A second half fight back from Sydney University was not enough to erase an imposing first half deficit against Morningside in Saturday’s round four NEAFL clash in Queensland.
In a game that finished Morningside 19.11-125 to Sydney University 8.9-57, the Students were unable to close the gap after a devastating second quarter from the boys from up north.
While Alex Lee and Tom Elkington had strong performances – each kicked three goals – their performances were overshadowed by a 71-18 half time scoreline. The Students fought back well to go goal for goal with Morningside in the second half, but the half time margin ultimately proved too large a mountain to climb.
The Students were hampered by last minute injuries and Senior NEAFL coach Daniel Gilmore was given a rude shock when five minutes before bounce down Kelvin Barnes pulled up with another small hamstring issue, despite his hamstring passing all tests in the lead up to the game. The injury issues were compounded when Josh Cole re-tore his hamstring just five minutes into the first quarter.
Despite these injuries Gilmore was keen not to use them as excuse for his team’s slow start, explaining that “whilst our team got off to a slow start, we can’t blame the injuries as we had too many players have a quiet first half which we are all disappointed in.”
Gilmore was encouraged by the second half revival in which the Students showed they can play to a similar standard to one of the top teams, but understands they need to maintain it for a full game.
“Our players matched Morningside in the second half, after a rev up at half time, with the players showing some real endearing qualities in the contest and commitment to the ball and each other. Unfortunately we had too many players down in the first half to compete on the scoreboard in the second half,” said Gilmore.
The Students will now look to this weekend’s rematch against the Hills Eagles who went down 148-86 to the competition leading Swans Reserves. The Eagles were too strong for the Students in their round three clash, winning by 36 points.