Men’s Premier Division Match of the Round Review – Pennant Hills Demons v UNSW-ES Bulldogs
Written by Lucas Holmes
The Pennant Hills Demons had the bye in round 15. In round 14 they defeated Sydney University by 1 point. In round 15 the UNSW-ES Bulldogs defeated Inner West by 76 points.
The Bulldogs made their intentions known early as they switched the football out of their defensive 50 at the first opportunity, and it didn’t take long for them to open the scoring.
Following a stoppage on the centre wing, chain handballs moved play to the half-forward flank. Cooper Kilpatrick was held off the football and converted the set shot on the angle.
The Demons opened their account through the experienced Stephen Wray.
Wray applied a chase-down tackle and then made no mistake with the set shot from 40 metres out.
UNSW-ES created two turnovers in their forward half in a matter of minutes. However, the Demons’ defence scrambled and only conceded a minor score.
Play was halted for over an hour due to an on-field incident that required an ambulance to be called.
With eight- and three-quarter minutes remaining in the first term, the match resumed.
Colm Culligan kicked the first goal after the stoppage in the same area as Kilpatrick’s earlier in the term.
The Demons put their foot down late in the quarter with goals to Theo Moraitis, James Boag and Luke Skrivanic.
Quarter time Pennant Hills Demons 4.2.26 UNSW-ES Bulldogs 2.3.15.
The Demons elected to play some tempo to negate turnovers in their back half through the early part of the second term.
Both sides added early goals as Pennant Hills extended their lead to 17 points.
Moraitis added his second after 19 minutes of elapsed time.
Co-Captain Thomas Edmonds won a free kick on the centre wing. A sweeping handball to Jason Blakemore allowed him to run and carry and have a running shot on goal. Blakemore’s kick fell just short, but Moraitis was there and poked it home off the ground.
Wray, arguably the best player on the ground in the first half continued to impact the contest, particularly at stoppages.
The Bulldogs added three minor scores late, which reduced the margin to 23 points at the main break.
Half time Pennant Hills Demons 7.4.46 UNSW-ES Bulldogs 3.5.23.
UNSW-ES had an early chance in the third term.
After a deep entry in the forward pocket, Charlie Burgess-Hoar unselfishly kicked backwards to Brandon Jack to open the angle.
Jack’s set shot was pushed across the face of the goal for a minor score.
The Bulldogs chipped the football around in defence as they racked up uncontested marks. The passage of play was broken up by Michael Carroll on the centre wing.
The backline of the Bulldogs continued to chop off high kicks inside their defensive 50. Forward of the football, however, they could only manage minor scores.
Christian Webster thumped home a set shot from the arc following a 50-metre free kick. With limited opportunities, the Demons’ lead was 26 points.
The Bulldogs had their first goal after 19 minutes of elapsed time with superb ball movement led to a long set shot from Hamish Dunstan.
Byron Middleton and Culligan (his second) added late goals for the visitors as their pressure well and truly lifted.
Three quarter time Pennant Hills Demons 8.4.52 UNSW-ES Bulldogs 6.9.45.
The Bulldogs once again showcased their ball movement around the ground, but the last kick inside 50 was intercepted by Edmonds.
Dunstan had his second goal with just over two minutes elapsed in the fourth term.
Culligan rucked inside the forward 50, quick handballs released Kyle Cooper who unselfishly found Dunstan on the goal line. The margin back to a solitary point.
Kilpatrick kicked his second following a 50-metre free kick. For the first time, the Bulldogs were in front.
The Demons had some opportunities of their own. They had two shots intercepted on the goal line in a matter of minutes.
Darcy Cordell kicked UNSW-ES ‘s second goal of the quarter.
Middleton won a holding the ball free kick. His centring ball was marked by Cordell who kicked the set shot from directly in front.
Skrivanic had an opportunity to kick his second for the afternoon. His set shot from 30 metres out on a tight angle was pulled to the near side.
A smother on the goal line from Cordell denied Matt Carey a goal late in the quarter.
Full time Pennant Hills Demons 8.6.54 UNSW-ES Bulldogs 9.11.65.
Mitchell Blow fought all afternoon in the ruck and played as an onballer at times. Connor Matthews didn’t take a backwards step behind the football whilst Sam Eynaud impressed.
Joseph Byrnes was the best player on the ground deep in defence. Hamish Dunstan was electric in the forward half as Max Geddes played a key role around the ground.
Pennant Hills Demons 8.6.54
Goal kickers: H. Maguire 2, T. Moraitis 2, J. Boag, L. Skrivanic, S. Wray, C. Webster
Best: M. Blow, B. Matthews, S. Eynaud, C. Webster, C. Lee, J. Potter
UNSW-ES Bulldogs 9.11.65
Goal kickers: C. Culligan 2, H. Dunstan 2, C. Kilpatrick 2, C. Burgess-Hoar, D. Cordell, B. Middleton
Best: J. Byrnes, C. Kilpatrick, B. Jack, D. Towers, M. Geddes, H. Dunstan