By Cameron Smith (NEAFL Media)
Sydney University were able to hold on in the dying minutes to beat Aspley by 10 points in a thriller at Graham Road.
The Students had to fight off a very promising last quarter effort by the Hornets to win 11.19. (85) to 11.9. (75).
Led by Andrew Swallow (37 disposals) and Matt Payne (28 disposals) in his 100th club game, the Hornets were almost able to complete an impressive comeback.
The Hornets got to within seven points late in the game after trailing by 26 earlier in the last term.
It was not to be though, as the Students held on for their sixth win of the season.
Sydney University led basically for the whole match, except for a period early in the second quarter, after kicking the first goal in 30 seconds.
Wilson converting the first clearance into a goal, with an impressive 50- etre bomb on the run.
Small forward Damien Bonney then added one a couple of minutes later, before Aspley were able to hit the scoreboard, through the Stackelberg brothers.
The younger of the two brothers, Cody, kicking a goal on debut for the Hornets.
The Students took a five-point lead into quarter-time, and despite majority of the second and third quarters being played in Aspley’s half, Sydney Uni led by 24 points at three quarter time.
Aspley had 12 more inside 50s than Sydney University for the match but were just unable to capitalise when they got the ball in there.
Sydney University, on the other hand, were unable to capitalise in front of goal, with 10 more scoring shots than Aspley.
Sydney University Coach Tom Morrison said poor-goal kicking is an area to improve on.
“It’s something (they) have done too much this season and is area they need to take care of,” he told neafl.com.au.
“Aspley are a serious side to reckoned with. They made use of that momentum in the second half really well.
“I thought late in the third and fourth quarter though, we were able to hold on really well and do our one percenters a lot better.”
An area of the field that Morrison was extremely happy with in particular was the backline.
“Our entire backline was really good today. They held up well and they had a lot of intercept opportunities, whether that be on the ground or in the air,” he said.
Two players in particular in that backline that played well were 20-year-old Nathan Cooper and 19-year-old Sam Barkley.
The win now extends their interstate record under Tom Morrison to nine wins and one loss.
Morrison saying the boys just enjoy the opportunity to play in a different state.
“It’s an experience that not many get. We really pride ourselves on going to someone else’s back yard and to compete well, and we’ve been able to do that to date,“ he said.
The students are sitting pretty near the top of the ladder, but Morrison ensures that the boys are not getting complacent.
“We are very well aware that we’ve got to three prelims in a row, and we want to make sure that we can go further than that this year,” he said.
“We are making sure that every week we are evolving as a team at the moment we are.”
Their next chance to evolve as a team will be back in Sydney, against the NT Thunder, whilst the Hornets have a week off.
Aspley Hornets v Sydney University at Graham Road
SYDNEY UNIVERSITY 4.3 7.7 10.13 11.19 (85)
ASPLEY 3.4 5.6 7.7 11.9 (75)
GOALS – Sydney University: M. Wilson 2, J. Derickx 2, A. Lucy, N. Foster, S. Fong, J. Hiscox, T. Davies, D. Bonney, J. Dimery. Aspley: J. Freeman 2, C. Stackelberg 2, W. Wolbers, B. Warren, J. Ives, H. Joyce, C. Stackelberg, H. Pearce, J. Spencer.
BESTS– Sydney University: S. Barkley, N. Cooper, W. Sierakowski, S. Fong, M. Wilson, R. Hebron Aspley: A. Swallow, J. Spencer, B. Warren, M. Payne, C. Stackelberg, J. Ives