Round 18 Report!

The final round of home and away matches in Premier Division for 2023 had enormous importance for the Monbulk Football Netball Club for a variety of reasons. It was a chance for both the Monbulk and Upwey-Tecoma clubs to pay tribute to Gary Wragg, who had long associations with both clubs and had passed away on August 16. The senior football club would also farewell their coach, Andrew Williams, who had announced that he would retire after five years at the helm. It was also a chance to celebrate Bonnie Munday’s 200th netball game for the club.


Both the Monbulk and Upwey-Tecoma clubs met in the centre of the ground prior to the senior game to remember the contribution that Gary Wragg had made to both sides. Monbulk still had a faint chance of finals but would need to win by about 12 goals which seemed unlikely, despite the ideal conditions that were present at the Monbulk Recreation Reserve. Jack Downard-Pengilly made his senior debut, becoming the 11th Under 19 player to play seniors this year. Upwey started much better out of the two sides, and if not for some inaccuracy in front of goal could have been further ahead by half time. The Tigers had 16 scoring shots to 5 but were only 26 points ahead, having registered 5.11.41 to the Hawks 2.3.15.

Monbulk have had a never-say-die attitude this year and came out in the second half with a determination to keep chasing and tackling. The tables were completely turned and it was now the Hawks creating all the running and play. The margin was still 19 points at the final change as Andrew Williams implored the players to dig deep and run out the game as they were to kick uphill in the last quarter. The Hawks controlled much of the play and with a few minutes to go drew level with the Tigers. In the end the two sides couldn’t be separated and registered a draw when the siren sounded, just the second time that these clubs had played out a draw since first meeting in 1946. The fightback had been heroic and was a fitting way to farewell their coach. A draw was also apt that the two clubs that came together to celebrate the life of Gary Wragg couldn’t be separated in the end.

Monbulk 8.13.61 drew Upwey-Tecoma 7.19.61
Best: Joel Wensley, Max Thornton, Ethan Greenall, Lochlan Beecroft, Mackay Bateson, Joshua Spencer
Goals: Mackay Bateson 2, Max Thornton 2, Glenn Strachan 1, Bailey Rutherford 1, Mitchell Veit 1, Lachlan Sheppard 1

Monbulk’s Reserves had been decimated by injuries over the last few weeks, as well as losing players to the seniors as they covered for injuries as well. Kody Timms and Mackenzie Rouget from the Under 19s played a second match to allow Monbulk to field a full side. Upwey’s reserves had only lost one match for the year to date and were the premiership favourites, while the Hawks were just completing their final fixture, and would finish seventh regardless of the outcome. Earlier in the year Monbulk had only lost by a single goal to the Tigers but a repeat of that seemed unlikely in the current circumstances. Upwey controlled proceedings from the start to run out 103 point winners with a goal just on the final siren. Monbulk never gave up and scored their only two goals in the latter part of the fourth quarter, which created some belated celebrations.

Monbulk 2.2.14 def by Upwey-Tecoma 18.9.117
Best: Aaron Smith, Ryan Pentreath, Josh Rak, Aaron Heerings, Shaun Wiering, Steven Shankly
Goals: Mitch Dekker 1, Michael Langworthy 1

Under 19s
The Monbulk Under 19s are the only team from the senior club to make finals in 2023, a position that they had secured over a month ago. This team has been well drilled by coach Kris Fletcher and plays an attractive and exciting brand of football. The Hawks controlled the play for large portions of the match against the Seville Blues to run out convincing winners by 66 points, on the back of 25 scoring shots to 4. They will now meet Emerald in an Elimination Final next week.

Monbulk 13.12.90 def Seville 4.0.24
Best: Nick Taylor, Lachlan Smith, Hamish Strathairn, William Henderson, Timothy Rickard, Charlie Barge
Goals: Lachlan Smith 4, Charlie Barge 2, Mackenzie Rouget 2, Ash Bremner 1, Zeke Charlton 1, Nicholas Heron 1, Hamish Strathairn 1, Jacob Bateson 1

A Grade
Monbulk were wanting to finish off the year with some consecutive wins as they now prepare for 2024. The Hawks were without Jamie Clark and were also still missing Paige Whitworth as they edged ahead by four goals at the first change. After quarter time they took their game to another level and were rarely troubled as they ended up recording an 18 goal win. Peri Reid again made the most of opportunities and finished with 532 goals for the season, 4th overall, despite playing only 13 games. Her goals per game average was ranked 2nd overall.

Monbulk 61 def Upwey-Tecoma 43
Best: Georgia Himmelreich, Abbey Whitaker, Jen Dewhurst
Goals: Peri Reid 52, Jen Dewhurst 9

B Grade
8th placed Monbulk took on the 4th placed Tigers but this game was all about Bonnie Munday who took the court for her 200th senior grade match with Monbulk. One of the hardest working and most respected club people, Bonnie has achieved much since she first played for the Hawks in 2011, including being the first ever female vice-president of the Monbulk Football Netball Club, a post she has held for the past three years. Upwey made a stronger start as Monbulk missed some opportunities after hitting the front early. By half time the Hawks were 8 goals in arrears but they fought back in the second half to fall just short by 2 goals. Paige Rondinella, who is noted for her ability to shoot goals from a distance, finished 2nd in the B Grade goal shooting for the year with 504.
Keep an eye out for a seperate post on just how wonderful Bon is!!

Monbulk 47 def by Upwey-Tecoma 49
Best: Rihanna Kelly, Paige Rondinella, Siobhan Munday
Goals: Paige Rondinella 32, Dayna Walsham 13, Chloe Schmidtke 2

C Grade
Upwey needed a win to ensure making the finals while the ninth placed Hawks were playing for pride only. Monbulk took it right up to the Tigers in the first half and trailed by just a solitary goal at half time. In the second half Upwey lifted a gear and the Hawks were unable to maintain the pace.

Monbulk 25 def by Upwey-Tecoma 41
Best: Courtney Witt, Jamie Sands, Jess Whitworth
Goals: Jamie Sands 23, Sammi Kelly 1, Kate Smith 1

D Grade
Monbulk were playing their grand final when they met Upwey, as the Tigers have been the only scalp they have managed to gain during the past season. Unfortunately they were not able to gain a second victory over Upwey for the year as the much bigger Tigers outfit controlled the match from the start. While the Hawks finished last in their first season back in D Grade with a largely young and new group, there are plenty of green shoots to indicate that they will build on the results of the past six months.

Monbulk 13 def by Upwey-Tecoma 30
Best: Caitlin Utting, Kate Smith, Leah Hansby
Goals: Kate Smith 8, Eireann Lawson 3, Hannah Dickason 2

We thank Andrew for all his work on the previous 5 years! The club has been lucky to have you and we wish you best in your next adventures!

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