It was a case of “Job done” for the Animals as they swept aside Parkside to end the year strongly at Bennettswood Reserve in 2019.
The Animals had a much stronger year at home, going 4-3 in the Seniors, and 5-2 in the Reserves, compared to their 2-7 and 3-6 records in 2018, and secured their first over 500 record at home since the 2017 Seniors season which went 5-4.
The Reserves kicked the day off with a comprehensive dismantling of the Parkside reserves, running out 20.27.147 to 3.3.21 winners. Jono Greensides marked his return with 6 goals, whilst Tom Birkett consolidated his lead on the goalkicking list with 3 majors of his own.
Charlie Simpson was simply divine on the wing, at times toying with the Parkside lineup, spinning out of contests and roaming around the muddy terrain of Bennettswood like it was at it’s summer best.
He was complemented by Harry Wines, who once again held sway in the middle of the park, and continues to build confidence ahead of the finals.
Down back, the Animals held Parkside goalless for the first half, before leaking 5 scoring shots in the second, however the rebound 50 work of the Animals in tough conditions was the spark for multiple scoring chances throughout the contest.
In the final term, 100 gamer Tom Buick was able to snag just his second goal of 2019 late to ensure it was a to-script performance in his milestone match, finding acres of room on the Deakin side wing in the good grass for the majority of the match.
Combined, the Reserves defeated Parkside 38.38.266 to 4.6.30 over the two games in 2019.
In the Seniors, it was a much tighter affair to start the match, with Leo’s on holding a 2 point lead at the first change.
Wayward kicking was the feature of the day for the Animals, and increased accuracy will serve them better come September, but the challenging playing conditions meant that Leo’s found straight kicking at times an impossible task.
However a 6 goal spurt in the second combined by keeping Parkside to a solitary point saw the Animals stroll away to a 47 point lead and not look back.
Parkside would mount a respectable charge to start the third, and win the third term kicking 5 goals to 2 towards the Burwood Highway, but the Animals would pull away at the end. Zac Kearns would kick his first senior goal and regular contributors Chris Beluszar and Paul Baranello would also stroke home majors as the Seniors struck 15.28.118 to 9.7.61.