ANZAC Day Cup Report (with photos)

April 26, 2018 at 4:14 PM

Premier League - ANZAC Day Cup Doncaster v Essendon

The following ANZAC Day Cup Report has been published on page 49 of the Manningham Leader newspaper.

At the fifth ANZAC Day Cup, the hockey community got together to honour our past and present service men and women on this most important National day.  A large crowd joined the Doncaster and Essendon Hockey Clubs for the ANZAC Ceremony.

Doncaster Member and Vietnam veteran Colin Andrews led the Ode.  The Last Post was then played beautifully by Cassandra Stanford followed by a minute’s silence.  Cassandra then played the Reveille.  Former Doncaster player, Lucy Gill then led the crowd in the Australian National Anthem.  Lucy sang so well no music was needed.

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Cassandra Stanford playing the Last Post

Photo courtesy of Tanya Gulevski

Doncaster President, Sarah Gaskill welcomed the crowd including Manningham Councillors, Mayor Andrew Conlon and Anna Chen, Hockey Victoria Executives Andrew Skillern and David Bourke and Essendon Hockey Club representatives Karen Fogerty and David Landgren.

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Doncaster players during the ANZAC Day Ceremony

Photo courtesy of Tanya Gulevski

Sarah reminded everyone 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the feats of Australian troops in the battle to re-take the French village of Villers-Bretonneux, a key victory leading to the eventual Allied victory on the Western Front.

The Doncaster and Essendon hockey players then got down to the business of hockey.

Goals scarce but enough                                                                                        Men

Doncaster’s Premier League Men were against Essendon on ANZAC Day, both teams with victories in the first two rounds.  Doncaster has won very tight matches by doing their very best converting just a handful of scoring opportunities.  That tide changed on Wednesday with the Dons struggling to find the net for much of the match.  But while coming from behind it was Doncaster that put their nose in front with just eight minutes remaining to play to win 2-1.

Doncaster certainly set the standard of this match early, holding the ball from the first whistle and refusing Essendon any move forward.  Essendon’s last line had no time to warm up but kept the Dons at bay and slowly pushed the ball back into the mid-field.  As the first half progressed Essendon were able to attack but Doncaster’s Hayden Currie, Jay Randhawa and Joel Carroll ensured the Bombers’ scoring circle was off limits.

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Andrew Scheele leads the Donny battery out to defend a short corner

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

During Doncaster’s forward thrusts Zac Meaden, Kiran Arunasalam and Bevan Fernandes were busy and the Dons did penetrate the scoring circle.  However, an outstanding Bombers backline and near misses meant the scoreboard officials were watching plenty but writing nothing.  The Bombers’ defenders certainly needed the rest when the half time whistle blew.

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Kiran Arunasalam heads to the scoring zone

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

The rest was exactly what Essendon required at they started the second half with the ball inside their attacking zone from the whistle.  The first short corner of the match came with just two minutes on the clock.  Doncaster keeper Adam Truepenny saved the drag flick but the ball was still live and at the stick of the Essendon striker; he put the ball away for the first goal of the match.

The goal showed Essendon that despite having to battle consistent Doncaster attacks, they were now in front; their confidence lifted and within five minutes were lining up for their second short corner.  Fortunately for Doncaster, Truepenny again had the ball covered.  It wasn’t until the 11 minute mark that Doncaster would receive their first short corner; however, nothing was converted to a score.

The wrestle continued and the clock ticked.  With only 15 minute to play, a long ball to Arunasalam saw him in the circle and he drew the Essendon keeper out of the net.  Calvin Martinz’s shot was saved by an Essendon defender and the Bombers thought they had dodged a bullet.  Doncaster Captain, Russell Ford raised an Essendon foot, right in front of the net, with the umpire.  The two umpires discussed the issue and Ford was deemed correct.  A penalty stoke went Doncaster’s way and Randhawa put Doncaster on the board.

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Russell Ford as busy as usual

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

With eight minutes remaining Randhawa pushed forward to Fernandes and into the circle.  Arunasalam’s shot from a sharp angle was headed straight for the net and an Essendon stick glanced to ball into the top of the net, Doncaster’s second goal.  The clock was now on the side of the home team.

Doncaster 2 defeated Essendon 1

Goals: Jay Randhawa, Kiran Arunasalam

Best Players: Zac Meaden, Joel Carroll, Adam Truepenny

Doncaster down but not out                                                                                   Women

Doncaster’s Premier League Women hosted Essendon for the fifth ANZAC Day Cup and regardless of where either of these two sides sit on the ladder, the Doncaster v Essendon clashes are always close battles.  2018 followed this custom and Wednesday was an outstanding match.  Essendon held on to their lead to win, although the 4-2 score didn’t reflect the closeness of this match.

Essendon took early control with Doncaster’s defenders under the pump from the outset.  Shae Jones, Nic Hogan and Sam Snow were more than equal to anything the Bombers threw at them and the contest was pushed out to the mid-field.

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Erin Jones was more than capable to take on Bombers

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

Snow then took more opportunities to push forward and with Hayley Padget and Izzy Peskett very dangerous on the attack, the battle evened up and the match stepped up a level.  This was a fast open match at a very high standard of hockey.  It was the order of the day; the prior Premier League Reserves match would have been at home in the first grade competition.  Both Doncaster and Essendon are made up of relatively young players, this match points to sides that will enjoy some terrific hockey.

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Hayley Padget one of Doncaster's best on Wednesday

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

At the 19 minute mark Essendon intercepted a Doncaster pass which found the Doncaster defence wrong footed.  A quick, strong tomahawk put Essendon’s first goal on the board.

Eight minutes later Sarah Down and Manisha Arunasalam combined well to push into the scoring circle and a Bombers’ foot set up a the Don’s first short corner.  Down’s strong shot form the corner beat the Bombers’ battery and scores were level.

With just four minutes until the break another Essendon fast break had Doncaster’s defenders on the ropes.  Another strong tomahawk found the back of the net and the Bombers went to the break with their nose in front.

Doncaster started the second half full of enthusiasm and controlled the ball deep in attack.  Padget’s shot at goal was saved and Doncaster took a long corner and pushed straight back into the circle.  An Essendon foot set up the Dons first short corner of the half.  Snow’s drag flick was brilliantly saved but the ball remained live and Peskett pounced, her shot went straight into the net and scores were level again.

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Izzy Peskett takes on two of Essendon's best defenders

Photo courtesy of Andrew Pywell

If it was possible, this match actually became faster and the standard remained every bit as high.  While this was just Round 3, it will be hard to see a higher standard match all season.

The wrestle continued and when Essendon attacked, Chloe Burns, Amie Dickson and Amber Deo were as strong as required.  And they knew only too well that the ball needed to be at the other end.

At the 19 minute mark a Doncaster foot in the Essendon circle results in just the Bombers’ second short corner.  The shot was very powerful and hits the backboard, Essendon’s third.

As the clock ticked, Essendon were comfortable to hold possession as much as possible.

With just a one minute to play, three short corners given Essendon’s way, ultimately leading to the Bombers’ fourth goal, not a good reflection of the match proper.

Essendon 4 defeated Doncaster 2

Goals: Sarah Down, Izzy Peskett

Best Players: Sam Snow, Chloe Burns, Izzy Peskett

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