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Losses mount for Marty’s men
AJAX’s season hangs in the balance after suffering their third straight loss in a disappointing display against the newly-promoted Monash Blues at Frearson Oval on Saturday.
The losing streak is a complete turn of fortune for the Jackas who rebounded from a round one loss to go on to win their next three matches.
Marty Pask and his chargers will rue their missed opportunities of the last two weeks, losing to teams outside the top four.
Despite falling to 7th, the Jackas are remarkably only out of the top four on percentage with the bottom team Hampton only two games outside of finals contention - so tight is the logjam of teams gunning for fourth spot.
The top three is unlikely to change, making the Jackas’ quest of breaking their five-year finals drought even more compelling.
On Saturday the seniors blooded two more debutants, 18-year old Jordan Cohen and ruckman Daniel Goodman, the grandsons of Trevor Cohen and Dave Yaffe, AJAX players of yesteryear.
The Jackas would have backed their run and carry style on the vast open spaces, however they failed to capitalise on their wind advantage in the opening term, trailing by 20 points at quarter time.
Photo: Les Argen
The home side got the early jump on the Jackas kicking the opening three goals of the game before first-gamer Cohen marked his first senior kick with a great snapping goal.
David Fayman looked dangerous inside fifty and was the recipient of a free kick in front of goal, which he converted.
The Jackas continued their slow start to quarters, conceding early goals. The margin lengthened to six goals approaching half-time, however a late-quarter fightback led by the youngest player on the ground narrowed the gap to four goals at the main break.
Jordan Cohen produced a minute of magic slotting back-to-back goals from deep in the pocket, registering his third goal in his first half of senior football.
Alex Wollan ensured the Jackas began the third quarter better than the last two, working his way through traffic and slotting his first, getting his side within 20 points.
Monash responded with the next two, stunting the Jackas momentum.
Both sides traded goals to end the third term. Richie Simon enjoyed a busy five minutes kicking two while Brad Caplan proved his nous around goals roving then snapping brilliantly.
At the final break, Marty Pask instilled confidence in his players that the five-goal margin was achievable, however Monash quickly erased any hope of a Jackas come-from-behind victory, banging on the first three goals of the final quarter to eventually run out 19.14 (128) victors to AJAX 12.9 (81).
David Fayman and Jordan Cohen both kicked three, while Richie Simon was the other multiple goal-kicker with two.
Cohen capped off a dream debut with best afield honours for the Jackas, while fellow youngsters Nick Lewis, Josh Baron and Justin Berkowitz all showed plenty of fight.
The reserves will wonder what more they can do to reverse their frustrating run of close misses, recording their third loss by six points or less in the past five matches, compounded by a low-scoring draw last round versus Parkdale.
The Jackas kicked away with the wind in the opening term, however play was halted for close to 30 minutes after an opposition player was knocked out in a marking contest and wasn’t removed from the field until paramedics arrived.
Due to the lengthy delay the second-half was shortened. The Jackas surrendered their quarter time lead to trail by five points at three quarter time.
Kicking against the wind and chasing victory from behind proved too great of a task. The reserves eventually went down 8.11 (59) – Monash 9.10 (64).
Jeremy Forbes provided a presence up forward kicking four goals while Andrew Slade was a livewire booting two.
Experienced trio Geoff Measey, Nadav Harel and Noah Rischin all put in strong performances around the ground.
The loss sees the Jackas slip to 7th on the ladder, a game outside the top four.
The under 19s’ undefeated season kicked on with a strong 52-point away win against bottom-placed Therry Penola.
The Jackas led comfortably at every break, however lost the final quarter, four goals to two.
Reece Israel sizes up one of his four goals. Photo: Hersh Burston
Reece Israel’s four goals earned him best on ground honours, while Ben Schwartz (two goals), Joel Burston and Charlie Hamilton were others amongst the best.
The unders hold a two-game lead atop the Section 4 ladder.
On Sunday the Thirds bounced back from last round’s loss, to overpower Beaumaris by 73 points at Sportscover Arena.
A ten-goal to three first half set up the Jackas big win and sees them a game behind ladder-leaders De La Salle who they face this Sunday.
Zev Aron has 16 goals as a midfielder this season.
Skipper Zev Aron added five goals to his season tally of 16, the most in the Premier B Thirds Competition after six rounds, while Sam Brygel (four goals), Benji Jones (three), and Josh Jones were all influential in the victory.
Meanwhile, the Jackettes snapped a two-game losing streak when they defeated Brunswick by five points in a nail-biter at Gary Smorgon Oval.
The girls kept the opposition scoreless in the first quarter and conceded only one goal to half-time.
Brunswick mounted a comeback after the main break, keeping the Jackettes scoreless for the rest of the game, but the girls in red white and black held their nerve to secure the four points and move a game clear in second spot on the VWFL’s Division 3 ladder.
Rebecca Bennett kicked three of her team’s five goals, while Tamara Epshtein and Dani Robinson were strong all day.
Next round the club hosts rivals Old Haileybury at Gary Smorgon Oval. Reserves 11:40am followed by the seniors at 2pm on Saturday May 28.
The under 19s face Monash Blues at Lindsay Hassett Oval at 1pm.
On Sunday the Thirds play away to De La Salle at 11am, while the Jackettes play Melbourne Uni at Princes Park 1, Carlton, also at 11am.
AJAX Amateur Football Club
Media & Communications Manager