The UTS Bats’ Premier Division side faced a tough ask playing Manly Giants at Weldon Oval but managed to walk away with what finished up a convincing 24-point victory on Saturday. Continuing their record-breaking season, the Bats now move two games clear in third position on the AFL Sydney ladder after storming home in the final term to win 14.6 (90) to 9.12 (66) – a first over Manly since both teams have entered the Premier Division competition.
The Bats mettle was tested early on after losing stand-in skipper and ever consistent Kaizaad Mehta to a badly dislocated shoulder in the first quarter. In a fiercely physical tussle where the lead see-sawed throughout the entire match it was the Bats resolve and accuracy in the last quarter that was enough to get the job done. Both sides had the same amount of Q4 scoring shots but the Bats made the most of their opportunities, kicking five straight goals to secure the win.
Former skipper Scott Tregoning was unstoppable up front, kicking a game-high five goals while consistent goal-scorer Dan Breese also contributed with three of his own. Sam Nethersole (pictured) was awarded Best on Ground honours while Will Henderson, Dan Crouch, Jai Lyons-Lashley and Ben Nethersole also performed exceptionally well.
Wet conditions saw a low-scoring affair between UTS’ Division One side and Macquarie Uni with the Bats managing a remarkable come-from-behind win. Macquarie Uni led for the majority of the match but failed to register a single score in the final term while the Bats slammed home three goals to win by 12 points.
Tough midfielder Daniel Carmody was the best of the bunch, revelling in the slippery conditions while ruckman/forward Tom Nixon played an important role. Other solid contributors included Bottomley (two goals), Reynolds, Macklin, Hall along with skipper Oliver Brecht.
Division Two were up against it all afternoon vs Manly, battling hard in the second half, but still going down by 71 points at Weldon Oval. The home side pilled on 13-2 goals in the first half setting up the win but it was a much closer affair after the main break with the Bats nearly outscoring their opponents. There were also a host of Bats playing their first match in Division Two so the visitors were able to hold their head high after the final siren.
Wettenhall was named Best on Ground for a constant performance while Bats debutant Knights (3 goals), Ed Williams, Brett Day, Ed McConachy and Aido Reynolds also had solid games.
Division Four went down in a heart-breaker to Manly after nearly pulling off an incredible comeback away from home. The Bats failed to score a goal in the first term which saw them chasing a 30-point deficit for most of the match.
An inspired third quarter saw the visitors pull themselves back into contention with the scores level at the last change. However the home crowd and experience was enough to get Manly the win, claiming victory by just 13 points.
Nicholas Brunton was the best of the bunch, playing through the guts as part of a run-with role against Manly’s most damaging mid. Meanwhile Dominic Whelan played his best game of the season in defence, saving several goals on the last line. Other contributors included; Brown, Taffa (3 goals), Murray, Ferreira and Burnett.
Division Five scraped home by the narrowest of margins against Macquarie Uni, winning by a single point at University Oval. A four-goal third term set up the victory but a late charge from the home side gave the Bats a fright in the dying stages.
Big man Lorenzo Nevin managed to slot the match winner while Blair Howson took several hanger’s in the forward-line.
Best on Ground honours went to Andy Wilson who is stringing together some exceptional performances.
Excitement machine Jefferson Joseph also performed strongly, despite having a brain-snap and kicking the
ball in the wrong direction (not the first time this season!).
The UTS Shamrocks played Manly in wet and rainy conditions but the weather didn’t slow them down at all, winning by 93-points. Leading from start to finish, the Shamrocks showed no mercy as they sought yet another percentage booster approaching finals.
Gillian Behan slotted six majors and now moves seven goals clear on top of the AFL Sydney goal kickers leaderboard. Ironically the second best forward in the competition is teammate Carol Breen (24 goals) who managed to kick two of her own. Christine McCutcheon was named Best on Ground ahead of Behan, Humphries, Barrett, Vallance and Wright.
All teams will play at home next week with the feature match being the UTS Bats’ Premier Division side take on top-of-the-table East Coast Eagles at Trumper Park from 2.10pm.