Jackas' round one reality check
Josh Ludski assesses his options further afield in the loss to Old Scotch on the weekend.
Jackas’ round one reality check
AJAX received a rude awakening to start their season, after they were on the end of a second-half onslaught from demoted A-Grade club Old Scotch, suffering a demoralising 67-point loss at Camberwell Sports Ground on Saturday.
The Jackas were beaten all over the ground in the opening quarter, often being second to the football and lax defensively.
Despite the home side’s dominance, AJAX had the same amount of scoring shots but failed to capitalise on the scoreboard, trailing by 15 points at quarter time.
Moments into the second stanza, Old Scotch extended the margin, but soon after Richie Simon answered with a brilliant set shot from fifty out on a difficult angle.
The Jackas were never able to take control of the contest with the home side’s run and carry too slick on most occasions.
The margin was pushed out to 30 points, before Eugene Routman provided a spark up forward kicking back-to-back goals, keeping his team in it approaching half-time.
Jake Lew hit the scoreboard but Old Scotch promptly answered each time the Jackas closed the margin.
Jake Lew hangs onto a contested mark.
The high-scoring quarter came to an end and despite the visitors’ best efforts they lost the quarter by 11 points, but remained close enough, 26 points adrift.
AJAX dominated possession in the third term, but failed to make substantial inroads on the scoreboard.
After returning best and fairest winner Warren Steinberg kicked his second, Old Scotch put the foot down and amassed 13 scoring shots to one, holding a commanding 48-point lead at the final break.
Coach Marty Pask urged his players to ‘write some wrongs’ in the last term, but 2015’s A-Grade relegates proved they’ll be genuine contenders with five goals to two, completing a dominating performance, handing AJAX a 9.9 (63) – 18.22 (130) loss to start season 2016.
Steinberg was one of the Jackas’ better players and kicked three goals, while Routman and Simon were the other multiple goal-kickers.
Skipper Nick Marks led from start to finish and was his team’s best player but there weren’t many others that showed the commitment and application to the contest that he did.
Meanwhile, AJAX’s reserves didn’t fair too much better trailing at every break to go on to lose 4.11 (35) – 13.15 (93).
Despite the score line, the Jackas were in the contest right up till half-time, behind by eight points at quarter time and 16 at the main break.
AJAX was kept goalless in the second half, while the much stronger and polished Old Scotch outfit piled on seven of their own from 18 scoring shots.
Co-captain Joel Gocs was the reserves’ best in his 100th game for the club.
Nathan Zielinski provided plenty of run from behind while senior hopefuls, Brandon Joel (two goals), Jayden Yarrow, Dov Paltiel and Alex Wollan also put in serviceable performances in the loss.
The only shining light from the first weekend of football came from the under 19s who saw off a late charge from Old Haileyburians to run out 10.21 (81) – 9.8 (62) victors.
Leading by just seven points at the final break, the unders had the opportunity to blow the home side away but failed to capitalise on the seven more scoring shots they had.
Adam Klein was his team’s best, taking countless intercept marks in defence, while Ben De Winter (three goals), Guy Vadas and Ryan Kagan (two) were the other multiple goal-kickers.
The Thirds and Jackettes both won their final practice matches over the weekend. Their respective seasons kick off this Sunday.
The club will host a triple-header this Saturday in the first home game of the season at Albert Park.
The seniors play Hampton Rovers at 2pm at Gary Smorgon Oval, with the reserves on before them at 11:40am, while across the road at Lindsay Hassett Oval the under 19s will face the Preston Bullants at 1pm.
The seniors game will be live broadcast from the first bounce on J-Air Radio 87.8fm.
AJAX Amateur Football Club
Media & Communications Manager