A tremendous fight back in atrocious conditions has seen SKOB just fall short as time ran out at Uni Oval today. Over 4 goals down with just 10 minutes to play, it seemed all over for the visitors but they stormed back and almost pinched an unlikely victory when the siren sounded at the 35 minute mark of the last with SKOB just 4 points behind.
For those of you who get your advice from Jane Bunn et al, the forecast of a downpour was spot on as football returned to its wet weather roots on Saturday. Although not especially cold, the heavens were shedding a mountain of tears as the teams entered the arena for the main game at Uni Oval and every player had to deal with the fact that it was going to be slippery, and to win, you needed to get down and dirty.
The ground was in pretty decent nick given the rain but was playing like an ice skating rink and players slipped and slid all over the park. From the outset it was Uni Blues who had the early running and once again SKOB gave up the first two goals of the game. The response was quick and soon they were back on even terms and with late goals to Barnett and Lynch it was SKOB who had the early advantage at quarter time, leading by a goal.
The rain kept tumbling at the quarter time break but there were enough clever fans who had brought umbrellas and were prepared to rough it to get to the huddle. Long kicks was the order of the day and minimise the number of handballs, the message from the coaching staff at the break.
Uni showed a better knowledge for how to play this ground in the second term as they constantly brought the ball down the far side of the ground resulting in better forward 50 entries from which they were able to prosper. SKOB were able to mount plenty of counter attacks but missed a couple of gettable opportunities that they ultimately would rue. It was Uni who had the one goal advantage at the long break.
The rain stayed away for the third term and SKOB started well with multiple forward 50 entries but they were unable to convert these to majors. Uni on the other hand seemed to score goals each time they went into attack and it was their efficiency in this quarter when they incredibly kicked 6 straight goals - despite the heavy and slippery ball - that would ultimately prove the difference in the end.
In the final term the rain came in biblical proportions and visibility was reduced to almost nil for the hardy fans that stuck it out. Uni got a couple of cheeky snaps through and stretched the lead out to 27 points at the 16 minute mark. At that stage it looked all over for SKOB, but they were far from done with. Kanakis goaled and it was followed by another straight out of the middle to make it 15 points. It was then that the heavens truly opened up and rain came down in a manner that only Noah would recognise. It reduced the game to an absolute scrap in near darkness. This didn’t help the SKOB cause but once it lightened up slightly, SKOB kicked another through Kemp and it was game on again. As the clock ticked to 33 minutes, Kanakis booted his 3rd and suddenly there was less than a kick in it. With both sides throwing everything at the football in a desperate scramble, Uni were able to cling on in the last few seconds and ultimately took the 4 points, although SKOB could take plenty out of their gallant fight back and never say die attitude. There was hardly a SKOB player that didn’t give their heart and soul today, but Connor Ross, Sam Cameron and Cal Matheson were terrific all day, whilst Plugger Lynch was magnificent against the competitions best ruckman, playing a superb game in the ruck.
It’s a tough way to lose, but SKOB will take great heart from this performance and would have lost no fans (especially those who were smart enough to dress for the weather..)
SKOB 12.8.80 Uni Blues 13.6.84
Goals: B. Kanakis 3, R. Kemp 3, M. Brown, S. Kennedy, A. Lynch, Z. Ginies, S. Barnett, P. Edgar Best: C Ross,C. Matheson, S. Cameron, A. Lynch, B. Kanakis, J. Wood
In other games, our Reserves had the better of Uni, getting a vital win, whilst the thirds won out at the Snake Pit and the Under 23's had a big win. Not a lot went right for the Under 19's today and our Women's Gold team went down in a nail-biter by 1 point to Marcellin. The Saints Blue (with spearhead Pattison back in the team) got the win to consolidate their spot in the four.