Turtles hot start continues with win over Hoers

Published on Sunday, May 12, 2024

Author : Doug Long

It was another convincing performance from Old Eltham Collegians in their Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 clash with Ivanhoe, winning by 32 points at Eltham College.

Matthew Sleeman’s men controlled proceedings for the majority of the match and impressed in the 10.11 (71) to 6.3 (39) result, which keeps the Turtles unbeaten after six matches and has strengthened their grip on top spot.

“We ticked another box today, we have proven that we are a good second half and fourth quarter side,” Old Eltham Collegians Matt Sleeman said.

Sleeman gave a big tick to Beaudie Maroney who took numerous strong marks in defence and gave his team drive off half back.  He also noted that stand in captain Liam Rushton-McCoach excelled in a winning defensive unit.

The Turtles went to the first break just a point ahead and appeared to get on top after that. But they squandered some opportunities to put distance between themselves and their opponents in the second stanza, with a return of 2.4 to 2.1 seeing them lead narrowly at the main break.

Old Eltham Collegians full forward Matthew Williamson was looking dangerous by half time. He had a goal in the first term and then an assist in the second with a long handpass to Jay Smith in space, who scored an easy major.

The Hoers were close enough if good enough at the main break, but the ball lived in the forward line of the Turtles early in the third quarter, and Williamson was unstoppable for the home team, taking two strong marks in the goal square for easy conversions.

Nicholas Milne chipped in for two as well for the term as the lead blew out to 32 points. Almost every time Ivanhoe players attempted to transfer the ball out of defence, the Old Eltham Collegians players were able to intercept the ball or nullify the contest.

It appeared that the visitors were going to be scoreless for the quarter but, against the run of play, Adam Pipakis snapped truly to give the Hoers a faint glimmer of hope as his team went to the huddle 26 points down.

Ivanhoe playing-coach Wayne Schultz asked his players to compete and work hard, while aiming to claim plenty of uncontested marks in the final term.

A quick goal or two by the Hoers in the last quarter would’ve breathed life into the contest, but scoring for both teams was difficult early on.

Finally, Paul Vidinopoulos, who had spent some time keeping tabs on the dangerous Scott Selwood, marked and fired at goal. The ball went to the line but was punched back in and play appeared to go on, however the goal umpire signalled that the ball had crossed the line for a major; with any hope for a miraculous comeback by Ivanhoe then ending.

Milne quickly put some icing on the cake with his fourth goal of the day before the scoring once again dried up as the teams played out time.

Brent Macaffer exhibited his experience, getting to the right places at the right time and using the ball well in a positive day for the local fans.

But there were some positives for the Hoers. They did manage to win the uncontested mark count in the final term which came about due to better use of the ball compared to earlier in the contest.

Teenager Riley Trew played his first senior game in the NFNL and looks to have a future, while Ethan Hunt was productive and kicked the final goal of the game from close range.

Ben Ernst had a good battle in the ruck with Sean Leersen and managed to get his hands on the ball in general play.  Jamie Lay continued his solid season on the wing, while several players gained more senior experience against a quality opposition.

“It’s now about getting back on the horse and doing the little things well, we need to own our moments,” Ivanhoe coach Wayne Schultz said.

Schultz noted that Marcel Moran was a stand-out as the team’s best. He got his hands on the ball a lot in midfield and used it extremely well, while Nick Vines gained praise for his solid defensive efforts.

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