K rock Football

So close for Falcons

Co-captain Jesse Clark was among the Geelong Falcons’ best in their one-point loss to the GWV Rebels at Mars Stadium. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

GEELONG Falcons have suffered a brutal one-point loss at the hands of GWV Rebels at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Leading by 20 points heading into the final term, the Falcons failed to stop an emboldened Rebels who kicked two goals in the middle of the quarter to reel in the visitors’ lead.

Rebels’ Darcy McEldrew then kicked his second for the day to push his team two points ahead with three minutes left on the clock.

In the dying minutes of the game, the Falcons attempted to snatch back victory as they surged forward, but a soccer off the ground from Charlie Harris resulted in only a behind with the siren sounding seconds later.

Geelong coach Luke Daffy says the loss was a hard one to take.

“It was a really disappointing result at the end of the day; we thought for a large chunk of the game we were in control,” he said.

“Greater Western Victoria got the game on their terms in the last quarter, and we were just trying to hold a little bit and probably didn’t really take the game on as much as we would have liked.

“We had some opportunities late but unfortunately didn’t finish in front.”

In wet and slippery conditions, the Falcons looked mostly in control of the contest across the opening three quarters despite the Rebels missing a number of opportunities when going forward.

A further five-goal haul in the third term then saw the Falcons break away.

“We probably had an opportunity halfway through the third quarter to maybe just bury it and put them away, but we just couldn’t do it,” Daffy said.

“Credit to the Rebels. They stuck in and got going late in that fourth quarter.”

Jay Dahlhaus’s season could be in trouble after the 17-year-old was stretchered off in the third term with what looks to be a knee injury.

In a frenzied sequence of events, an opponent fell onto Dahlhaus’ leg just as the Falcons forward kicked a goal.

“We are not quite sure what it is at this stage,” Daffy said.

“We’ll get an indication in the next few days whether that is long term or short term.”

Despite the disappointing loss a number of Falcons continued to impress the first year coach.

“Sam Christensen played a really strong game at fullback. We were really happy with Sam and he’s had a fantastic summer,” Daffy said.

“Cooper Stephens was strong as a midfielder inside. He got his hands on it and gave us first use.

“Chas [Karpala] came in this week. He was probably a bit lucky not to be there Round 1.

“He came in and played a role for us and got his hands on the ball. It was nice to see him really contribute to
our side.”

The Falcons will now turn its attention to another tough assignment as they face the undefeated Dandenong Stingrays in Bendigo next Sunday.

MEANWHILE, the Geelong Falcons Girls have overcome shocking inaccuracy in front of goal to remain unbeaten following a 36-point win over GWV Rebels on Saturday afternoon.

In breezy and slippery conditions at Ballarat’s City Oval, the Falcons kicked nine consecutive behinds before NAB League leading goal kicker Mia Skinner kicked the first of her two goals for the afternoon late in the second quarter.

Despite his players being off the mark in the forward line, coach Jason Armistead was pleased with another solid defensive effort in keeping the Rebels goalless.

“I thought it was probably our best performance for the whole season,” he said. “Everyone did their job really well.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t reflect in the goals column, but we created heaps of opportunities, and it was a really good performance.

“The girls adapted really well to the conditions.”

Experienced trio Luka Lesosky-Hay (31 possessions), captain Lucy McEvoy and key defender Abbey Chapman were again pivotal for the Falcons, while Skinner’s two majors took her total for the season to 10.

“Abbey went out to centre half-back this week, and she just stopped everything,” Armistead.

“Luka was amazing early. When the game was working itself out, she was so steady just sitting a little bit outside the contest and behind the footy and read everything well.

“And Lucy was great from start to finish.

“But, overall, it was just a really good team performance.”

The Falcons, who have won 15 straight games since the final round of the 2017 season, will look to further consolidate a finals berth when they travel to Dandenong next Saturday for a meeting with the Stingrays.

with Tom King

NAB LEAGUE BOYS ROUND 2

GWV REBELS  1.3, 3.8, 5.10, 8.16 (64)

GEELONG FALCONS  2.2, 4.3, 9.6, 9.9 (63)

Goals: GWV Rebels: D. McEldrew 2, J. Cleaver 2, I. Wareham, J. Rantall, I. Grant, M. Martin

Geelong: C. Karpala 2, M. Langan 2, J. Dahlhaus, M. Annandale, C. Stephens, S. Ham, H. Stubbings

Best: GWV Rebels: J. Tillig, L. Herbert, H. Sharp, I. Wareham, J. Rantall, P. Glanford

Geelong: S. Christensen, C. Stephens, N. Gribble, S. Bourke, J. Clark, K. Rayner

NAB LEAGUE GIRLS ROUND 4

GEELONG FALCONS 0.4, 1.9, 3.15, 4.17 (41)

GWV REBELS  0.2, 0.3, 0.3, 0.5 (5)

Goals: Geelong: M. Skinner 2, P. Schaap, D. Moloney

Best: Geelong: L. Lesosky-Hay, L. McEvoy, A. Chapman, E. Vella, D. Smith, M. Skinner

GWV Rebels: M. Caris, S. Molan, C. Leonard, N. Butler, E. Friend, A. Stevens