Wins by 106 points are usually greeted with glee by players, coaches and supporters.
But Prahran Assumption's 20-18 (138) to Hawthorn 4-8 (32) victory in VAFA Division 2 at Toorak Park on Saturday came with a giant asterisk.
After an opening burst of three straight goals in the first 10 minutes the Two Blues lapsed into an error riddled, unaccountable period that included eight successive points and twice out on the full from 10 shots at goal.
The sequence of misses ended with an horrendous Hawthorn turnover which gifted the ball to Adam Sleight alone in the goal square.
A 30 point half-time lead flattered the Two Blues and drew a warranted blast from coach Ash Mills.
The response was a 14 goals to two second half but the players will be acutely aware a repeat of the first half will consign them to defeat this coming Saturday against top-of-the-ladder West Brunswick.
To their credit the team lifted their work rate and dominated inside 50s with swift ball movement.
Captain James Musster was inspirational, especially with a dominant third quarter, while vice-captain Jon Simonetta's five goals, without a miss, was a tribute to his skills and adaptability.
Josh Hogarth, with four goals from 10 scoring shots, was the dominant forward in the game.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 3-5. 6-11. 13-16. 20-18 (138) D HAWTHORN 0-0 2-5 4-5 4.8 (32)
Goals: Simonetta 5, Dickinson, J Hogarth 4, Sleight, Saunders 2, Atwell, Maya, Musster.
Best: Musster, Simonetta, T Freeman, J Hogarth, Gottschalk, Dickinson, Maya.
REMARKABLY Hawthorn posted the first score of the match, a point, which remained their score for the match! Just as remarkably Will Walford, aged 48, kicked a career high six goals in what proved to be a rout. The Two Blues are undefeated and with a thumping 355.39 percentage.
Coach Josh Ancrum's report:
1st- Didn’t start well yet again and took a while to get going. Warm up this week must be on point as we can’t allow WB a fast start. Had 80% of the play but gave away 5 silly free kicks at crucial times to only score 4 goals. Not acceptable and our forward 50 entries were sprayed everywhere except to our key forwards. Plenty of time and space so back yourself to hit the target and make the right choice.
2nd- Saw us pile on 6 goals in a better performance. Great to have Chisel back controlling the back 50m. Walford and Challis did the damage up forward and across the ground players were able to keep their positioning and not all get sucked to the ball. Wings rotations need to be running at full speed both ways and not watching from afar.
3rd- Great to see Forbes light up the quarter with 2 smothers and some damaging runs. Team goal was keep them scoreless which we achieved. Started to cut out the long range shots that were low percentage to be able to give the footy to team mates in better positions. Man on man defence needs an overhaul and setting up during a set shot needs to be our focus and to call it loudly moving forward.
4th- Good teams are relentless and to our credit we piled on 7 last quarter goals with Jay Boy slotting one to cap off the quater from outside 50m. Great to see chief lift in the 2nd half to slot 5 majors as our mids worked overtime and dominated the clearances all up 21-6. Last week we broke our record for inside 50’s however we’ve set the bar even higher finishing on 76. A great all round team effort leading into a huge game.
Positives – Our first full 4 quater performance/ Great to see players in front of goal share the ball around and not become selfish/ All 22 players played a role through the game/ As a team we kept them 0.1/ Defence was solid all day and moved the ball well in transition/ 76 inside 50’s – new record.
Negatives – Man on man defence needs to be worked on and ramped up so that we are not caught off guard/ discipline needs to improve as it could cost us a game/ Forward 50 entries can always improve as early they were too wide.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 22-21 (153) D HAWTHORN 0-1 (1)
Goals: W. Walford 6, Challis 5, Ellis 5, Hutchison 2, Thompson 2, Rees, McCulloch.
Best: Panagiotaros, McCulloch, Challis, Walford, Luff, Forbes
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 8-7 (55). D BRUNSWICK NOBS 3-5 (23).
Goals: Davis 4, Murphy 2, Bryant, Brooker.
Best: I. Davidson, A. Davis, Morton, Murphy, Wall, Anderson