Joeys prevail in Big Freeze epic

James Hickey was among the best players for St Joseph's. (Ivan Kemp) 403483_04

By Justin Flynn

After an epic one-point win against St Mary’s and with a three-week block of playing teams in the bottom five, St Joseph’s coach Ron Watt will not be resting players from his undefeated team.

The Joeys got in front in the final minute during Sunday’s huge clash between the two unbeaten teams and held on for a memorable win and will now start heavy favourites against Lara, Grovedale and Geelong West.

“I wouldn’t have thought that we’ll be resting anyone,” Watt said.

“We’ll play people if they’re available and if they’re fit and ready and able to play. There’ll be one or two guys that we’ll look at in a couple of weeks maybe, but I would think that Geelong West will be a pretty reasonable game and then we’ve got Colac before the bye.

“And Lara, I think there’s a bit more improvement left in them so we’ll be very respectful of anyone we’re playing against. The season’s not half over yet, so we’ve still got to get the runs on the board, too.”

The game against St Mary’s was played in front of a huge crowd at Herne Hill Reserve and followed the Geelong Big Freeze event, which Watt particpated in dressed as Peter Helliar’s character ‘Strauchany’.

“The players are always excited when we play against really good opposition as we did against St Mary’s and you look forward to that challenge,” Watt said.

“But I think they’re embracing the significance of the opportunity to highlight the MND cause as well.”

St Joseph’s booted three goals to none in the first quarter but St Mary’s hit back with six majors in the second.

“They had plenty of shots in the first quarter though,” Watt said.

“They couldn’t kick straight. I think they had five points at quarter time. They got their game together during the second quarter and we just let them possess the ball a bit too much. But they came to play and it was a cracking contest.”

St Mary’s was in front during the dying stages, but an Austin Humphrey goal with a minute to go put Joeys back in front and they held on.

“There’s a couple of things that we have in place for when games are tight in the last couple of minutes and we learned a bit from the game against Leopold two weeks ago, where a similar thing happened where we sort of had to hold on a bit, but this time we had to actually impact the scoreboard before we could hold on.

“And then just held on for dear life and we had a couple of things in place that we do once we hit the front, but nothing more than any other team does. There’s sometimes a little bit of luck in it and just sort of grit your teeth and fight to the death.”

Watt said there would be at least three changes to the side to face Lara this week.

“We’ve got a couple of boys who have gone away or are heading overseas for five or six weeks so we’ll have Jack Leonard out this week and we’ve got a couple of other boys who are going to be unavailable due to work commitments.”

BELL PARK defeated Leopold by 36 points and is in third spot on the ladder. Ben Worme booted three goals for the Dragons in a best afield display.

NEWTOWN & Chilwell star Mitch Diamond was instrumental in his side’s seven-point win against a gallant Geelong West.

GROVEDALE is on the winner’s list after a seven-point win against St Albans. Skipper Nathan Deans booted three goals and was the Tigers’ best.

AARON Hawker led Colac to a 61-point triumph against Lara. The Tigers had their hands full trying to contain star Cat Mitch Day, who kicked seven goals.

MIDFIELDER Doyle Madigan starred in South Barwon’s 101-point victory against North Shore while Fraser Fort kicked four goals.