MPNFL 2021: Mt Eliza edges Sorrento in Division 1 thriller
Melbourne Captain Max Gawn was caught up in the drama as hundreds of Mt Eliza fans poured onto the ground after an MPNFL thriller.
The scenes were reminiscent of a grand final win.
When the final siren sounded at Mt Eliza on Saturday, a mighty roar went up and hundreds of Redlegs fans sprinted on to Emil Madsen Reserve to celebrate their side’s gripping four point win over Sorrento.
A goal in the last 30 seconds by Mt Eliza forward Shawn Watson put the home side back in front at precisely the right time, securing a 12.8 (80) to 11.10 (76) victory.
But the reaction of fans, many under 19 players, was something else. It proved local footy was back and thriving.
“That’s coming from our kids, I’ve got to calm them down a bit, they’re a bit crazy,” Mt Eliza coach Steve Brattle said on Sunday.
“Local footy is really going okay I think.”
A group of Melbourne Demon players, including captain Max Gawn, watched the drama unfold.
They were there to support their former teammate and Sorrento coach Luke Tapscott.
Gawn happily chatted to the crowd and posed for photos, and nodded in approval when asked if he’d enjoyed the gripping contest. Mt Eliza trailed by 25 points at half time before kicking five goals to one in the third quarter, ignited by Will Antonie, who slotted three majors in a row, to grab a two point lead at the last change.
Sorrento surged ahead early in the last quarter after a crucial goal by Leigh Poholke, his sixth for the afternoon. But the Redlegs came again, with Harrison Scott and Aiden Smith booting goals, and then Watson’s big mark and match winning set shot from about 30 metres out.
It was Mt Eliza’s first win over Sorrento since the Sharks have been back in the top grade, and Brattle was delighted his side responded in that tense final quarter. “We’re learning something every week,” Brattle said. “At three quarter time I said, “It’s a Mt Eliza trait to fall in a hole here”.
“So if you want to do something about earning some respect this next 25 minutes better be it”. They hung on well.
“I said, there are a lot of people standing around listening to the same stuff, the same message. They’ve been hearing it for years.” I said” do me a favour, get it done so we don’t have to go back into the rooms and have the same story told to us about what we could have done.”
“We took a really good step yesterday.”
“There’s a bit of belief there, too.”
From The President
As round 4 wrapped up, the club experienced an energy that can only be described as euphoric. Our sellout event, the ladies luncheon, brought to us by Seen Promotions, was a stylish and delicious success. Federal Member for Dunkley, the Honourable Peta Murphy MP joined us as we enjoyed a degustation style menu from the Corner Pantry in fun fashionable and familiar surroundings. Ms Murphy shared the story of Louisa Margaret Dunkley, a trade unionist and campaigner for equal pay for women for which the electorate of Dunkley is named. Thank you to all the enthusiastic ladies (and gents) who joined us and then partied well into the evening as we celebrated all things women in sport.
With amazing performances in all our disciplines, the club has seen a 40% increase in gate attendance which has translated into growth in our Canteen, Burger Bar and our three bars.
This week we introduced our newest sponsor in the Mornington Peninsula Brewery with two delicious locally brewed beers now available on tap in the main bar.
I reflect on a number of conversations that I’ve had with members and supporters where it has become clear that something very special is happening in our community and within our club. Many said they have never witnessed scenes like the 150+ supporters that stormed the ground (at a mid season home game) to share in the celebrations after the Senior Football win against Sorrento.
This weekend we head up the bay to play Edi-Asp and we’d love to see your red and blue colours. Let’s send a message to our opposition that we are all in this together.
Thanks again for your support and encouragement. I hope you enjoy our club and everything we are doing. It’s our passion.
Someone told me our games would be a “marathon,not a sprint” The person forgot to tell me it was going to be every single week. What a great result for our senior football team to beat Sorrento on our home deck in front of large crowd with eight seconds to spare. You cannot script this stuff. The enthusiasm and excitement of the crowd was something really special to see, it reaffirms we have the on-field and of-field balance going pretty well. Sorrento played really direct and with intent to win contested footy, combined with a fair bit of lip service to put us off in the first half, half time we were down 25 points. We reset, made adjustments at the break and they worked immediately, the 3 qtr time score was we led by 3 points.
The first objective of winning the qtr was done, by 28 points fantastic reward for effort The final message let’s not waste the momentum and finish the job we came to do. After 30 minutes of hard fought lead changing football we were in front when the siren went. Great contribution from all players, a great milestone for resilience, never quitting and confidence we are in this up to our necks.
Mt Eliza 12.8.80 def Sorrento 11.10.76
Last Saturday provided a near perfect afternoon for footy. After a disappointing loss the week prior we were keen to get back in the winners list. We certainly did that with a massive 20+ win! Besides the scoreboard, it was pleasing to see us play a more direct style of football and give us more opportunities to score. Our skill level and decision making, particularly gojng forward was a lot better. We continued to be disciplined and stuck to the game plan for the majority of the game and the goals continued to flow.
Last week against Sorrento saw improvement yet again, which is really pleasing to see. The under 17 juggernaut continues with another dominant win to kick the day off. D Grade had a draw which is painful, but not as hard to swallow as the 2 goal loss for the C’s. B grade impressed again, and came away convincing winners, improving every time they take the court. Unfortunately the A grade were unable to get over Sorrento, but just need to keep working hard and I’m sure a victory is not far away.
Next weekend we head to Edi-Asp which is the toughest test in our league, so we will have to put in some high quality efforts and hopefully sneak a few wins again.
It was great reading the post-match comments by the players, and the reactions. It shows a glimpse of what our group is achieving, week by week.
We had another tough day out against another one of the top few teams in the comp (narrow loss in 2019 GF).
There were many parts of the game where we did what we said we would do. We followed up with second efforts, we had better voice, better structures around the contests, particularly centre bounces, and we applied some awesome pressure that forced a strong opposition to lift. That is where we are earning some respect. The intensity we brought in the 3rd quarter was the standard that demanded that respect.
Pre-game, our perennially-excited Prez spoke to the group about the growth of Girls/Women’s footy in our club, their pioneering position in that history, and Brats brought the messages used in the senior Men’s team about Resilience, Cohesion, Being uncomfortable, Relationships and having fun. That’s what we’re about.
Next Sunday 2pm we play Mornington on their smaller ground, and where our training around contests and improving ball use just could be the difference.