By Tricia Mifsud
BROADFORD-Yea continued to show leaps and bounds with its improvement, but a third-quarter fade-out resulted in a 77-point loss to Outer East Football division two leader Kinglake on Saturday.
Kinglake has been the powerhouse of the division and was always going to be a tough matchup for the home side.
Broadford-Yea impressed coach Jayden Welch, particularly with its first-half efforts. Up until the final stages of the first quarter, the Lakers had led by no more than two goals.
An impressive second quarter in which Broadford-Yea kicked three goals to Kinglake’s one had the team believing they had the ability to pull off a major upset.
“Our first quarter, we were really good, but we dropped off the last five minutes, and they kicked four or five goals. In the second quarter we played really well … and by the end of it I thought if we keep this up, we’re a chance to push them but unfortunately it didn’t go that way,” Welch said.
Unfortunately for the Kangaroos, they let all their first-half efforts slip away, allowing Kinglake to boot nine third-quarter goals and extend its lead 103-29.
Broadford-Yea had five scoring opportunities in the third term, all going through for behinds, killing its chances of staying in the game in the final term.
Welch said the blow-out in the third term contributed to the 7.6 (48) to 19.11 (125) loss but praised the side for how far it had come.
“They were always going to come out at half time and throw anything at us and it was how we responded, which we didn’t respond well, that let it keep carrying on,” he said.
“I think in the fourth quarter we weren’t too bad either. We picked it up a little bit, but the third quarter absolutely killed us.
“We’ve come a long way since last year and with the comp this year, all the teams are even now, which hasn’t been like that in a long time, at least eight years or so.
“Usually there is a clear top four and bottom four but now you’ve got the top six who are really good, then there’s us who are struggling.
“We are sticking to our game plan and when we do, we can see what we’re capable of, like our second [quarter] against Kinglake. It’s just a matter of playing four quarters.”
Alongside regular standouts in Neil Johnson, Sean Duggan and Nick Gilbee were Braydon Hardstaff and Tynan Howard, whom Welch commended for their efforts not only on Saturday, throughout the season.
Up forward, Hardstaff kicked two goals, alongside Duggan’s three. While around the play, Howard was pivotal in applying pressure.
“Tynan’s a young guy – I wouldn’t say big-framed, but his tackling was absolutely phenomenal. Some of the tackles he laid were bone-crunching and it set the tone. That’s what got us going I think,” Welch said.
“Braydon has been unlucky not to be in the best before. He’s one of our solid players that goes hard every week and this week, he was able to get the goals as well.”
This weekend, Broadford-Yea plays at home, hosting Alexandra which sits only one spot above the Kangaroos on the ladder with two wins.
Welch said with a performance similar to what his side demonstrated against Kinglake, Broadford-Yea could record its second win of the season.