By Callum Ludwig
It was a successful round for the Lilydale Football Club, with wins from all three senior sides at home against Upper Ferntree Gully on Saturday.
The U19’s bounced back from a disappointing 4-point loss to Croydon last week being Upper Ferntree Gully 14.11, 95 to 6.7, 43.
Recently-named Eastern Ranges U19 Rowan Tucker showed his talent with a relentless display off half-back and through the midfield, racking up the ball and kicking a goal in a mature showing from the young man who will be training in his jocks this week.
Captain Mitchell Van De Maat made a successful return from a hamstring setback, ever composed and showing Chirnside Park exactly why they belong in Division Four by letting him go.
Adrian Clark was a running machine all day on the wing, constantly presenting for the switch option where the kick actually made it to him probably 3 times out of 10 and Ryan “Ninja” Haley popped up with two sneaky goals.
The most spectacular moment of the day came from the ever-energetic Cooper Beckwith who almost took a screamer in the third quarter, doing all the hard work to knee his opponent in the face before forgetting to actually mark the footy.
Cobey Clausen was also strong off half-back, alongside tall skinny guy Bailey Grant who made the switch from the forward line. Ashton Dobbin competed strongly in the ruck in the absence of the hamstrung Luke Phillips who used his big mouth to yell from the bench all day. Daniel Ryan held back on the spin moves in a strong midfield display and Lachlan Isbester competed strongly despite not being able to hit a barn door in front of goal.
The Dales Reserves side also came home with a strong result, toppling Upper Gully 9.9, 63 to 3.11, 29.
Travis Mihan, who rocked up looking dashing in a suit as a result of a 25m penalty given away the week prior, brought the style to the game as well, kicking two nice goals and running the midfield. Harry “Tiktoks” Mitchell was also ever the goalsneak, kicking two. Cameron “Fridge” Oude-Meilink was also a strong presence in the ruck on his birthday, Oscar Aliotta was a livewire through the midfield and down back, and Alex Carrigan hit contests like a freight train as usual.
Astin Bucci was a rock at the back, with strong spoils and contested marks, and seemingly enjoyed giving coach Jesse Rottinger a kiss after being named as one of the best on ground.
Jamie Moller put in a strong performance in the forward line, before putting in a woeful one in the celebrations, wiped out on the trainers bench by 6pm.
Club favourite Jimmy MacFarlane had a notable collision with the fence after one particularly strong lead from full forward, with the fence appearing to come off second best. Jimmy will be issuing a formal apology to the fence at training this week.
Other moments from the 2’s included Sean “Ranga” Hajdu taking a disliking to one particular Upper Ferntree Gully player, and another Sean, this time Calcaterra pulling out a party trick with a scrappy double-nutmeg goal in the goalsquare.
The Seniors brought home the hat-trick with a resounding 68 point win, kicking 18.7, 115 to Upper Ferntree Gully’s 5.17, 47.
The Lilydale forward line was electric with 5 goals to both Jordan Jaworski and Macauley Beckwith, while powerhouse forward Jack Bateman kicked 4 before succumbing to a hamstring injury.
Macauley Beckwith could’ve set himself further apart as the leading goalkicker in the 1st Division, were it not for his inaccuracy in front of goal, also contributing 5 of Lilydale’s 7 total behinds for the match, kicking 4 of his goals in junk time in the fourth quarter. A day of coulda, woulda, shoulda for the Beckwith brothers it seems.
Jayden Depace was prolific in the midfield, looking to have quickly returned to his 2019 best and fairest winning form, while Ryan “Dobby” McNay repelled Upper Ferntree Gully from half-back.
Ruckman Matthew Phillips realised he could get his big, lanky frame out of the way of his opponent, resulting in Lilydale having the first service for the football for most of the afternoon.
“Matthew Phillips really set the tone with his strong contested marks and quality ruck craft today,” Matthew Phillips said.
Alan Love was the stand-in coach in the absence of the Covid-stricken Luke McCormick, continuing his streak as the only Lilydale seniors coach to lead the team to a victory since the start of the last season. Pressure is on Macca.
The football sides will take on Mitcham in their next game, following the Easter break.
In the netball on Friday night, the Falcons suffered an agonising 3-point loss to Heathmont in Section 1, having led at each break. Taniesha Luiyf was the best on court for the Falcons. The Gold side beat Glen Waverley 45-18, with Hayley Tucker picking up the 3 votes.
The junior football sides also had their first games of the season on Sunday as well, with wins for the U11 and U12 sides.