By Callum 'Articles' Ludwig
A hotly-anticipated clash between local rivals Lilydale and Montrose took place in Round 16, as the Falcons made the short trip to the home of the Demons.
The Lilydale U19.5s kicked off the day with an early 8.50am start to make room for the Senior Women’s game to follow, and looked to be still asleep, with a disappointing 17.12, 114 to 0.3, 3 defeat.
In a grudge match like this one, the Dales were left dispirited by the performance and will vow to rectify their form in the final two matches of the season before heading into a finals series.
Returning from Covid, key defender Astin Bucci’s frustrations resulted in a first-quarter yellow card and reflected the game as Lilydale struggled to get past Montrose’s surge football and land a blow of their own on the scoreboard.
The ever-consistent Zac ‘Chicken Schnitty’ Carolan was a scarce positive on the day for the Dales, as his work in the midfield gave Lilydale most of their forward entries but a few too many uncharacteristically down days from multiple players led to a result few in blue and gold will be keen to see again.
Austin ‘Oz’ White can also be commended, not necessarily for his performance on the field, but off it as he faced the embarrassment of his teammates ‘helping’ him support his better half in her own game which followed.
The U19.5s will be turning out in droves at training this week and are committed to ALL players in the side staying for dinner after Thursday night training.
Despite the big loss, the U19.5s are still fifth on the ladder and are guaranteed a finals place as other results fell their way.
The Reserves were up next for Lilydale after the Women’s game and went down in a commendable loss to the second-placed Montrose side 10.15, 75 to 4.7, 31.
Notably, the battle in the midfield was very competitive as both sides saw plenty of football.
While Ethan ‘Pony’ Filliponi saw best-on-ground honours head his way as he held down the fort down back, Trent ‘Chunk’ Davison, Matthew ‘Dip’ Di Pietrantonio and young Kyan ‘Poodle’ Ellis were influential in providing opportunities for Jarrod ‘Jazz’ Thompson and Cam ‘Fridge’ Oude-Meilink deep in the forward line, rounding out the best players.
Chunk almost had the supporting U19.5s players lose their minds with an outrageous attempt on goal from the bottom right pocket of the slanted Montrose ground, keeping the ball in play with one hand before throwing it on the left boot before it just drifted across the face.
Jazz, Fridge, Chunk and Jordan ‘Tubes’ Trollope were the Dales goalkickers on the day.
The Reserves remain ninth on the ladder.
The Seniors were out to repeat the trick against Montrose from earlier in the season to celebrate the 100th game of everyone’s favourite Naughty European, Mitchell ‘DeFran’ De Franceschi.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as Montrose came away with the win, the final scores reading 13.11, 89 to 8.8, 56.
While the result wasn’t ideal, it was through no fault of DeFran, who was Lilydale’s best in his milestone match, followed by Jesse ‘Burgers’ Ebert, Douglas ‘Marleys’ Wootton, Liam ‘Jeffa’ Jeffs, Marc Massarotti and Harry ‘TikToks’ Mitchell.
TikToks’, in only his third Senior match impressed again with another two goals, matched by small forward compatriot Macauley ‘Bags’ Beckwith. Single goalkickers were Oscar ‘Big O’ Aliotta, Jordan ‘Jaws’ Jaworski, Isaac ‘Thumb-Thumb’ Biasuzzo and DeFran.
Rumours of an unofficial, previously unheard-of and definitely not made up petition, for goals in the 1’s to count as five goals towards the tally of a player who has played more than 9 games in the Reserves in the competition’s goalkicking count could rightly see TikToks soar towards the top of the goalkicking charts in the 2’s to make up for the bags of goals he would’ve kicked had his services not been required at Senior level.
Lilydale officials are not expected to table this to the EFL at any given point in time, ever, but we can dream.
The Seniors are ninth on the ladder.
Next week, Lilydale takes on Wantirna South in the Falcon’s last home game of the season, which will also celebrate Past Players Day and the draw of the Future Fund raffle, where for a $50 ticket, entrants receive a guaranteed 1 hour of free beverages at the clubrooms from 7pm and are in with a chance to win one of five prizes up to $3000.
More details can be found on the club’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LilydaleFootballNetballClub.
Be sure to reference Callum Ludwig if you decide to enter the raffle so your loyal scribe looks like a really great and proactive member of the club.