The Nest hosts local bout between Lilydale and Croydon

Ryan 'Ninja' Haley goes full-ninja. Picture: HOTKER'S FOOTY PHOTOS.

By Callum Ludwig

A local clash between rivals Lilydale and Croydon marked the beginning of the second half of the season at the Falcon’s home of ‘The Nest.’

The Under 19.5’s returned rejuvenated, ready to bounce back from recent poor form to cement their finals push. They did so in style with a 4-goal win over the Croydon side who beat them by 4 points in round one, the final score 10.11, 71 to 7.5, 47.

The inseparable pair of Bailey Bateman and Lachlan Baxter was in fine form, kicking 4 and 4 goals respectively, spearheading the attack alongside the hard-leading 19.5-come-34-year-old Sean Calcaterra. The little fella Ryan ‘Ninja’ Haley snagged a goal and flew high for a mark (see pictured), with the goalkickers rounded off Daniel ‘Spin Moves’ Ryan and myself, Callum ‘Articles’ Ludwig, with a set shot which couldn’t have been closer to the goalpost without hitting it.

It’s a good thing Ashton Dobbin was so good around the ground, given best on-ground honours, because he continued an unfortunate streak of missing sitters with his shot on goal off the side of the boot following a strong mark. Spin Moves and his own partner in crime, the high-flying brick outhouse (censored) Luke Phillips were next among the top performers. They were further joined by returning Seniors player Zac ‘Chicken Schnitty’ Carolan, Cooper ‘Backpacks’ Beckwith and Fletcher March, who denied supporters the trademark ‘Double Cobra’ with two missed shots on goal late in the game.

The U19.5s climb above Croydon to fifth on the ladder.

The Reserves came out eager to try and claim a scalp over fifth-placed Croydon but fell short, losing 6.9, 45 to 11.6, 72.

Renowned goalsneak Harry ‘TikToks’ Mitchell grabbed another customary couple of snags to take his season tally to 13, with other goalkickers being Jordan ‘Tubes’ Trollope, Matthew ‘Dip’ Di Pietrantonio, Mitchell ‘Peanut’ Blake and new recruit Josh Newman, who arguably could have left Tiktoks quick snap go through of its own accord. They all count I guess.

Alex Carrigan crashed and bashed as usual on his way to being Lilydale’s best, alongside Luke Phillips in his second outing of the day, Nathan Thompson, Dip, Oscar ‘Big O’ Aliotta and U19.5s skipper Mitchell ‘Gym Rat’ Van de Maat who also double up.

The Reserves remain ninth on the ladder.

The Seniors were also on the wrong end of a 4-point margin last time the Dales and the Blues met and were hoping to make amends, however, a poor first quarter left Lilydale chasing the game which finished 7.14, 56 to 15.13, 103.

Croydon piled on 9 unanswered goals before the first break and Lilydale coach Luke McCormick delivered an effective spray that saw a much better response in the second quarter as Lilydale kicked 5 goals to 1.

One bloke who clearly did not want to give the game up was Jordan ‘Jaws’ Jaworski who kicked a remarkable 6 goals to make his way into the top five goalkickers in the league with 24 for the season. Not the only big haul Jaws has pulled in this season…

Isaac ‘Bazinga’ Biasuzzo was the only other Lilydale goalkicker as he tried to inspire a Big Bang against one of his old sides with a goal of his own as Lilydale made a push in the second quarter to reduce the deficit.

Jaws, Mitchell ‘DeFran’ De Franceschi, Jayden ‘Jib’ Depace, Nick ‘Noodles’ Del Biondo, Ryan ‘Dobby’ McNay and Marc Massarotti were the Dales best on the day as Croydon’s lead proved too large to overcome.

The Seniors dropped back down to ninth on the ladder.

Lilydale takes on Upper Ferntree Gully away next week, with Ladies Day being hosted back at the clubrooms on the evening of Saturday 25 June, with a number of specially-recruited waiters from the three sides set to make an appearance.