The 24th of August 2019. That’s the last time ANU’s fourth grade side had lost a game heading into the weekend’s fixture against the Yass Roos.

Their impressive winning streak came to a halt on Saturday, with the Roos hanging on to win by 12 points and pushing themselves to the top of the ladder.

The opening term was an arm wrestle, as both sides jostled to gain momentum. The Roos headed into the first huddle with a one-point lead, having squandered their fair share of opportunities.

In the second quarter, the Roos began to gain control of the contest, as the soft, wet turf at Joe O’Connor Park turned the game into a contested slog. This suited the more mature bodied Roos, who didn’t want it to become a footrace, as it did in their previous encounter with ANU in round three.

However, at half time despite the Roos’ ascendency, they only held a 9 point lead. The moods of both sides heading into the rooms told the tale best, with the ANU coach visibly frustrated with how his side was playing. At the same time, the Roos camp appeared overwhelmingly positive.

Heading into the third term, the message from the Roos camp was clear. Win the term, and they’d win the match. In what was the most free-flowing quarter for the game, every goal at one end was answered with a goal at the other. As a result, the Roos won the quarter by 4 points and entered the final break with a 13 point lead.

With their winning streak on the line, ANU was never going down without a fight. The last quarter was perhaps the most physical of them all, with neither side leaving the field with much more to give and the Roos running out 12 point victors.

Final scores were Yass 7.9-51 defeating ANU 5.9-39.

Roos Captain Ryan Forlonge didn’t believe it was his side’s best performance but said it was important for the group’s confidence to beat ANU before the season’s end.

“A bit scrappy. I don’t think we played to our potential and I don’t think ANU did either. I think we just wanted it a bit more.”

“We know that we can win the comp now. We’ve got a few easier games in the next few weeks, and we just need to continue to improve,” said Ryan.

Darcy Paine was again a standout performer for the Roos, whilst Toby Serafin, Peter Collins and Dominic Johns starred in defence. Fraser Cloney was the only multiple goal kicker for the Roos with two goals.

The Roos 12 point win was a source of redemption for many of their players who went down to ANU in last year’s grand final by only five points.

The Roos will head to EPC Solar Park to take on the Woden Blues, who have just come off a 113 point drubbing of the Molonglo Juggernauts.

In other AFL news, the Murrumbateman Eagles continued their resurgence with a 35 point win against the Ainslie Tricolours.

Playing at the glorious Alan Ray Oval, the Eagles steadily grew their lead throughout the match. They never dominated in the manner they have at certain points this season. Still, they kept the Tricolours at a comfortable distance for the entirety of the match and never looked like losing.

Final scores were Murrumbateman 9.10-64 defeating Ainslie 4.5-29.

Bradley Kol was voted best afield and kicked three goals, Kristopher Milne and Mitchell Lamb both kicked two. Among the other players to feature in the side’s best was Matthew Walls, Blake Hourn, Timothy Drage and Kevin Mangan.

Murrumbateman were perhaps the biggest losers from the wash out the week prior, with the gap between them and the fourth-placed Southern Cats now verging on insurmountable. The Eagles will need a near-perfect finish from here to make the top four and receive a finals berth but should beat Goulburn in front of a home crowd on Saturday. 

Max O’Driscoll