It was a good afternoon for the UTS Bats’ Premier Division side who find themselves back on the AFL Sydney winner’s list after comfortably beating Pennant Hills Demons by 44 points at Mike Kenny Oval on Saturday. The Bats controlled play from the get-go, leading from start to finish with a final score of 18.6 (114) to 10.10 (70).
David Smith (pictured) played his most well-rounded game of the season, finishing with five majors and the Best on Ground title. Having spent most of his career in the back line, Smith now looks to be well at home playing up forward.
Other multiple goal-kickers included Daniel Hines (four), Dan Breese (three) and Zac Parsons (two) while, Macklin, Larby, Lyons and Callahan all chipped in with one apiece. Half-back Tom Larby was another who played well across four quarters as did Ben Nethersole, Rohan Bates, Jai Lyons-Lashley and Sam Nethersole. It wasn’t all smooth sailing however, with the Bats losing Jack Hewitt (knee) and Jack Macklin (hip) early in the first half. Both will be assessed this week.
Premier Division coach Nic Fosdike was happy with his side’s performance following two tough losses.
“To be honest it was a solid team effort,” Fosdike said.
“Tom Larby and Rohan Bates were exceptional along with Smith, Nethersole and Lyons.
“Overall I was really pleased that we put in a great effort against a very good side.”
The win moves the Bats’ Prems into third position on the ladder, a game clear of their next opponent North Shore, who they face in a crunch match next Saturday at Mortgage Choice Oval.
It was a much closer affair in the curtain-raiser, but the Bats’ Division One side managed to hold on and defeat Pennant Hills Demons by just six points in a thriller. The Bats lead for the entire match and took a 18-point lead into the main change before the home-sided mounted a strong comeback in the second half.
Big ruckman Mick Izhik was instrumental around the ground while Harry Whiting (two goals) also played a major role in the victory. Other solid performers included Joel Minichiello, Nick Morling, captain Oliver Brecht and Alex Bottomley. Tom Nixon was a solid target up front, slotting two goals.
Division Two is still searching for their first win of the season after another heartbreaker against Randwick at Pioneers Park. The Bats led by 12 points going into the final term but inaccurate kicking came back to hurt them, the final scoreboard reading 10.5 (65) to 7.15 (57).
The 8-point defeat is the second consecutive close loss after the side went down by a single point just seven days earlier.
Best on Ground went to midfielder Jack O’Halloran ahead of ruckman Geoff Cohen, Danton Winter, new-bat Nick Bauer and Heath Mitchell. Tim Crow was the only multiple goal-kicker in a soggy, low scoring affair affected by the weather.
Meanwhile Division Four continue to shape as a solid finals contender after making easy work of Randwick by 44 points. After a scrappy first quarter, the Bats showed their class and used their skill to comfortably run away with the match.
Half forward Spencer Pascal – arguably the most consistent performer in the club – was again Best on Ground, continuing his remarkable start to 2016.
Likewise Tyrone Burnet continues to play an important role, using his big frame to good effect in the midfield. Forward Edward Taffa also made a successful return booting three goals in very trying conditions while Joshua Murray was solid and Dan Ferreira impressed on debut.
Playing solo at Bensons Lane, Division Five eventually managed a comfortable 20-point win over the Norwest Jets, kicking clear after a close first half. It was a very even performance across the board with best players extremely hard to split.
Up front Daniel Casarotto did most of the damage with four majors while Bradley Mahoney (three goals), Alexander Manning (two goals) and Tom Hiscutt (two goals) also played well.
Consistent post-match performer Michael Houston showed his experience after the final siren, given Best on Ground honours for his work on the bus ride home.
Division Five are now firmly entrenched in the Top 5 of the ladder, sitting two full games clear of Campbelltown.
Despite shocking conditions, the UTS Shamrocks still managed to impress and show their class, running away to a 79 point win after keeping Pennant Hills scoreless for the entire match.
The final score read 11.13 (79) to 0.0 (0) with Christine Mc Cutcheon slotting three majors ahead of Breen, Behan and McDonough who all finished with two.
Best on Ground went to Kate Vallance while Sheerin, Willis, Wilcox, Ryan and Hilmi all enjoyed solid games.
They might be sitting second on the table, but the Shamrocks are clearly the most attacking side in the competition, leading overall points for by more than 100. Next week they play the Newtown Breakaways from 10am at Mahoney Park.
Also don’t forget the crunch match between the UTS Bats Premier Division side and North Shore Bombers from 2.30pm at Mortgage Choice Oval in St Leonards.