After all the pre-season training and the excitement of the jumper presentations, the 2011 season was underway, with Ormond East at home to Malvern East. The air was electric with mums and dads cheering from the sidelines. Ormond coach Darren Waldren’s final words to the team were ‘kick it long, run hard and support your team-mates.’
Ormond co-captains Luke Ellem and Wesley McKinnon won the toss and elected to kick to the ground’s southern end. Ruckman Adam ‘Ads’ Richardson knocked the ball into Ormond’s front half and soon after Paddy Thompson took the first of several strong marks and kicked deep into Ormond’s attacking zone. Michael Gori brought up the first score with a behind. After some scrappy play, Kobe Heitlinger, with great support from Callum Sanders, took a strong mark at centre-half forward and kicked the team’s first goal. Without conceding ground into the East Malvern forward half, goals rained for Ormond through Lochie Waldren, and Adam Richardson after a freakish burst through the centre and kick from Michael Gori and deft handpass from Wesley McKinnon to Harrison Ritchie. Great forward defensive work by Luke Ellem, Kobe Heitlinger and Paddy Thompson meant that Ormond always looked potent and dangerous. Ed Cavey’s kick hit the post and Sam D’Ath goaled before quarter time, and still East Malvern had not penetrated Ormond’s defence.
The second quarter saw East Malvern wrestle hard for control from the centre bounce and took away the first clearance, but Lochie Waldren took a strong mark at centre-half back and passed to Paddy who laid off to Adam Richardson, and Ormond was away again. Nicholas Holten shaved the post for what might’ve been another Ormond goal. Callum Sanders, Daniel Quitt and Harry Mahon were all in amongst it and Adam ‘Molly’ Molino and Andrew Anodoloro did some selfless backing-up. Felix Johnston kicked a great goal backward over his head. Plucky Marcus Sarra took a fearless chest mark just when East Malvern looked to be surging.
In the third Felix Johnston took a great mark as did Carson Gray, and Nicholas Holten did a couple of blistering runs along the flanks. Luca Waterstone, and Louis Graffeo used their possessions effectively. Spencer ‘Spence’ Wood defended dourly, and heartbreakingly for the East Malvern their one goal was disallowed because it was kicked off the ground. Soon after both Felix and Adam Richardson kicked their second goals for Ormond.
To their credit, East Malvern came out harder in the last quarter. But Ormond pressed ahead yet again. Harry stood up in the last stanza and Nicholas Holten might’ve made the play of the day with his dash down the flank. Daniel Quitt snapped truly from the goal square, later Michael Gori topped off a great performance with another Ormond goal and Harry Mahon kicked truly too. Spencer Wood was taken from the ground with a knee injury and Marcus Sarra came off the bench to replace him. All up, it was a great team effort from the Ormond East Under 9s, who ran in support of each other. East Malvern put in a fighting effort but Ormond was too strong finishing 10.12 to one behind.
Coach’s Award – Michael Gori
Team Manager’s Award – Felix Johnson
Coach Darren Waldren said after the game ‘We’re just taking it one week at a time.’