Round 4 proved to bet yet another tremendous round for Sydney University Australian National Football Club’s (SUANFC) top five sides, who all recorded wins.
Sydney Uni’s NEAFL side trailed at every change, before a stirring final quarter effort gave them a last-gasp one-point win over Ainslie at Blacktown on Saturday afternoon. Trailing by 11 points with three minutes remaining, the Students goaled twice in as many minutes to sneak a 14.7.91 to 13.12.90 victory, moving to three-and-one record and nailing down sixth spot in the process.
Midfielder Tom Ayton was the hero, kicking the eventual match-winner with just under a minute on the clock, getting on the end of a coast-to-coast transition after running forward of the play.
As in Sydney University’s round 2 win over Queanbeyan, Ayton was outstanding all afternoon, along with hard-nosed Matt Powys and Matt Rawlinson, captain Tim Barton, and classy defender Matt O’Dwyer.
Sydney University coach Daniel Gimore was a relieved man after the heart-stopping win.
“That win was one of the very enjoyable moments I’ve had in football, and all the guys were understandably elated to get the points in such a close game,” Gilmore said. “I felt like we deserved the victory, and to now improve to three and one is a nice position to be in.”
This match was impossible to pick on paper, and that was reflected in the closeness of the contest, as the Students came out firing, before they were pegged back by a classy Ainslie outfit, which took a narrow eight-point ascendancy into half-time. Both sides kicked three majors in the third term, setting the scene for a grandstand finish, and the frenetic final few minutes provided just that.
Nick Paine, the Tricolours’ big inclusion, was the dominant forward on the ground bagging five goals. In the only sour note for the NEAFL side, Matt Powys faces a nervous wait after being reported for charging.
Sydney Uni’s Premier division, Blues, Reds and Golds teams also had wins on the weekend. Playing for the Blues, Tim Air celebrated his 100th game for the club with a comfortable victory. The Plats and Colts both suffered defeats.