By Callum 'Articles' Ludwig
Lilydale took on East Ringwood away from home in their Round 15 clash.
The injury-ravaged U19.5s began the day with a disheartening loss, going down 14.14, 98 to 5.6, 36.
The Dales mostly kept pace with the Roos throughout the first half, a goal and 17 points down at each of the first two breaks respectively.
However, East Ringwood blew the lead out in the third quarter as Lilydale failed to score while East Ringwood piled on 4.5 and the Falcons only managed 1.3 in the last quarter to East Ringwood’s 3.7.
Lilydale’s best players on the day were Zac ‘Chicken Schnitty’ Carolan, the under-siege full-back Caleb Daniels, Lachlan ‘Dangerous Dust’ Isbester, the riled-up Austin ‘Oz’ White, Fletcher March and Cooper ‘Backpacks’ Beckwith.
Goalkickers were Chicken Schnitty, Ryan ‘Ninja’ Haley, Oz, Ashton ‘Dobby’ Dobbin and Lachlan ‘Genesis’ Baxter.
Some positives to take out of the game were the keen attitudes of Jaymin ‘Bull’ Townsley and Adrian Clark to sacrifice some aspects of their game to attempt to nullify a direct opponent, with a particularly stirring speech from Clark during the week after he reflected on frustrations laying in the backline in the big win over Bayswater.
He stressed the importance of each player realising they have a role to play wherever that be on the ground, or even on the bench where players can stay positive and be ready to come back on and perform their role as best as possible.
Selfless attitudes to the game will hopefully hold the Dales in good stead as the U19.5s prepare for a finals campaign in a month’s time, currently still in fifth on the ladder.
A similarly-depleted Reserves side also suffered a big loss with only two available players on the bench throughout the game, going down 16.12, 108 to 2.7, 19.
In positive news for the 2’s, Sean ‘Ranga’ Hajdu managed another snag with a lovely snap in the second quarter that bent back in, continuing on the Ranga Run of goals, making it four goals in three. He was seen headed to the bench right after.
Ryan ‘R-Mac’ MacFarlane was the other goalscorer for the Dales, slotting home truly in the third quarter.
The Reserves were unable to capitalise on the strong ruck work of Matthew ‘Sweet Chilli Philly’ Phillips, who for once may have actually ‘set the tone’ as he often claims, winning the tap far more often than not.
Travis ‘Slim Shady’ Mihan was one who did get his hands on the footy a fair bit to claim best on the ground for the Falcons, followed by ‘Sweet Chilli Philly’, exciting prospect and everyman Kyan Ellis, Johnny Devincentis, Josh Newman and Ethan ‘Pony’ Filliponi.
Lilydale’s Reserves remains ninth on the ladder.
Lilydale’s Seniors has the daunting prospect of facing the ladder leaders, as East Ringwood claimed the top spot having knocked off the previously undefeated Mooroolbark the week prior.
In a valiant effort, the Dales went down 16.10, 106 to 9.7, 61 in wet and cold conditions. Plenty of positives were noted by Senior Coach Luke McCormick up against his former side from his playing days.
Macaulay ‘Bags’ Beckwith was very lively with a couple of goals in the first half and finishing with 4, and he was joined in the goalkicking list by Jayden ‘Jib’ Depace who bagged 2, and Jarrod ‘Blue Clouds’ Thompson, Beau ‘Beauner’ Mitchener and Ryan ‘Dobby’ McNay who each kicked 1.
Bags’ haul brings him to 27 goals for the season, only one behind Jordan ‘Jaws’ Jaworski in what will prove to be an interesting race for the side’s leading goalkicker award with three games left in the home and away season.
Lilydale’s best players on the day were Jib, Marc Massarotti, Beauner, Jaws, Liam ‘Jeffa’ Jeffs and Bags.
The Seniors still sit ninth on the ladder after the loss.
With the weather much improved from Saturday, Lilydale players, members and officials left the field for the course in a much-enjoyed Golf Day at Gardiners Run.
Next week Lilydale takes on local rivals Montrose in what always proves to be a heated clash, where each side will be out to prove which side is “the best finishing team in the competition” after the last game between the Senior sides was won by a goal after-the-siren from Jaws.