The Hawks vs The Toecutters
The first match of the round was sadly canceled due to the Hawks finding themselves unable to field a team. The Toecutters, who benefited greatly from the easy win, were still disappointed to not get a good run from the Hawks, who are one of the more dangerous teams in this league.
Captain Drew Cowen said after the league that he’s looking forward to being a part of the semi finals, a dream now made more likely than ever after the easy ‘win’ against the Hawks.
Team Blek vs Wu-Tang Clan
Team Blek managed a thrilling 2-0 win against the Wu-Tang Clan this weekend, which puts Blek back on track to avoiding the finals trapdoor that will swallow up one team, come semi-finals time next month.
The match was an intense but respectful battle between the two teams, who have shared intense rivalries in the past, including the infamous grand final of 2010, where Wu-Tang Clan pipped Blek 6-2 to win the trophy. However, it seems that without finals hero Callum Howes, WTC couldn’t manage a repeat against Blek.
The match was a balanced battle of defense between the finals hopefuls, with team communication and cohesiveness playing a massive part in keeping both teams from scoring throughout the match. Theo Rogers did an excellent job, keeping Blek from completing passes and making chances, and even aided in attack for WTC, though wasn’t able to put any points on the board.
Theo’s presence, along with other big-man Tom Mudge had Blek unable to stop much of WTC’s plays, but Angus Bevan countered this with a shockingly effective defensive job, blocking shots, marking out danger men and keeping midfield in Blek’s hands for much of the match.
Bevan offered both a calming presence for Blek and an intimidating figure for Wu-Tang, who found it had to get anything past him. While Bevan made the difference over the course of the match, the other Blek players had their highlights, with Tre Clifford scoring the only points of the match, a perfectly timed buce from the chest under intense pressure. Nick Scott and Hamish Rogers did their usual work in midfield, but Rogers failed to step up to his usual standard, as he faced dire harassment from Theo, who did a great job of keeping his older brother out of the match.
In the wake of Hamish’s lowered presence, Wu-Tang Clan captain Jackson Cowan took advantage of the free space and was mostly Wu-Tang’s only presence in midfield, completing several important clearances, but unable to lift his team past the post. WTC newcomer Cal Crapp did well for a first match, but failed to make the most of his attacking chances. Blek’s own Cal Wrightson, however, saw more chances on bin than usual, making it harder for Wu-Tang to selectively mark the more traditionally dangerous players in Blek’s squad.
By the end of the match, the lone buce was the only difference needed for Blek, who now keep their finals hopes alive. However, a top performance will be needed in Round 5 as they fight for a place in the finals alongside The Toecutters.
Man of the Match: Gus Bevan
There were several standout players this week, including Theo Rogers’ impressive effort all over the court, especially in neutralising Hamish Rogers. Tre Clifford also had an excellent game, also scoring the points that put Blek ahead. However, for an all-round effort that spanned both attack and defense, BNN’s Man of the Match award this week goes to Angus Bevan for his incredible work for Blek.
Bevan’s return to Buce seems to have been just what Blek needed, and while the whole team has lifted, Bevan has aided greatly in bringing Blek out of their early-season rut. With excellent performing in serving and attacking, it was his defensive work that once again has brought him into the limelight, with 6 blocks in the game and an unrivaled performance in juggling and clearing the sack under pressure while in defense.
Bevan exhibits more skill than most big-men that share his playing style, a style of which Blek find invaluable. These qualities seem to make Angus Bevan one of the most reliable players in the league- a definite contender for Defender of the Year, and someone who completes Blek.