Our ‘former’ coach Mark Choco Williams spoke to J-Air’s On The Ball program about his time at AJAX and his experien… https://t.co/XghJuxPy4e
Weekend Wrap: Round Eleven
Jackas jump out of dreaded drop zone
A DETERMINED AJAX side dusted itself off after last week's misfortunes to record an important 46- point win over Mazenod at Gary Smorgon Oval on Saturday.
Knowing full well the ramifications of a loss in the midst of a two-week challenge to distance themselves from the relegation zone, the Jackas appeared galvanised after an emotional and trying week.
A four-goal to two opening term from Mark Williams' men set up an early buffer, but inaccuracy plagued the Jackas in the second quarter and kept the visitors in the contest.
A minor knee injury to promising dasher Charlie Hamilton saw AJAX lose a rotation, but not the momentum as they proceeded to heap scoreboard pressure on Mazenod.
The Jackas' inexperienced yet steely defence held their opponents goalless in the final term and to just six goals for the match.
Richie Simon once again played the role as general down back and did so with poise and precision, named the Jackas' best for distributing 20 effective disposals and reining in nine marks.
Evasive small Dean Rotenberg was lively in the forward half collecting 21 disposals, but could have finished the day with a bag if he had packed his kicking boots. The same could be said for Jake Lew who uncharacteristically squandered four gettable chances, but the 149-game veteran still played his part and finished with three goals, his season average.
First-year senior ruckman Brent Shapiro gave his side the upper hand at stoppages, racking up 31 hit outs and 16 disposals – impressive numbers for the developing big man. Midfielders Josh Ludski (30 disposals) and skipper Nick Lewis (22 disposals, six marks, five tackles and a goal) were the direct beneficiaries.
The percentage-boosting win coupled with other favourable results helped the Jackas climb out of the drop zone and into seventh spot, a game and five percent clear.
Earlier, the reserves continued their charge towards an unlikely finals berth, with a hard-fought 21-point win, which elevates them into fifth, three games out of finals calculations.
Asaf Danby and Nicholas Cohen kicked two goals apiece in the low-scoring affair, while Dov Paltiel and Jordan Tonkin led from the front.
The Jackettes’ quest for a fourth consecutive finals appearance took a significant hit on Sunday when they went down to a powerful Old Brighton side by 43 points.
Hannah Mel kicked her side’s only goal. Post-game caretaker coach Simon Jedwab heaped praise on Lindi Nankin and Maddie Smart for their gallant efforts.
Ian Jones’ undermanned side put in a brave effort against the finals-bound Old Trinity but fell away in the second half.
Joel Lewis kicked a goal in his return from a long layoff with a knee injury, while Adam Prince, Eliot Debinski and Eli Adelist put in positive performances.
AJAX returns to its spiritual home, Princes Park, Caulfield South on Saturday to face rivals Old Haileybury in another must-win clash. Seniors 2pm, reserves 11.40am.
AARON FETTER - The AJN
Seniors – AJAX 12.18 (90) def Mazenod 6.8 (44) Goals: J.Lew 3, A.BursNn 3, A.Caplan 2, B.Joel 2, D.Rotenberg, N.Lewis Best: B.Shapiro, N.Lewis, C.Nankin, J.Cohen, J.Ludski, R.Simon.
Reserves – AJAX 10.6 (66) def Mazenod 6.9 (45) Goals: A.Danby 2, N.Cohen 2, M.Feiler, J.Burston, J.Goldberg, J.Fisher, O.Hoffman, J.Bade-Boon. Best: D.PalNel, J.Tonkin, A.Danby, D.Rothschild, J.Bade-Boon, J.Goldberg.
Jackettes – Old Brighton 7.8 (50) def AJAX 1.1 (7) Goal: H.Mel. Best: C.Fisher, A.Sekler, M.Glikfeld, I.BursNn, L.Nankin, M.Smart.
Thirds – Old Trinity 11.16 (82) def AJAX 5.8 (38) Goals: E.Debinski, S.Kalmus, J.Lewis-Ninyo, S.Brygel, M.Lazar. Best: A.Prince, E.Debinski,
E.Adelist, Y.Jedwab, J.Blode, S.New.