GNC Men’s start 2022 off strong

Analysis by Paul Nichols

The Boro Boys started strong after a break.

A quick 3 goal lead was extended over to a strong 15 goals to 11 lead at the break. Defensive pressure was strong with Combat struggling to shoot over Joshua Wells in Goal Keeper and Dana Button flying for the intercepts in Goal Defence.

In the second, Combat changed up their holding and moving in the circle to get around the big defence and put more scoreboard pressure, but Greensborough kept scoring to take a high scoring 15 to 12 quarter.

To further confuse the oppositions attacking end, Greensborough changed their defensive line with Button moving to Keeper and Anthony Williams moving to Defender. With enormous pressure right through the game from Wing Defence Dom Barton, Combat was finding it hard to move through the centre court to take advantage of any turnovers, and Boro moved further ahead with an 11 to 7 quarter.

The timing and movement of Alex Nichols in Goal Attack was a bit slower than usual, but Julian Taylor stepped it up to play a fast moving shooter.

The shooters were supported by excellent passing into space from mid-courters Ash and Kade Rowe. Combat had improved their game since the first round, and kept pressing and working to break down the defensive pressure of Greensborough.

But the tenacity and fitness of Rowe and Barton stopped Combat getting advantage from loose balls and soft passes, so ‘Boro finished strongly winning all four quarters, 10 to 9 in the last.

The smooth timing and passing from previous weeks may have been missing, but Greensborough kept their heads and were calm under pressure throughout the game to extend their percentage and stay top of the ladder.

The ‘Boro boys hit the new year with bang taking out a convincing win over bottom of the ladder Fitzroy Flames.
Greensborough achieved their main goal of improving percentage and keep top position.
The game gave the team the chance to try combinations and focus on key skills, with three tough matches lined up to finish the season. The first quarter saw the starting seven get out to a big lead, scoring 17 goals to 2. Julian Taylor in GS and Alex Nichols in GA looked like they’d never had a break with seamless moving in and out of the circle and shooter to shooter passing.
The defence end got ball and made the most of turnovers. The second quarter saw Paul Nichols come into GA and Alex move to Centre. This combination improved on their last outing with Anthony in WA adjusting to different pace and movement. Some good sharp short passing around the circle saw the feeders find Julian free under the Post on multiple occasions. Dana Button, Dom Barton and Will McDermott in Defence found their rhythm and brought turnover ball beautifully through the centre channel. GNC kept the scoring rate, taking 14 goals to 5 for the term.
Joshua Wells stepped up to Goal Shooter in the third with Alex in GA. Despite not having had a chance to work with Tony and Kade feeding this combination on court before, the front end looked smooth and practised.
Alex’s flick passing to Josh on strong holds under the past was unbeatable. Tony found the space up high and in front of Josh who shot some good medium range shots. Kade blasted a rocket to Alex flying into the Post for one of his many goals in the quarter.
Back up to 17 goals for the quarter. The end of the quarter saw some minor ankle injuries from Will in GD and Dom in WD, but they could be rested with the strong bench available, so the team adjusted for the fourth term. GNC took a player off court to match up 6 on 6 when Flames were short. Not only was this good sportsmanship, but also a chance to push the fitness levels of the players on court which will be needed in future matches.

Paul and Julian returned to shooting and the added space saw a massive pass from Paul mid-court to Julian under the post.
Josh came back in the last half of the quarter and helped the team finish off the game with a 19 goal haul. Dana continued to shine in defence and kept the new Flames goaling combination to 9 for the quarter, even without a WD on court.
Greensborough kept their discipline and cool on the court when there was huge temptation to slacken off and take chances with long bombs and sloppy play when they had a good lead. The team continues to improve on short sharp passing, finding second options, and using the angles across the circle.
There’s still room for improvement, so watch out opposition teams leading into finals!