It was a dark day in more ways than one at Bennettswood Reserve as both Men’s sides failed to avenge their earlier falls to Aquinas, going down by 75 points in twos and 23 points in the Seniors. It’s a loss which sees the Seniors tumble out of the 4 before a month off.
The weather seemed to match the mood of the day, with Aquinas solidifying their position in the top 2 of both sections, making the most of the moist conditions on the day.
Aquinas Reserves started strongly, playing like there had been no rain all week, opening up with a 5 goal quarter to put the Animals on the back foot early.
Tom Birkett would kick the Animals first early on in the second, in what at the time was a reward for the tide starting to turn, however Aquinas would turn the screws going in to the half and held a healthy lead into the long change.
The Animals once again came out strong, and gave themselves a glimmer of hope halfway through the third with Will Morris, Joe Anker, and Zach Kearns scoring to bring the margin within something manageable. However Aquinas again responded, and kicked 3 goals themselves to keep get it back to an 8 goal lead at the last. to
It was then when Aquinas put their foot down and lashed out with a 6 goal to 2 final term to blow the margin out and stay top of the table.
It was not all doom and gloom however, with the return of Alex Maunder to the backline showing promising signs for the final games of the year, whilst James Rippon and Zac “KD” Durrant featuring in the best on votes.
The Seniors started their match a lot brighter, kicking the first 6 goals of the contest and blowing Aquinas out of the water to start.
The ambush was led by co-captain Chris Beluszar who was off the chain in the opening term, dominating play and providing a boost to the entire side. When swingman Michael Davis and small forward Dan Hill both hit the board, the Animals were firing on all cylinders.
The Animals raced out to a 39-0 lead, and then the fightback started.
Aquinas snagged two late, and it would spark a landslide, with the Bloods kicking 14 of the last 17 goals kicked in the contest.
Aquinas struck early and often in the second, and pulled ahead just before the half, as the weather moved in again.
In a familiar position of allowing their opponent back in the contest, the Animals came out hard to start the third strong, and hit the lead midway through the quarter. However Aquinas would not stay down for a long, and kicked out to a 2 goal lead late on in the third.
Much like their Reserve counterparts, Aquinas would kick away in the last, and ran out 14.6.90 to 9.13.67 winners, making the Animals pay for their inaccuracy in front of goal again.
It’s a loss that sees the Animals slump to 4 losses in their last 5, and slip out of the 4 before three straight weeks off before a trip over the Westgate to Westbourne.
Again, not all was lost on the day, with Dan Hill making a successful return to senior footy with 3 snags, whilst the Collins boys (Jesse and Ben) both featured heavily in a strong performance.