength through the middle generated play and rebounded the ball, whilst Tom Ford was active around the ground. Aden Bates’ speed and skill make him a very hard match up and he repeatedly won the contested ball around the ground. River Bellemo’s courage around the contest was noted by Coach Scott in the main break and Will Meyer’s rebound defence was great. Tough day for the boys, but they’ll learn from it and improve. As Scott said after the game, “they’ve been wanting to be challenged and today they got it”.

The U17 boys headed down to Monbulk to see how their improving form would compare against Healesville. Coach Paddy was really looking for team oriented footy and set the agenda for the boys to be accountable for running receives and pressure acts. In close to their strongest line up for the year, the boys responded and put on a masterful display of hard running, team oriented footy. First Menzie Jans McKirdy’s 60m chase down the wing to spoil a kick, and then Quinn Forward’s run and chase down in the third quarter had the coaches roaring as perfect examples of rewards for team oriented effort. Luca Smith was powerful around the ground with solid marks and 3 goals. Ned Ford also snagged 4 goals in a stand out performance. Isaac Tonkin battled through a corky sustained in senior football on Saturday, but provided options up forward when not up the ground. Abel Teese’s hard running and intercept marking was great all day and he was rewarded for a goal. The only disappointing thing of the day was Healesville’s intercept mark in front of a hard charging Max Dooley in front of goal which would have been a fine reward for his efforts and enthusiasm for the team. Next time Max! A great effort by the boys and, as Paddy said, they’ve set a benchmark now of how to play out the season and if they can continue in this form, they will be a tough unit to beat!