The reserves often struggle to trouble the goal umpires and scoreboard attendants but led all day after goal sneak Coden Cassidy marked from 20 metres out at the Botanic Gardens end of the Fearon ground and kicked truly. Big-kicking ruck-rover Kaleb Halley roosted three goals, including a 40 metre torpedo punt that then bounced at 45 degrees. Dean Zavattiero, battling a bad back, slotted two smart goals. Chris Green displayed his foooty smarts when he seemed to bend the ball around the goalpost at the clubrooms end for his goal, while Patrick Micallef showed a cool head in kicking the Seagulls’ final goal half-way through the last quarter.
The Ringwood Spiders, though, were always in the game, never more than 13 points behind. With the wind behind them, they did much of the attacking in the second half of the final quarter and when the siren blew were only one straight kick short of victory.
Seagulls ruckman Kane Garner put his strong body into plenty of the contests, feeding the ball out to tenacious Sammy Belden and the lively Wardell twins, Alex and Lewis. Hope Blansgrove threw caution to the wind, as she often does – and took a brief breather after a push in the back left her flat on her face. Laurie Pollard’s accurate kicks from full-back meant the Seagulls were able to take the ball into attack via Jake ‘Safe Hands’ Tomasic, Liam ‘The Wolf’ Thursfield, and Kosta Vlahos – who did a sterling job on the Spiders’ dangerous centre-half-forward. Up forward Nathan ‘The Axe Man’ Axiak, Josh di Blasi and Brandon Micallef ensured the ball stayed inside the forward 50 for as long as possible. A clever kick by The Axeman set up an important goal.
“Both teams showed great character,” said coach Rob Cannon. “The Spiders were good sports about the loss. It was great for our reserves to see their hard work at training is paying off.”
Final scores: 8.3 (51) to 6.10 (45)
The Seagulls seniors team were slow to start against the Ringwood Spiders and paid the price, losing by 37 points. Injury and illness are taking their toll on the reigning Division 1 premiers, who know they now have the job ahead of them if they wish to go back-to-back. Final scores: 4.3 (27) to 9.10 (64) On Sunday 12 July the seniors play North Ballarat, while the reserves will pay an exhibition game against interstate visitors Fremantle CBC. The day will begin with the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the late Daniel Oakley, the former Williamstown and Mazenod player, who passed away suddenly last year. The Slater and Gordon FIDA Football League is a league for footballers with an intellectual disability: fida.org.au