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Last minute ruckus loses the gamePosted in Sport on Friday, 6 July, 2018

Match Report – Round 4 v Darling Range

MCC 7.3 (45) lost to Darling Range 7.7 (49) – Final score at 23 minute mark of the second half

MCC’s final home game of the season was a treat with perfect conditions on offer. The two squads coming in were undermanned with Darling Range missing  five or six of their best line up, while the maroon and gold were missing nine of their best 22. The game looked even on paper and the match itself proved to be a true reflection.

After Brad Hodge won the toss and flexed his muscles in victory, it was the visitors who hit the scoreboard first with the first three scoring shots. Once the team settled and absorbed some of the opposition pressure they started to get on top and got some free flowing scores with a new look forward line, featuring three-and-a-half working legs (Michael Fenton and Harrison Hull). The midfield gave them some nice service and after Jackson Knight kicked a classy running goal it looked as though MCC would run away with the game. True to both teams’ form, Darling Range bounced back after a couple of mistakes and took the half time lead after the siren, thanks to a poor kick in option that resulted in a free kick. Half time 4.2 to 4.5.

This team was quiet at the break but seemed to have a bit of confidence in the way they carried themselves, which would hopefully transfer into the second half. Our talls in Liam Free and Jack Fourie led the way when it came to contesting the ball in the air and once again the mids and crafty work by our small forwards ensured we would stay in the game for a long period.

The second half see-sawed with neither team getting further than two goals ahead. With a bit of spite between the two sides there was plenty of hard contests to be won and MCC showed they were up to the challenge. There was a lot on the line with the winner potentially securing a finals spot, while the loser would go home and wonder what could have been.

With MCC pressing with two minutes remaining, a hard contest resulted in a melee, which in turn saw the umpire abandon the game before full time. An unfortunate end to a game that deserved a better finish. Darling Range by four points…

Positive Performances

  1. Michael Fenton & Harrison Hull – Scoring has been a struggle over the course of the season, but this was the first time we had multiple contested marks from forwards inside 50. Pre-game, Harry Hull was in and out of the team like a yo-yo, while Michael Fenton literally looked like a pirate on his peg leg. Despite this Hull plucked an incredible one hander while Fenton kicked three unlikely goals to keep the maroon and gold in contention. These two kicked 3/4 of our score which underpinned their importance but, more importantly, showed their commitment to the team and not letting their team mates down. Next time you have a runny nose and think about not playing, think about these two!
  2. Cameron Martley – Almost the equivalent of Adam Sandler in ‘The Waterboy’, the player that just turns up to training at first, does the water and moves his way into the team. Today he went next level. He may not look or move like a footballer, but today he looked like Jeremy McGovern across half back taking intercept marks and generally fighting out of his weight division in one-on-one contests. A crunching early tackle that saved a goal set the standard for the day. Some people whinge and complain about not playing, others do the work and earn their place. ‘Sqwidge’ has made the most of his time as an MCC footballer and sets the standard for commitment to ‘team’.
  3. Ben Cox – For some reason ‘Coxy’ gets into good spots to find the footy and his left foot generally hits a target more often than not. Despite his small stature, he found himself in many contested situations and never shirked the issue. Was great in linking play for the side today and has been a welcome addition to the side over the past two weeks.
  4. OJ Hatton – Another player like Cameron Martley who has had to wait for an extended opportunity on the field, but showed today that he can get it done. With 8-9 first choice players out, OJ stepped up and played with great spirit and generally did good things with the ball when in hand. Who said rugby players aren’t skilful?
  5. Liam Free & Jack Fourie – We were low on big men, but the two we had played like at least four or five of them. Liam was a real presence in the ruck and essentially played as an extra midfielder around the ground, while Jack was a true forward target. While he didn’t pluck many he didn’t lose any contests and allowed our smalls to go to work. The big boys stood taller than most today!

After four games we drop to 1-3, but not through a lack of effort. We no longer control our own destiny for a finals berth, but have one more road trip to look forward to next week ending the season against CBC in Fremantle next Wednesday.

Mr Danny Chartres
Football Coach