Photo by TJ Yelds/NEAFL
After suffering a 67-point loss at the ground just six weeks ago, Sydney University caused a major upset at Voxson Oval on Saturday afternoon with a 14.13 (97) to 13.12 (90) win over Aspley.
Students’ coach Tom Morrison was gratified to have turned the clubs’ fortunes around from their previous encounter with the Hornets, but adamant that it was no fluke.
“We’ve just had a focus all year to make sure that week to week we’ve improved as a team,” Morrison told neafl.com.au.
“We felt that last time we played here we had a very strong first quarter but the following three we didn’t play our brand of footy.”
Round 10 Rising Star nominee Josh Stern was kicking goals from all angles as he earned a six-goal haul.
The exciting forward’s trophy cabinet of majors included a soccer from the top of the square, a banana on the tightest of angles, a stunning groundball get and curling dribbler from the boundary, two 50-metre bullets and a double running bounce inch-perfect finish to top it off.
Stern’s stellar goal-fest came in a match where despite trailing the Hornets in most stats, the Students just found a way to make it happen.
The Hornets lead briefly after kicking three of the first four goals, but a trio of goals from Harry Morrison and Josh Stern allowed the Students to take an eight-point buffer into the first break, and the Hornets trailed till the final siren.
The key position players at either end enthralled spectators all day, as Students’ pair Ned Reinhard and Tim Barton combined for 17 marks and 13 rebound 50s while Aspley duo Jono Freeman and Connor Stackelberg still managed four and three goals respectively.
Matt Payne couldn’t help but win the footy as he collected 37 disposals and a goal.
The Hornets won more disposals, more inside 50s and had more than double the hit-outs than their visiting opponents but the Students’ stingy defence proved too strong for Daniel Webster’s men late in the game.
Morrison said he was proud of his players’ efforts.
“We’ve worked really hard at a couple of elements of our game and turned those elements of our game around from a season standpoint,” he said.
“It’s hard to beat Aspley here, they’re obviously the form side of the competition bar Brisbane so we knew what we were up against.
“Players just playing our style of play. Showing improvement across those six weeks. The effort was just there today.”
Sydney Uni have the chance to win a third match in a row as they host the Canberra Demons next week, while the Hornets will look to rebound against Redland away from home.
Aspley Hornets v Sydney University at Voxson Oval
SYDNEY UNI 4.4 7.9 11.10 14.13 (97)
ASPLEY 3.2 7.5 10.8 13.12 (90)
GOALS – Sydney Uni: J Stern 6 H Morrison 3 S Tagliabue D Cordell T Davies N Foster J Hiscox. Aspley: J Freeman 4 C Stackelberg 3 J Nelis 2 M Payne J Giles L Hampton T Baulch.
BEST – Sydney Uni: J Stern N Reinhard J Bartholomaeus S Tagliabue T Barton W Sierakowski. Aspley: G Grose J Giles J Freeman L Hampton.