2017 Herald Sun Shield semi match report
author: Howard Clark
St Pat’s 15 - 11- 101 Defeated Essendon and Keilor College 1 -2 - 8
Goal Kickers: Izaac Johnson 4, Josh Chatfield 3, Jordan Johnston 2, Joel O’Connell 1, Nick Canny 1, Lochie Dawson 1, Keegan Grey 1, Joe Dodd 1
Best Players: Jordan Johnston, Nick Stuhldreier, Jordan Grant, Izaac Johnson, Joe Dodd (Until Injured), Aiden Domic, Nick Canny
St Patrick’s College defeated Essendon Keilor College by a convincing 93 points in the semi-final of the prestigious Herald Sun Shield competition on Wednesday, July 19.
Played on the extremely well presented Trevor Barker Oval in very windy conditions, St Patrick’s College kicked with the aid of a four goal wind in the first term and although dominating play, only held a 24-point advantage at quarter time.
During this term, St Patrick’s College executed 25 1% acts which is a barometer on how hard we were working whilst having 13 inside 50’s to Essendon Keilor’s 4. This was a clear reflection regarding the dominance of St Patrick’s College and it was only a 50 metre penalty from a marking infringement that created Essendon Keilor’s only goal for the term.
Izaac Johnson in the role as the small forward, kicked two goals during this period of the game and his clean hands coupled with his aggressive attitude, provided our midfield of Joe Dodd, Scott Carlin, Nick Stuhldreier and Tom Morrish with a creative marking option.
In a defensive move, Essendon and Keilor pushed extra numbers behind the ball, allowing St Patrick’s College the opportunity to isolate our Vice Captain and the extremely efficient ball user Mitch Tuddenham across half back. Mitch carried the ball to excellent effect, delivering the ball forward with both precision and speed. Our defensive six, led by Mitch, Jordan Grant and Tom Scott, held their shape extremely well and apart from the goal conceded by a defensive error, the backline was instrumental in St Patrick’s College, holding a 26-point advantage at the first break.
With Essendon and Keilor kicking with the aid of a four goal wind in the second term, St Patrick’s College were reminded about our team-first mantra and our 2017 Call to Arms “Respect the Jumper, Uphold the Legacy” at quarter time, and the team certainly responded to this during the second term with Essendon Keilor failing to resister a score during this period.
Joe Dodd who was unanimously judged best afield to this point due to his creative and ball winning ability suffered a nasty injury at the 16-minute mark, badly dislocating his knee cap during a marking contest. Fortunately, our team physiotherapist, Dr Charlie Flynn was able to put his knee cap into place, providing Joe with hope that he will be available in three weeks for the Grand Final. Joe accepted his injury with the same class and resilience that has been a hallmark to his playing career at the College since he first enrolled in the College in Year seven. Joe played in the 2015 Herald Shield premiership as a Year 10 student and it would be a major disappointment to not only Joe however the playing group, if he was available to contest the Grand Final.
Nick Canny who conceded several centimetres to his taller opponent, was able to use his leap to excellent effect, providing his midfielders first use of the ball through creative ball use with the change of hand angles in the ruck. Nick has shown considerable improvement over the last 12 months and due to his size, although not ideally suited to the rucking role has become a very important player within our team structure. Nick provided Joe, Tom Morrish, Scott Carlin and Nick Stuhldreier first use of the ball and their ball winning ability allowed SPC to kick two unanswered goals during the second term, opening up a 38-point advantage at the main break.
The third quarter was statistically our weakest in regards to the team executing only 14 1% acts for the term. Although this in part was because St Patrick’s College controlled the game and had 70% of the play, with 14 inside 50’s to Essendon Keilor’s five.
Josh Chatfield who had been sidelined for six weeks due to injury, presented up the ground to his teammates and became a real focal point in the key high post of Centre Half Forward. Josh kicked two goals for the quarter (three for the game) whilst the very lively and team orientated Jordan Johnston kicked his first for the game. Jordan who has just returned from playing for Victoria Country in the U/18 National Championships, has beautiful hands, is balanced and has a wonderful power in his legs and is an extremely difficult match-up for any opposition coach.
At the last break, with SPC holding an unassailable 10-goal advantage, it provided the coaching staff with the opportunity to either rotate players around or for those whom have had a big program with the opportunity to rest them completely.
It was wonderful to see St Patrick’s College kicking four unanswered goals during this period (EKC kicking with the aid of a two goal wind) whilst it was equally as pleasing to see the team executing 24 1% acts over this 20-minute period.
It could have been very easy for the team to have relaxed and coasted to a 10-goal victory however at game’s end SPC had won by a convincing 93 points and underlined the team’s ruthless approach to atone for last year’s agonizing one-point loss.
It was pleasing to see Joel O’Connell who was playing down back, play his best game at this level and his hardness and attack on the football, underlined his competitive nature which is so important in any game of football.
Some of the key statistics that underlined our dominance over Essendon Keilor College: EKC not registering a single score from the 16-minute mark of the first quarter, SPC holding a 54-21 inside 50 differential, SPC breaking even in Essendon Keilor College’s kick in’s (5 each) and SPC holding a 28-15 advantage both around the ground and at the centre stoppages.
Our attention now turns to the Herald Sun Shield final on Wednesday, August 16 at Simons Stadium, Geelong against St Bernard’s College, Essendon who progressed through to the final by winning their ACC competition. It will be a very even contest however if we play with the same team-first attitude whilst adopting the steely resolve to atone for last year, I am sure, we will be extremely competitive in the final.
1st XVIII Coach