THE AJAX Football Club has again been pipped at the post in a thriller, this time against Old Trinity. The loss sees the side drop out of the top four for the first time this year, following the 13.13 (91) to 12.10 (82) defeat away.
The Jackas gave up a late lead in the side’s fifth defeat this season and third in a row to fall to sixth position on the ladder.
Richie Simon was the standout performer for the visitors, providing a great target across the ground, while Jason Ritterman and Michael Shafar were solid in defence.
David Fayman slotted two of his four for the day in the opening term, but Old Trinity hit back on both occasions and took a seven-point lead into the first break.
Despite a dominant display from ruckman Jarrod White, the Jackas’ midfield struggled to get first use of the ball.
The hosts took advantage and extended their lead, before Fayman again sparked AJAX, kicking two of the side’s five majors as it regained the lead heading into the main break.
But a poor third term for the second week in a row cost the side, as Old Trinity slammed on four consecutive goals.
With the game almost beyond their reach, the Jackas rallied late in the quarter and slotted two majors through Jason Tendler and Josh Ludski before the last break to be within nine points at three-quarter time.
Coach Leigh McQuillen urged his players to “dig deep” in the final stanza and maintain their momentum.
And that’s exactly what AJAX did, with Jake Lew drawing first blood, before an inspirational chase and tackle from Sam Chester led to Simon taking a big grab in the goal square and converting.
But it wasn’t to be for the visitors, who came up just short as the home side held on for its second narrow vic- tory over AJAX for the season.
Jason Seidl made his welcome return to the club with a bag of four goals in the Reserves’ terrific eight-point win over Old Trinity, while Brandon Joel and Michael Rechtman combined for nine goals in the Under-19s 96-point thrashing of Old Xaverians.
AJAX plays Old Haileybury at 11.40am (Reserves) and 2pm (Seniors) on Saturday, July 13 at Gary Smorgon Oval (Melway: 57 J7).
Photo: Peter Haskin