Jackas cruise home in Caulfield clash
A spirited Ajax Senior side has held off a fast-finishing Caulfield Grammarians to secure an important 15.12 (102) to 12.10 (82) victory, in a historic day for the club on Saturday at Glen Huntley Park Oval.
Ajax returned from the bye round desperate to make amends after their costly slip-up against Hampton in round eight pushed them dangerously towards the lower rungs of the Premier B ladder.
The game marked a significant club first as three brothers, Ben, Josh and Jake Kalmus all played alongside each other in the senior team for the very first time.
Ajax went into the first break ten points behind the bottom-placed Grammarians, despite having an equal amount of scoring shots as the home side.
The second term was dominated by the Jackas who piled on eight goals to two in a blistering display that saw them head into the half time break with a commanding 26-point lead.
The potent forward setup of David Fayman in the goal square, Jake Lew hovering around the fifty and Richie Simon and Dean Rotenberg at their feet, caused headaches for Caulfield as the boisterous Jackas crowd found full voice.
A slight wind advantage favoured the Neerim Road end as the home side began their charge, zapping Ajax’s momentum, narrowing the margin to five points at the final change.
The Jackas’ energy and intensity dropped off dramatically around stoppages and on occasions the forwards failed to account for the attacking running of Caulfield’s half backs, who made them pay, hitting the scoreboard twice.
Heading into the final term less than a goal in front, Ajax would have been conscious of their 2-6 fourth quarter record. The youngest of the Kalmus trio, Jake, continued his productive afternoon however a few squandered opportunities in front of goal kept the door ajar for the home side.
The deciding quarter was full of momentum shifts, until Richie Simon snapped his fourth goal, seemingly handing Ajax the ascendency. Caulfield quickly answered getting back within ten points.
In true Ajax fashion, skipper Nick Marks stood tall and burst through a crowded pack kicking the sealer, capping off a best on ground performance.
Corey Jankie’s individual brilliance put the result beyond doubt as Ajax ran out 20-point winners, with dangerous forwards Lew and Dave Fayman only combining for three goals, exhibiting the Jackas’ ability to win without heavily relying on them.
Meanwhile the Reserves made it two on the trot as they worked into promising form in their 12.19 (91) to 6.8 (44) win over Caulfield’s seconds. Alex Wollan responded in explosive fashion to his seniors’ demotion, with a dominant three-goal best afield display. Brandon Joel, Roi Abrahams and Justin Berkowitz did their chances for higher honours no harm.
It was a dirty day for Ajax teams competing on Sunday as the club failed to register a win between the two Thirds teams and the Jackettes.
An undermanned Reds outfit was never in the contest against ladder-leaders Old Xavier, while the Blacks missed a golden opportunity to solidify a top four spot, running out of legs in their 8.9. (57) to 9.12. (66) loss to St Kevins. The Thirds’ midfield battled manfully all day while Jordan Lipton, Daniel Wein and Dylan Rothschild were the multiple goalkickers.
Ajax’s women’s team the Jackettes were handed a rude awakening, suffering the biggest loss of their short history in the 2.3. (15) to 18.8. (116) demolition at the hands of the visiting Gippsland outfit, who the Jackettes beat only two weeks ago.