EFL: Pressure and structure key for Bayswater win over Wantirna South

Wantirna South stopped in their tracks by Bayswater (photo: Davis Harrigan)
Wantirna South stopped in their tracks by Bayswater (photo: Davis Harrigan)

Bayswater secured a top four spot against the promoted Wantirna South Devils at home leading into the Queen’s Birthday weekend bye, taking home the four points with a 16.10.106 to 8.6.54 win.

Much of the scoring was thanks to Bayswater’s power forward Wayne McInerney (six majors), but the credit went to the delivery across the ground, with more than 60 tackles laid.

Mitch Galvin and McInerney laid on three goals in quick succession, not allowing the Devils opportunities through the centre, instead pushing them out to the wings and forcing turnovers.  Ryan Baker (one goal), Jackson Freeman (two) and Sam McIntyre (one) couldn’t convert from the seven inside 50s in the first quarter.

Jack Birkett would finally register the Devils first goal, but not until midway through the second quarter.  Stoppage football was the order of the day, and while Bayswater were better around the contests, it wasn’t until the second half that they really took control of the tap outs.

Too much space was offered up to Bayswater, who avidly used it to great effect.  In contrast, when the ball was in the Devils hands, they used it well, but coughed up too many errors in the attacking 50.

Wantirna South coach Matthew Clark emphasised his players needed to put the pressure back on Bayswater, and at the half-time break trailed by 26 points, but had put together passages of play demonstrating why they sat in the top four.

Four goals to McInerney by half-time, and solid defensive work from the likes of Hayden Schroeder and Matt Cunningham had created a 26 point buffer to capitalise on.

A 10 goal to six second half was the ultimate closer, with Bayswater heeding coach Paul McCormack’s words of getting on top of the stoppages and rebounds.  Fresher legs off the bench allowed the hosts to barrel home six goals to two in the final term, Ben Searle an absolute dynamo around the attacking 50 and snapping a pair of goals.

The release allowed the intensity to break open, with Bayswater stuck in second gear for the first half.  Daniel Beddome broke a three goal Waters streak, but with the Devils six goals behind and turning the ball over too regularly, Bayswater took complete charge.

Strong marks in front of goal allowed Bayswater more set shots and ample time, while the sheer numbers around the ball allowed no room for Wantirna South to penetrate and move forward.

McCormack said the team’s greatest victory was backing up from last week’s 39 point loss to Doncaster at home, citing the players sticking to the structures as an important asset.

“It’s hard coming off a big game like last week, but we made a couple of changes and had a more even spread of players.

“We want to have a well-known brand, so sides know we’re well structured and use the ball efficiently.  If we can get that out (of season 2015), that’s what we’re aiming for and is a long-term plan.”

After being “rushed” and kicking long last week, a key factor in Bayswater’s loss, McCormack said Bayswater found the balance that ultimately propelled them to victory.

Players line-up to grab the aerial ball (photo: Davis Harrigan)
Players line-up to grab the aerial ball (photo: Davis Harrigan)

“Last week, we just bombed it too much and were shaky; this week we were definitely calmer with our ball use, harder around the footy, and slower in pulling the trigger and being fluid in getting our chain possession up.”

With Croydon inflicting an 83 point loss on Doncaster East, and Doncaster convincingly beating Mulgrave, Bayswater have leapfrogged Wantirna South on the ladder to be sitting in third with one week to go before the bye.  Like many teams though, the focus is on next week and continuing the team development.

“We don’t even look at the ladder, our aim is to improve and make sure it’s about a week to week basis.  I said to the boys that if we played well today and structured up well, I’d be happy with that,” said McCormack after things went wayward against the Lions last week.

Bayswater will travel to Doncaster next week, while Wantirna South host Doncaster East, who will be smarting from the big loss to Croydon.


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