Tigers tame brave Jackas
AJAX’s quest to stay alive in Premier B intensified on Saturday after they fought gallantly but lost to 2nd-placed St/Bedes Mentone Tigers at Gary Smorgon Oval.
The Jackas recovered from a slow start against the wind to lead by a goal at half-time. The visitors took full advantage of the conditions in the third, reclaiming the lead and extending it to 21 points at the final break.
The Jackas kicked with the wind in the last, but inaccuracy in front of goal eventually took its’ toll as they went onto lose 8.10 (58) – St Bedes/Mentone 10.7 (67).
Key positon players Ben Kalmus (150 games) and Richie Simon (100) celebrated milestone games in front of a strong home crowd.
The visitors were on early, kicking the opening three goals, before slick ball-movement through the middle of the ground, saw Brandon Joel find Brad Caplan in the pocket, who calmly slotted the Jackas’ first.
Trailing by 19 points at quarter time, the Jackas went on to play one of their best quarters for the year, kicking four goals to St Bedes’ two behinds.
Geoff Measey spotted up David Fayman deep in the pocket with a precise left-foot pass. The ‘Mailman’ delivered once again, triggering a run of four unanswered goals.
Brad Caplan and Fayman both had their second soon after, courtesy of free kicks close to goal. Stuart Fayman joined the action, marking strongly overhead in the goal square, ensuring the Jackas capped off their quarter of dominance with a six-point lead.
Drone Image: Olly Hoffman
The task was ahead of Marty Pask’s men against the wind in the third, and they started brilliantly. Josh Ludski competed courageously under a Dave Fayman high-ball, creating an opportunity for Dean Rotenberg to soccer through another major from the goal square.
AJAX’s momentum stopped there, as St Bedes kicked the next five, keeping the Jackas scoreless for the rest of the quarter, to claim a 21-point advantage at the final break.
With plenty at stake the Jackas responded to another strong talking to from Coach Marty Pask, piling on the opening six scoring shots, however they were all minus scores.
St Bedes went down there end and kicked truly, extending their lead to 22 points, before late heroics from Dave Fayman and Brandon Joel opened the door to an unlikely Jackas’ win.
The visitors controlled the tempo in the dying minutes and eventually held on to hand AJAX a nine-point loss.
Dave Fayman kicked three and took his season’s tally to 36, four behind the competition’s leader, while Brad Caplan was the only other multiple goal-kicker for the Jackas in yet another standout performance.
Watch 'The Mailman's' highlights including exclusive drone footage of his classy finish from the boundry.
Corey Jankie, Jordan Cohen, Nick Marks, Noah Rischin and Adam Caplan were others to contribute strongly.
The Jackas currently sit 8th on the Premier B ladder, two games off the relegation zone, with two season-defining fixtures ahead against fellow lower-ladder battlers Old Haileybury next round, followed by top-side Beaumaris rounding out season 2016.
Earlier, the reserves kept their slim finals chances alive with a stunning 19-point defeat over a St Bedes side entrenched in the top four.
The Jackas kept the visitors scoreless in the first and third quarters, to help set up the victory.
Five unanswered goals in the third term was on the back of some brilliant individual efforts.Sandringham Dragon Kane Nissenbaum produced a remarkable purple patch that saw him kick two goals in ten seconds, including one from within the centre square. Watch them here!
Veteran defender turned-forward David Glass wasn’t to be outdone, kicking back-to-back goals himself, before leadership-group member Ryan White marked on the three quarter time siren and kicked a team-lifter from 55 out.
Nissenbaum took out best on ground honours, while Jordan Lipton celebrated his birthday with another encouraging performance.
Nissenbaum spoke with J-Air's 'On the Ball' on Monday night about 'those goals' and his time at the Sandringham Dragons. Listen here!
The Jackas move up to 6th on the Premier B Reserve ladder, two games outside the top four with their finals fate resting on wins in the remaining two games and a couple of other results.
Watch all the Match Highlights from the reserves big win!
Over the road, the under 19s solidified their top two spot with a hard-fought 26-point win over Therry Penola.
The Jackas led narrowly at quarter and half-time but surrendered their advantage at three quarter time.
The unders went onto keep the visitors goalless in the deciding term while kicking four of their own.
Photo: Hersh Burston
Charles Hamilton was his team’s only multiple goal-scorer with two. Big-men Saul Williams, Adam Rushford and Joel Burston all impressed in the win.
On Sunday the Jackettes’ season was brought to a premature end in the VWFL Preliminary Final, losing 34-7 to Fitzroy at Bill Lawry Oval.
The girls were kept goalless in the first-half but were still in the contest, only trailing by 16 points at the main break.
Rebecca Bennett kicked her 11th goal of the season in the third term, pegging the margin back to just two straight kicks at the final break.
Fitzroy held their nerve in the deciding term to prevail by 27 points. After another strong season the Jackettes exit the VWFL Division 3 finals in straight sets.
A blockbuster round awaits the Jackas this weekend with rivals Old Haileybury hosting a massive triple-header at Princes Park, South Caulfield on Saturday.
It’s 1st vs 2nd when the under 19s square off with the Bloods at 9.20. The reserves take the field at 11.40 followed by the big seniors clash at 2pm.
On Sunday the thirds host Old Trinity in a do-or-die Preliminary Final at 9.30am.
The Club hopes to get as many supporters down to our ‘Super Saturday’ vs Old Haileybury and again on Sunday morning for the thirds’ final.
AJAX Amateur Football Club
Media & Communications Manager