In the examination for effort, Prahran Assumption passed with an A in a tight contest against Preston Bullants on Saturday
But when it came to conversion and delivery, sadly it was a D minus. The bottom line is the 6-14 (50) to 8-13 (61) loss consigned the Two Blues to a third successive defeat and so remain at the foot of the VAFA Division 1 ladder.
This was a game frustrating to watch and no doubt the same for players. There were skill errors galore with the turnover rate through the roof. Goals were gold, in fact a 3-7 half-time scoreline was somehow enough for a Two Blues four point lead. It was testimony to the fierce pressure and tackling prowess of both teams.
But in the second half the Bullants superior finishing skills came to the fore. The delivery to key forwards Callum Wilson and Jack Matherson was poor, to be generous. In part that was caused by the relentless pressure applied by the Bullants. But the lack of confidence was still evident. The pressure valve was slightly released after the hosts kicked the first three goals of the last quarter to apparently ice the game with a 22 point lead. Then when all seemed lost Jimmy Falcone booted the Two Blues first goal since late in the second quarter. Joel Hume weaved some magic with his left foot to goal on the run then Callum Wilson marked and goaled and suddenly with three minutes left the margin had been trimmed to five points. The Two Blues had their chances but the Bullants steadied with some timely marks. In truth it would have been larceny of the highest order had the Two Blues snatched a win. The return to Toorak Park next Saturday v Old Paradians can’t come quickly enough as the Two Blues desperately need to snap the losing sequence.
First quarter: The pressure was on from the first bounce with tackling relentless from both teams. The Two Blues were first to goal after a Wilson handball found Harrison Taylor for a snap goal. That was to be the only major of the quarter.
Second quarter: The Bullants booted the first goal within the two minutes. Then the arm wrestle resumed. Against the run of play Brett Dickinson , dominant in ruck duels all day, marked and courtesy of a 50m penalty goaled.
When Wilson found Jack Matherson with a pass which resulted in a third goal and the Two Blues had regained the lead. A flying shot from Wilson on the siren just missed,
Third quarter: A Bullants goal in the first 20 seconds was ominous. A free kick resulted in another Preston goal five minutes later. A James Musster snap was touched on the goal line as the Two Blues desparately tried to stem the tide, Twice the Bullants had chances to open a winning break but missed to keep the Two Blues hopes alive.
Fourth quarter: With the Bullants down to one man on the interchange bench the scene was set for the Two Blues to out run their rivals. But the reverse applied. The hosts upped their rating and a snap goal in the first two minutes was telling, then the Two Blues added three points. Two more Preston goals all but iced the game. Then when all seemed lost Jimmy Falcone finally goaled after a 50 minutes drought. Joel Hume and then Callum Wilson goaled and suddenly it was five points the difference and game on again. But the Bullants stayed the course and the smallest man on the ground Nathan Parkes goaled from a free kick moments before the siren.
Goals: Dickinson, Falcone, Matherson, Hume, Taylor, Wilson
Best: Kerr, Dickinson, Adams, Taylor, Falcone, Musster
Goals: Dempsey 4, B Chapman 3, Seaholme, Hall
Best: Panagiatoros, Bremner, Seaholme, B Quinn, Luff, B Chapman
Club XXIII: Bye
Goals: L. Sorono, K. Lindkvist
Best: G Suriano, A. Bransden, F. Mohammad Zayee, K. Lindkvist