An entertaining final quarter has seen Canberra and Sydney University play out a dramatic draw at Phillip Oval on Saturday.
It was neck and neck through the final stages of the game with each team having their chances to take the four points, eventually finishing 15.13 (103) to 15.13 (103).
The Demons were on the back foot early with three late changes in Aaron Bruce, Angus Baker and Tom Highmore, and losing a wealth of experience they went three goals down in the opening eight minutes. Sydney University were able to move the ball freely and quickly around the ground, as they were receiving an even contribution from all of their midfielders.
Eventually the Demons were able to find their groove and were able to fight their way back into the match kicking three of the last four to end the quarter. The Demons were going to need their on-field leaders to stand up and Jarrod Osbourne and Alex Smout were providing that.
Canberra came out of the quarter time break clearly with something to prove as they kicked the first three goals. As quickly as Canberra were able to find a groove, they found themselves in the middle of another lapse they have become all too familiar with.
This left the door open for Sydney University to gain momentum again in kicking four of the final five goals for the quarter, starred by a dribbling snap goal by Morrison.
Neither side was able to stay on top, as both sides have focused on consistent performances through the season.
It was a matter of who could take the most of their opportunities heading into the second half.
As the sunshine appeared for the second half both teams were having trouble kicking majors, seven of the first eight scoring shots missing the target. In the premiership quarter, it was Canberra that was able to hold momentum for much of the quarter with some big time goals by Sam Martyn and Lucas Meline.
With scores level, Sydney University key forward Tristan Davies was able to convert a beautiful lead to edge the margin to five points in the Students’ favour.
It was a massive final quarter coming up with big ramifications for both team’s seasons’.
Just like the previous three quarters before it, the final quarter was thrilling with good patches of football from both teams hoping to keep their season’s alive.
Canberra was the first to make an impact in the final quarter kicking the first four and in a commanding position.
Just as Canberra looked to have put themselves in a winning position, however, the Students willed themselves back into the contest kicking three quick goals to get the margin back to one. It was set up for an enthralling finish.
Step forward the man on his comeback game from an ACL injury – Andrew Swan – who kicked a goal from the boundary to put the Demons up by seven with five minutes to go.
The Students pushed the ball forward from the following centre clearance to score a behind to put the margin at one straight kick.
Meline failed to score from a long boundary set shot which resulted in the opportunity the Students needed to seize. Small forward Nick Foster was able to trap Kade Klemke with the ball and kicking a goal to level with just seconds remaining.
Foster said it was mixed emotions post-game, but there are positives to take out of the match.
“It’s a bit sombre, well I have never played in a draw, I don’t think Sydney Uni has ever played in a draw,’ he told neafl.com.au
“It’s little bit disappointing when we started so well and we didn’t hold on to that lead, but there are a lot of areas that we have improved on and over the past couple of weeks too.
“There are heaps of positives to take out of this game, I think the backline playing in-front and everyone playing their role… we have a lot of young guys coming in and filling roles that they normally don’t do.”
Sydney University will now take on the red hot Gold Coast SUNS at Henson Park meanwhile the Demons will be back at Phillip Oval battling Redland.
NEAFL ROUND 14
Canberra v Sydney University at Phillip Oval
CANBERRA 4.3 7.5 10.9 15.13 (103)
SYDNEY UNI 6.2 10.4 11.8 15.13 (103)
GOALS – Canberra: R Corbett 2 M Hardie 2 L Meline 2 A Swan 2 H Carr J Osborne R Pollock J Harper S Martyn K Evans T Faul. Sydney Uni: N Foster 4 J Stern 3 T Davies 2 T Banuelos J Veale A Gulden J Hiscox M Krochmal H Morrison.
BEST – Canberra: J Osborne A Smout M Hardie A Swan J Harper C Owen-Auburn. Sydney Uni: B Stewart S Tagliabue N Foster L Stevenson N Reinhard.