Flat Woodsmen suffer first defeat
The Woodsmen headed to a cold and windy Jimboomba on Friday night and based on their performance on the field, never really warmed up.
Jimboomba had clearly 'come to play' and had set themselves for the challenge of knocking off the competition front runners, while the Woodsmen played a disinterested brand of footy that can only result in one outcome.
Jimboomba shot out of the blocks early with some slick ball movement and quality inside 50 entries to have 4 straight goals on the board before the Woodies could blink. The Woodies settled a little, made some matchup changes and from some rare forward entries were able to push forward for 2 late goals to give the scoreboard some respectability.
The Woodsmen opened the 2nd quarter with their only patch of genuinely good football at some intensity, kicking 2 more quick goals to take the lead. However, in general play they were still being out worked and lacked any enthusiasm for the contest. In what was an extremely cold night, there were plenty of Woodies who would have barely broken a sweat and an unwillingness to bodyline the footy was incredibly uncharacteristic of the group.
Inevitably Jimboomba pushed home their advantage, but failed to take their chances kicking 5 straight behinds to close the half that gave them a 3 point lead at the main break, though in reality they were well on top.
Huddled into a cold demountable dressing room, the Woodies failed to adapt and harden up and exposed a soft underbelly in the third quarter as Jimboomba pushed home their advantage with a further 4 straight goals to no score from the Woodsmen who barely had a forward 50 entry for the quarter.
Facing a 26 point 3/4 time deficit, there was still a faint hope the Woodies would dig deep and show some of their trademark fight, but this was quickly put to bed with some lacklustre efforts early in the last quarter as the Redbacks extended their lead to a healthy 7+ goals. Some late changes to the midfield were too little too late, as the Woodies kicked a couple of goals in junk time to flatter the margin in a game where they never really fired a shot.
Max Webber in his debut was the shining light, providing consistent 4 quarter effort his elder teammates were unable to replicate. Gabe McKinnon was tireless in the ruck and pushing deep into defence, Simon Purkiss gave a consistent effort in defence and Matt Hockley never stopped working despite rare forward 50 entries and poor delivery as the Redback ruckman continually pushed into the defensive hole to shut down any attack. Special mention also to Shayne Baldwyn, a normally free flowing mercurial half forward who sacrificed his game to move onto a dangerous opponent. He shut him down consistently and forced a position change to break the shackles. Sadly Baldwyn was rewarded with a strained groin late in the contest and will miss some weeks for his efforts.
While the Woodsmen certainly had some significant and key players missing, the effort was unbecoming of what this team has put out week in week out over 10 years and hugely disappointing. While the Woodies have had far more significant losses in both occasion and margin, this loss hurts most due to the lack of effort displayed across the board and the lack of voice and support for teammates throughout the match. Injuries, unavailability and freezing weather are not excuses for lack of desire.
The Woodies will look to put this one behind them and the sooner it is forgotten the better. With the bye this week, it takes 2 weeks to redeem themselves and it can't come soon enough!
Jimboomba Redbacks 11.9 - 75 defeated Woodsmen 6.4 - 40
Best: Webber, Baldwyn, MacKinnon, Purkiss, Judson, Davis
Goals: Mihalopoulos 3, Hockley 2, T.McEvoy 1