A DETERMINED effort from a young AJAX men’s footy team in an important Premier C round 12 fixture at Gary Smorgon Oval last Saturday was rewarded when they upset third-placed Old Mentonians 12.9 (81) to 9.6 (60), who had trounced them in round 4.
In windy conditions, the Jackas restricted their opponents to an eight-point lead at quarter time with eager defence, led by captain Nick Lewis who made seven tackles.
Jake Lew kicked AJAX’s first two goals, Jeremy Forbes – playing his 100th game – was resolute in defence, and Richie Simon controlled things nicely at the back, taking 11 marks for the day.
A second quarter AJAX recovery was kickstarted by a brilliant run-down tackle by Daniel Janover-Rocha that saved a certain goal. While some attacking opportunities were wasted, Lew kicked his third to give the Jackas a 30-28 half-time lead.
Another big tackle, this time by Asher Burstin, inspired AJAX in the third quarter. Charlie Hamilton got hold of a Cameron Nankin kick, and slotted the first of his two goals, while Lew took a brilliant diving mark to kick his fourth.
AJAX led by nine going into the final term, and while several goals were then scored by each team – including a fifth by Lew – any hint of an Old Mentonians comeback at the death was halted when Daniel Goodman marked on the 50-metre line and passed to Brandon Joel, who duly converted. The 21-point win lifted the Jackas to equal-sixth place with Marcellin. They will take on cellar-dwellers PEGS at 2pm this Saturday at Gary Smorgon Oval in Albert Park.
In women’s division 4 footy, AJAX remain in fourth position, despite losing a very low-scoring match last Saturday to De La Salle by 0.3 (3) to 1.3 (9).
With the women’s finals series fast approaching, the Jackettes need a win this Saturday against Parkdale to guarantee them a spot.