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Senior Round 18 Match Report

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Jackettes fall at final hurdle

 

The Ajax Senior Football Division’s most successful team in season 2015 was the inaugural women’s team, the Jackettes. The girls played in the VWFL’s East Division Grand Final on Saturday night at Shepley Oval, but failed to overcome a much stronger Gippsland outfit, losing by 37 points.

 

A large Ajax crowd braved the conditions and made the trip to Dandenong. The girls were stunned in the opening quarter as Gippsland held them scoreless, taking a 26-point lead into the first break.

 

The Jackettes lifted their intensity in the second term and hit the scoreboard for the first time courtesy of a brilliant solo effort from Toni Hamilton.

 

The game continued its low-scoring trend with only three goals registered after half time, but unfortunately for the Jackettes they couldn’t make amends for their first quarter fade-out and eventually went down 2.2 (14) to Gippsland’s 7.9 (51).

 

Skipper Chelsea Fisher worked tirelessly in the midfield while Toni Hamilton kicked both of her team’s goals to finish second on the league’s goal-kicking table with 31 majors.

 

Earlier in the day the Seniors finished off their 2015 campaign with an inspired comeback win against Mazenod at Gary Smorgon Oval, ending the visitors run in Premier B.

 

The Jackas won 13.8 (86) to the visitor’s 11.8 (74), after trailing by two goals at three quarter time.

 

Jake Lew kicked a lazy seven goals, making it the sixth consecutive season an Ajax player has won the VAFA league goal-kicking award for their division.

 

Lew ended the season on 69 goals, ten more than his next rival. The result is just reward for his efforts over the last six years where he has often come runner-up to David Fayman who has claimed the previous five league goal-kicking titles.

 

It was a tight opening term with the wind slightly favouring the end Mazenod were kicking towards.

 

The visitors took a seven-point lead into the first break.

 

The Caplan brothers combined for the Jackas’ first with Brad finishing off nicely, but not to be outdone, Adam quickly showed his class, slotting his first of the afternoon from deep in the pocket.

 

Lew kicked consecutive goals before half time to give Ajax the lead for the first time of the afternoon.

 

Mazenod came out after the main break with a newfound confidence and turned the game on its head, piling on six unanswered goals to lead by as much as 29-points halfway through the quarter.

 

Some Adam Caplan brilliance and Lew’s fourth and fifth goal pulled the deficit back to 12 points.

 

Tensions flared after a distasteful response from certain crowd members when skipper Nick Marks suffered a head injury in a marking contest.

 

The incident seemed to spur the Jackas on as Marty Pask’s men found another gear, kicking five goals to one to eventually secure their tenth win of the season.

 

The Jackas finished on the same amount of points as Old Brighton in fourth but poor percentage ultimately kept them from finals action.

 

Earlier, the Reserves notched their fifth win of an otherwise disappointing season, trouncing Mazenod 25.13 (163) to 6.8 (44).

 

Speedy half forward Anton Ritterman kicked another bag of four, taking his season tally to 29, while Tom Rogers continued his strong finish to the year, also booting four in a dominant display from the midfield.

 

Vice-captain Ash Shenker kicked a goal in his final game while the Jackas boasted eight multiple goal-kickers, capping off an improved finish to the year winning three of their last four.

 

Aaron Fetter

 

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