ROSEBUD proved once and for all on Saturday that it is right in the mix for the 2015 Nepean League premiership.
In the match of the round, the Buds opened up an early break and despite Hastings getting within ten points late in the clash, the home side was able to put on the afterburners and boot five goals to two in the last to win 17.15 (117) to 11.11 (77).
The Buds have now won six matches on the trot, their only losses coming at the hands of Rye in the opening game of the season and against Red Hill three weeks later.
Rosebud were able to turn the tables on Red Hill a few weeks ago to the tune of 100 points.
It was Hastings’ second loss of the season, its first coming against Somerville.
The Buds have now beaten Hastings, Red Hill and Somerville in their opening ten games. They are yet to play Sorrento and they don’t play Rye for a second time.
Before the match, the call was made that if Hastings could stop the in–form Tom Baker, they would probably win the match. Well, Baker was held goalless, however, the Blues still managed to kick 17 majors.
Greg Bentley played as a forward in the first half and booted four goals before going off with a hyper–extended knee. He didn’t come back on the field in the second half.
Lachy Armstrong and Keegan Downie also contributed three goals each while Chris Zurek did a wonderful job on Luke Clark, restricting the goal kicking ladder leader to just three goals.
The stand out best player on the ground was Jason Bristow. He booted three goals and racked up the possessions playing in the middle of the ground.
Ryan Spooner was dominant on a wing and Nick Boswell brought his absolute A-game to the table. After finding his way for a while, Boswell is now in tip top shape and dominating. There is no question that Boswell is one of the most damaging players in the competition.
Rosebud had seven Under 19 players running around on Saturday. An absolute credit to the club and to the senior coach Nick Jewell for showing the faith and confidence in them to perform at the highest level against the best teams in the competition.
What appeared to be an Achilles heel (inexperience), has proven to be an absolute will to do what is best for the team.
Nick Jewell agreed.
“What the kids give us is absolute effort. The more experienced and older players go out on the field knowing that the kids will do anything to help us win,” said Jewell.
“I sent a text message to the senior players on Friday night and told them that the kids will give us their all and it was their responsibility to bring their best effort and steer the ship for us.
“That’s exactly what they did – they were just super.”
Once again, Rosebud had 30-plus shots at goal. Jewell went on record four weeks ago saying that his side liked to play scrappy footy.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that we have changed the way we play,” said Jewell.
“That hasn’t been conscious though. Our basic ingredient is defend first, which we have and always will do.
“Where things have changed is that we are defending extremely well, turning over the ball in dangerous parts of the ground, regaining possession and attacking hard.
“Our team defence has improved dramatically as the season has gone on too and I think the make-up of our team is a lot more unpredictable than we have been in the past, which helps us.
“Players like Dale Stephens is playing unbelievable footy after being in the footy wilderness for a while.”
Rosebud went into the game without seven of their best 22. Paul McDonald, Matt Baker, Seb Kremich, Chris Dew, Rohan Forrest and Paul Kennedy all didn’t play yesterday, while Bentley was off for the second half.
“Hastings had some good players out too with the likes of Brendan Dunne, Steve Charalambous and a couple of others while Colin McVeigh missed because his wife went into labour on Friday night.
“It does prove though that our depth is fantastic and when everyone is available, there’s going to be some very good players in the reserves or Under 19s,” said Jewell.
Somerville blew Crib Point away with an explosive six goals to zip in the opening quarter. By half time they had restricted the opposition to one goal and led by 52 points at the change.
First quarters were once a problem for the Eagles but now it seems they have got their starts right.
Rohan Hogenbirk, Luke Rowe and Scott Simpson all booted three goals each for the Eagles in their 18.13 (121) to 6.8 (48) victory, while Timmy McGenniss was once again the best player on the ground with two goals and more than 30 touches.
Luke Herrington was the best of the Magpies with three goals.
Frankston Bombers returned to the winners list, coming from behind to beat Pearcedale 11.15 (81) to 10.11 (71).
The Bombers trailed by four points at quarter time, 12 points at half time and one point at three quarter time, before booting 4.7 to 3.2 in the last quarter.
Matt Harris and Jason Kingsbury were outstanding for the Bombers while James Orr in the ruck was superb also.
Basil Sibosado booted three majors for the Dales while Harrison Prior was sensational on debut.
Devon Meadows booted 18.24 (132) to Tyabb’s 4.1 (25), inflicting yet another 100 point loss.
Glenn Michie booted five goals and Dylan Hand returned with four majors while Troy Aust (four goals) and Heath Black (three goals) also contributed on the scoreboard.
Beau Miller and Jesse Dehey were at their best.
Michael Frost booted two goals for Tyabb while Tyson Sparkes and Adrian Clay collected the top votes.