Weekend Wrap: Round Nine
AJAX Take it to the Big Boys, Jackettes Down the Rovers
AJAX’s promising form has continued on the back of last week’s drought-breaking win over Monash, taking premiership contenders Old Carey down to the wire in an enthralling match at Gary Smorgon Oval.
Any fears the AJAX coaching staff had over the danger of facing former Carlton and GWS player Kristian Jaksch were allayed just five minutes into the game when the 23 year-old hobbled off with an ankle injury.
Instead, AJAX had an ace of their own, welcoming back crafty midfielder Ash Krakaeur, a regular for Port Melbourne in the VFL.
The Jackas went toe-to-toe with a normally free-scoring Old Carey side, restricting them to just five goals at half-time. At the other end of the park Brandon Joel, Toby Lipton and Ash Krakaeur all ensured that AJAX remained within touching distance of the opponent.
As Old Carey threatened a final-quarter blowout, an AJAX side still missing a handful of regular first teamers pushed themselves to their limit, ensuring Jackas fans departed Albert Park deeply proud of their side despite the loss.
Kane Nissenbaum was the best-ranked player with 28 disposals and 126 fantasy points. Star midfielder Krakaeur finished the game with two goals and 26 disposals at an 88% disposal efficiency rate. Up front, Brandon Joel continued his goalscoring form, bagging three goals to take his 2018 tally to 14 halfway through the season.
Across the road, the Jackettes claimed their second win of the season in a nail-biter against the Hampton Rovers. The girls found their goal-kicking boots after weeks of low scores, kicking 5.3 (33) to win the match by a mere five points.
Named Best on Ground, Ruckman Maddy Smart allowed the Jackettes to command the clearances, while also providing a great target up forward, scoring two impressive goals.
Jess Marget and Chelsea Fisher showed their usual aggression in the midfield, going in hard at every contest and making valuable contributions to the teams overall performance.
The win solidifies the Jackettes in sixth spot on the ladder having opened up a four-point gap on Old Carey in seventh spot.
Earlier, the AJAX Reserves claimed a huge scalp, upsetting second-placed Old Carey 8.5 (53) to 5.16 (46); the Jackas first win since Round Four.
The Ressies showed immense spirit in a tight and tense affair to match it with a side that had only lost twice this season, restricting Old Carey to just five goals for the entire match. The win sees the Reserves climb two spots to sixth on the ladder, in prime position to make a finals-charge at the halfway mark of the 2018 season.
All sides will use the mid-season bye to rest up ahead of their Round Ten clashes on June 16th.
Firsts def by Old Carey 9.7 (61) to 12.13 (85)
Jackettes def Hampton Rovers 5.3 (33) to 4.4 (28)
Reserves def Old Carey 8.5 (53) to 5.16 (46)
Ash Obel- Media & Communications Manager