PL Match Report Grand Finals - Men's & Women's Reserves (with photos)

September 24, 2017 at 2:13 PM

Doncaster competitive but not enough                   Men’s Premier League Grand Final

Written by Gary Kelly

Doncaster’s Premier League Men finished the home and away season in third place and were up against Minor Premiers Camberwell in Saturday’s Grand Final.  Camberwell had only been beaten once during the season and their class was shown in the last game of 2017, coming away 7-2 Premiers.  Doncaster’s end of season was outstanding but not quite up to Camberwell’s level.

In the first five minutes of this match Doncaster’s Kiran Arunasalam and Russell Ford brought the ball cleverly into the Doncaster circle but the defence of Camberwell held firm.  A transition at the six min mark saw Doncaster goal keeper Adam Truepenny provide a brilliant save but immediately after clearing the ball it was forced back into Camberwell's circle with the ball pushed into the net and Camberwell went 1 up.


Russell Ford leads the Donny charge into the scoring zone

Photo courtesy Nathan Collier

Two minutes later Doncaster's defensive structures broke down on the 30 metre line, leading to the ball being pushed into the Camberwell circle and Truepenny was left one out, a second goal to Camberwell.

Doncaster fought back on the 15 minute mark with a run by Josh Simmonds passing to Ross Gilham-Jones free in the circle.  A strong Gilham-Jones hit got passed the Camberwell keeper and Doncaster were on the board.


Ross Gilham-Jones attacks at every opportunity

Photo courtesy Nathan Collier

As the half processed Doncaster was the better side transitioning from one side of the pitch but were unable to convert.  However, with seven minutes left on in the half, Camberwell received a short corner from a Doncaster foot in the circle.  After a great save by keeper Truepenny the ball landed on the waiting stick of a Camberwell striker and Camberwell's third goal was now on the board.


Kiran Arunasalam pushing forward despite tight defence

Photo courtesy Nathan Collier

Camberwell were keen to build more pressure and quick movement of the ball saw Truepenny unable to stop a powerful hit by Camberwell leaving the half time scores 4-1 Camberwell's way.

Unfortunately the second half didn't start well for Doncaster within 30 seconds a brilliant run into Camberwell’s circle saw another shot into the net and the Minor Premiers went 5-1 up.  While there was plenty of time on the clock, Doncaster now had a huge job in front of them.

Doncaster did hit back and they peppered away inside the circle and two short corners were awarded.  But Camberwell’s last line were equal to the task.


Hayden Currie in contest and backed up by Josh Simmonds and Jay Randhawa

Photo courtesy Nathan Collier

At the 20 minute mark Doncaster’s Bevan Fernandes was able to move the ball quickly to Andrew Scheele outside the scoring zone and his pass into the circle saw Ford slot Doncaster's second goal.  As good as that goal was, 5-2 remained a tough ask.  In fact, it was too much and Camberwell went on to score two more goals before the final 2017 siren.  Camberwell were the best side of the season and that showed on Saturday.

Camberwell 7 defeated Doncaster 2

Goals: Ross Gilham-Jones, Russell Ford

Best Players: Bevan Fernandes, Kiran Arunasalam, Russell Ford, Jarrod McBride, Josh Simmonds

The Manningham Leader newspaper also published the Grand Final match report and it can be seen in the online version of the Manningham Leader on page 49.


Doncaster on the rise but not for a Premiership                                            Women’s Premier League Reserves

Doncaster’s Premier League Women’s Reserves showed some improvements towards to end of 2016 and those improvements were more than consolidated in 2017.  Doncaster were more than a competitive side in 2017 and on Saturday were up against Hawthorn for the Reserves Grand Final.  Hawthorn, an elite Reserves side for some years, displayed the value of those years at the top end of the competition with a strong and deserving 5-1 victory over Doncaster.

The Grand Final started off in a typical finals fashion with both sides as solid as expected and the ball was fought between the 25 metre lines.  Hawthorn held their possession well and gradually built pressure in their forward line.  At the nine minute mark the Hawks pushed into the circle, rare at that point and slammed a shot that was well saved by Lisa Blake.  But the ball was still live and dribbled into the net.  The Hawks were on the board.

Doncaster fought back immediately and the ball was now held in Doncaster’s attacking zone.  Three short corners for Doncaster opened a door but conversion didn’t follow.  At the 21 minute mark Louise Erasmus pushed forward passing to Sarah Hobson who quickly went into the circle and an unacceptable Hawthorn tackle resulted in a penalty stoke.  Unfortunately, the stoke didn’t find the net and despite the control, the Dons remained behind.

But one minute later and an intercept by Zoe Yole saw the ball headed back towards Doncaster’s circle and a Hawthorn foot set up another short corner.  Nicole Julian pushed out and Maddie Rennie sent the ball back towards Julian and her deflection was perfect with Doncaster’s first goal on the board.

With just seven minutes until the half time break, Hawthorn were deep in attack and the Hawk’s first short corner is given.  The initial shot is well saved by Blake but the ball could not be cleared and Hawthorn slotted the ball into the net to take a 2-1 lead to the break.

In a similar manner to the first half, the second half is dour early but Hawthorn gradually built pressure in their forward line.  At the six minute mark the Hawks are peppering away deep in the circle and an accurate shot finds the back board, their third goal.

Doncaster didn’t let the scoreboard deter them and pushed the ball out of defence and a mid-field arm wrestle followed.  The two goal lead enabled the Hawks to focus on that mid-field wrestle and their defence gave Doncaster few opportunities.

With just 12 minutes remaining in the match a Hawthorn fast break found Doncaster defenders out numbered and the Hawks’ forwards were able to slot their fourth goal.  That goal meant Doncaster bridge was now too great.  A fifth goal by Hawthorn with just five minutes remaining made the final score more one sided than the match was actually played.  That said, Hawthorn’s defence were outstanding and offered very little for Doncaster to capitalise upon.

Doncaster 1 were defeated by Hawthorn 5

Goal: Nicole Julian