Round 12 Weekend Wrap - Scotch down Jackas in Saturday thriller
AJAX’s season hangs in the balance after going down to Old Scotch by 18 points on Saturday at Gary Smorgon Oval.
Heading into the bye round, the Jackas are 7th on the VAFA Premier B Ladder, six points and 30% outside the top four and one game off the drop zone.
In overcast conditions Old Scotch piled on the opening three goals to dominate the first 15 minutes.
Josh Ludski single-handedly kept the Jackas in it kicking a beautifully executed left foot snap from the pocket, followed by a calm set shot from 40, narrowing the margin to seven points at quarter time.
The second term mirrored the first with Scotch starting strongly kicking the opening two goals, before a goal to Dean Rotenberg kept the Jackas within striking distance.
It was five scoring shots to three in favour of AJAX in the second term with all the forward half dominance not amounting to scoreboard pressure.
In the low-scoring affair, Scotch led 34-24 at the main break.
The Jackas once again started slowly conceding the first two majors before Jake Lew earned himself a free kick and 25 meters before slotting his only goal of the day.
The visitors responded with two goals on the trot extending the margin to a game-high 30 points, before lockdown defender Daniel Cohen marked inside fifty and kicked his second senior goal right on the three quarter time siren.
The margin stood at four goals at the beginning of the final term.
Finally the Jackas came out the stronger of the two sides, with Josh Ludski equalling his senior best kicking his third and bridging the gap to 18 points.
Nick Marks sprinted through the muddy centre square and delivered a precise 50-metre pass to David Fayman who calmly went back and made it a ten-point ball-game.
Unfortunately for the home side that would be as close as they would get with Scotch player Andrew Hummerston kicking the sealer in his 100th game.
The 7.9 (51) – 10.9 (69) effort showcased the improvements made since the 67-point defeat suffered against Old Scotch in round 1.
Josh Kalmus relished the scrappy conditions making 20 tackles while Josh Ludski’s three-goal effort from the midfield saw him named the Beyond Coconut Water Player of the Day.
Earlier, the reserves were competitive in patches but were ultimately overpowered by Old Scotch losing 4.7 (31) – 12.9 (81).
Conceding five goals to one made the going tough early, but to the Jackas’ credit they fought back to within three goals at half-time.
Scotch shut the game down in the deciding half, limiting the Jackas to just one goal.
Dov Paltiel continued his fine season in the midfield while athletic big-man Jordan Lipton provided a strong target around the ground.
Results fell AJAX’s way in round 12 with the reserves sitting half a game outside the top four with a season-defining month ahead.
Over on Linsday Hassett Oval the under 19s’ surprising losing streak continued, falling five points short of PEGS FC.
Photo: Hersh Burston
Remarkably they led 36-0 at quarter time but went onto surrender the lead from half-time onwards.
The 19s’ four losses this season have come in the last month as they struggle to recapture their form from the opening eight weeks.
Joel Burston, Elliot Blau and Guy Vadas were their team’s best in the loss.
On Sunday it was cause for a double celebration with the team and captain Zev Aron notching up game 50.
The task was ahead of them, forced to face the top team De La Salle (who they had lost to twice this season), without their reigning Best & Fairest winner Eli Adelist and Coach Daniel Slonim.
After a poor first half where they only managed two goals and trailed by four, the thirds led by Aron mounted the comeback of their short history, kicking nine goals to one in the second half to claim victory 11.12 (78) – 7.10 (52).
Goal-sneak Sam Brygel kicked a game-high four while Aron and Jacob Joel were the other multiple goal-kickers with two.
The victory consolidates the thirds’ spot in the top two and moves them within a game of first.
All teams but the Jackettes have a bye this coming weekend. The girls host SKOB Saints at Gary Smorgon Oval this Sunday at 12pm.
The following weekend (July 16-17) the seniors and reserves play away to Hampton, the under 19s face Uhs Vu Fc at Brens Oval and the Thirds meet Monash Blues at Frearson Oval.
AJAX Amateur Football Club
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