2014 Round 3 v Manningham – Match Report

Round 3:

This week was a milestone game for one of the modern greats of West Brunswick. Louis Martin has given a great deal to the club in his years, and has achieved great success: a member of the 2008 premiership team when he was still a young pup, later a club Best & Fairest. He has matured into an outstanding captain who leads by example and voice, on and off the field. We congratulate him on this achievement, thank him for what he has contributed to the club over the years, and wish him many more games ahead.

Several faces from the past came down to show support from the sidelines. The Casterton connection was re-established through Sherry and young Sauce-Magic. Even George Saisanas was resurrected post-Easter to help run the boundary. After a slight kerfuffle with the umpiring of the twos, the President stepped-in, kitted out in bright yellow and took up the whistle. But Gibbo’s reign was short-lived; with Ocker’s arrival normal service resumed.

The twos welcomed a new ruckman to the fold in big Mitch, and a few new faces at his feet and around the ground. Hamma made it clear early that high standards were to be maintained and with no thirds game this week the presence of a few lads who missed out made it clear that everyone playing had to earn their spot. Again WB got the early march on their opposition, surging forward and peppering shots that seemed to go wide when other weeks they would have gone through. This, unfortunately, was to be the theme of the day. Soon enough though, the midfielders started reaping the benefits of more intense forward pressure and running into open goals. Hamma made the point that it was a team of 22, with plenty of versatility and rotations available on every line. It’s an enviable position for a reserves side to be in. Manningham were more competitive than previous opposition had been, breaking through the WB defence for the first goal to be conceded for the year. They made their other scoring shot count as well, kicking 2 straight and dragging the Westies’ percentage down into the thousands.

Marto’s not got the biggest tank at the club, but he runs on heart and runs all day. He’s not the tallest, but he plays large. He’s not the quickest, but he knows where to be and he wills himself there. He’s a smart footballer, who gets the most out of himself and those around him. in his 100th he brought all those fine characteristics and displayed them in a best-on-ground performance. The game itself could have been put to bed early, but for inaccurate kicking, and when a melee gave Cobras the shift in momentum they sought, and when injuries struck down a couple of WB’s midfielders, the contest became a lot tighter. It was a tough tussle, played with an intensity that sometimes spilled over, but the Brunswick boys kept their heads and kept their focus on the footy. They dug deep, ran harder, even with numbers against them, even with more injuries, even with no bench remaining. They overcame.

The tough wins are the memorable ones. This was a tough win, and it came at a cost, but it leaves both sides undefeated after three rounds, with a test of depth upcoming when we trek out to Westbourne for round 4.