Chelt beats Cranbourne for 13 wins in a row
Cheltenham coach Des Ryan has revealed the key to his side’s success after it went a game clear on top of the Southern league Division 1 ladder.
It will take a very good side to stop Cheltenham this season.
Early season pacesetters Cranbourne was the latest side to feel the full force of the Rosellas’ dynamic running game.
Chelt turned the top-of-the-table clash into romp, thrashing Cranny by 70 points on Saturday.
“They outplayed us in every facet,” Cranbourne coach Steve O’Brien said.
“They’re a really good side, they were far more disciplined, whether it was their behaviour, following game plan or sticking to their task and team rules, they just outplayed us.”
Cheltenham led by 22 points at half-time but really got motoring in the second half, outscoring Cranbourne 9.10 to 2.4.
Cheltenham’s Cameron Blitsas launches for a mark. Picture: Valeriu Campan
Young Rosellas defender Cameron Blitsas was named best-on-ground after showing class and composure, especially when the whips were cracking early in the game.
Alecsander McComb was excellent across half forward, kicking a goal, while Cheltenham’s experienced men Dylan Weickhardt and Myke Cook were influential.
In the absence of star forward Josh Fox, who missed again with a wrist injury, William Mctaggart kicked four goals and Richmond VFL listed Austin Johnson slotted two.
Justin Pickering addressing the Cheltenham players on Saturday. Picture: Valeriu Campan
Cheltenham was coached by assistant coach and former Richmond player Justin Pickering, while senior coach Des Ryan was still serving a suspension.
He was red carded a couple of weeks ago and will be back in charge in Round 17.
“It’s a bit embarrassing, but anyway,” Ryan said of his suspension.
“It will make me pull my head in.
“You invest a lot of time in it and you get a bit emotional at times. We live and learn.”
Ryan was able to attend the game but stood well away from the Cheltenham bench.
He was pleased with his side’s display.
“We’re a young, running team,” he said.
“Our backline is good.
“We seem to be able to keep teams in check from a scoring point of view. And we can kick a score ourselves.”
Declan McComb on the move for Cheltenham. Picture: Valeriu Campan
Cheltenham hasn’t lost a game since Round 2, against Mordialloc.
“We’re just playing a pretty good, honest brand of footy I think,” Ryan said.
“We’ve got three weeks of home and away to go …we’ve got Port Colts at home and then we’re away for the last two to Springvale and St Kilda City. We’ve been lucky we’ve had some well timed byes.
“I think keeping the boys fresh and focused now is the key.”
Cranbourne has lost three of its past four games and O’Brien said it was crunch time for his side as it looked to get its season back on track.
“We’ve just got to get to work, we’ve got to realise it’s just not going to happen for us, we’ve got to put in the hard yards and work together as a group, find the belief and get up and about again,” O’Brien said.
“We’ve got three weeks before finals to do it.
“Hopefully we might be able to get a few boys back but we can’t be relying on that, we’ve got to deal with what we’ve got in front of us.”
Cranbourne coach Steve O’Brien.
O’Brien conceded his side was in a mini slump.
“No doubt, yeah,” he said.
“It’s a great challenge, of our depth, of our character, what this game means to us as a group.
“Do we really want to achieve the things we say we want to achieve? That’s our challenge.”