05.05.08- Nick Bailey

The Sydney University Men’s AFL Premier Division side’s unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday, as they suffered their first defeat of the season against Pennant Hills Demons, going down 17.12.114 to 13.11.89 at University Oval No.1.

Uni surrendered first place on the ladder to Pennant Hills on percentage, but still need only one more win to match their victory tally for the entire 2007 season.

In what was billed as the match of the round, the occasion looked to have got to the Students, as the Demons dominated the first quarter to leave Uni goalless and trailing by 37 points at quarter time. Uni were no match for a Hills forward line that booted six unanswered goals for the first term and ensured it would be a tough day at the office for the Students, who were missing their leading goal kicker for the season, Alex Lee.

Uni fared no better in the second term, despite finally opening their goalscoring account, as Pennant Hills set up a 44 point half time lead with another five goals.

By three quarter time the result had been put beyond all doubt, as Pennant Hills led by 50 points having outscored Uni three goals to two for the term.

With this week lost, the Students knew the final term would be all about finding form in preparation for next week. Fortunately they showed their early season sparkle had not totally abandoned them, as they stormed home with a seven goal final quarter to reduce the final deficit to 25 points.

Jake Trestrail and Aaron Crisfield starred for the Demons, whilst Clint Setford kicked four goals. For Uni Mark Egan, captain Frank Punch and vice captain Joel Carr were voted best on ground, with Brydon Coles booting three goals.

It capped off a good week for Coles, who was the competition’s Rising Star nominee for Round 4, and was also named in the Sydney AFL Representative team train on squad, along with Lee, Chris McLachlan and Ben Mankarious. Sydney Uni also featured in the Volunteer of the Week award, with club stalwart Fintan O’Connor picking up the prize.

Uni will look to rejoin the winner’s circle next week when they take on Western Suburbs at Picken Oval on Sunday. Wests currently sit in fifth place on the ladder, and at home will be a tough assignment for Uni, in a match that looks to be a good test of character for the Students. Centre bounce will be at 2:10pm, with the Reserves in action from midday.