We welcomed University on what was a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon. With the coaching staff excited for our prospects after our great win the previous week, there was a sense we could knock off a top four team.
Uni raced out of the blocks and had 3 goals on the board before we knew what hit us! Maybe the crowd that had gathered was thinking a thumping was on the cards, but there is resolve in this group. Not only did we draw level with quick goals but we actually got ourselves out in front which was pleasing to see. Tom Roney was in everything in his 100th game for the club and with bright starts from Jake Haggerty, Jake Sammut and Tyson Brown it was a credit to the boys to go in only a few points down at quarter time.
The second quarter was a complete contrast to the opening as it was Redcliffe now controlling the play. JT was giving sensational use to our on ballers who were capitalising on this fact and were pumping the ball in long. We were peppering the goals but were not able to put as many majors on the board as we would have liked. Ben Strang was getting his fair share of touches and with the Keating-Jones boys literally putting fear into the Uni players in no time we had skipped out to a 15 point lead. Unfortunately we slipped in the last couple of minutes to allow Uni to get within 4 points at the major break.
With the boys and our very vocal crowd pumped we could sense something special was about to happen. Sadly we seemed to leave it in the rooms as Uni piled on 6 goals for the quarter to leave us 25 points in arrears at ¾ time. Tom Roney was getting possessions at will and seemed to be able to get out of any trouble that he found himself in. Josh Lowe had been moved around the ground a bit but was now finding plenty of it. Marcus Gregory was creating space but we were being let down with poor disposal and discipline.
With a fair rev up at the break and giving the boys the belief they could still win, it was a completely different attitude as they applied enormous amounts of pressure to the Uni players. With one or two now looking over their shoulders you could feel the pride of wearing the Tigers jumper coming to the fore. Tom Roney was outstanding and with Jake Haggerty getting back into the game it looked as though we might indeed come home with a win. When Joey Gould pole axed himself into the point post whilst taking a mark, it lifted the heart rate fearing he had done a bit of damage. As I stated to the boys at the break, when it’s your time to go you just go. Joey Cantlin slotted the goal home as Gouldy came off but with the deficit back to one point if felt like we were destined to win. However, to Uni’s credit they seemed to be able to get clear when it mattered and went long to their full forward who had battled Sam Munsie all day. It seemed more luck than anything but the ball sat up for him to slot home the winner. With the siren going not long after it was clearly disappointing to go down by 8 points. To our boys credit it was pleasing to put up a fight and nearly steal victory but a great effort is just that, a win is what we came for but didn’t achieve.
A special mention to Tom Roney. To play the way he played on his 100th was a privilege to see. He busted his gut from the first bounce to the final siren. Though we didn’t win he should be proud of the way he went about it.
Jarrod Nicholson for giving up his place so a taller player could even things out for the team. Selfless acts like this is what creates great football clubs.
To all the supporters who were there throughout the day. It appeared to get louder and louder as the day went on.