VAFA HOME BY A POINT

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The VAFA snared a thrilling one point win in their International Rules match against a Victorian GAA side at Sandringham’s Trevor Barker Oval on Sunday. 
After two training runs and some advice from Sean O’Connor, an Irish ex pat, the VAFA played against a Victorian GAA team on Sunday 16th November at the Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham. 
The match was initiated after the VAFA accepted an invitation to play a curtain raiser match to the VFL v All Ireland match played afterwards. The All Ireland team used the match against the VFL as a warm up match for their clash with the All Australian side in Perth this Saturday, 22 November.
With a squad of 20 VAFA players the game of International Rules provided a challenge of mastering the round ball against some first class, and very fast and highly skilled Irish players. 
The first of the 4 x 20 minute quarters showed the tenacity of the VAFA as our players led by Captain Ben Phibbs (Mazenod), adapted quickly to play some good football by sharing the ball and not giving the Irish lads too much latitude in defence. Despite looking exhausted at the first break, the VAFA held on to a lead at the quarter time.
The second quarter showed the skills of the GAA team, as they hit the front to lead at half time by a small margin. 
The third term saw both teams waste chances, as they started to tire and began blazing at goal from long distances. With the VAFA players often unable to fully control the round ball, scoring chances were limited.
The final quarter shocked the Irish boys as under instructions from coach Brett Voss, the VAFA took the game on at every opportunity.  This led to the VAFA hitting the back of the net on three occasions, scoring the maximum six points. 
Although the Irish team gained an own goal from a wayward VAFA hand ball that missed it’s intended target of the keeper, the VAFA were able to hang on in the dying stages of the game. Despite it being only the opening weeks of the pre-season for the VAFA players, it was our fitness and positive approach that proved to be a match winning formula.  
The scoring system is 1 point for a behind similar to AFL and 3 points for between the goals and over the cross bar with 6 points being scored below the bar and into the net.
The win was an important first representative team win for coach Brett Voss and he was both thrilled and relieved to finally be able to sing the song. 
VAFA 3.7.14. (53)
GAA 1.13.7.(52)
Goal Kickers VAFA: Goals – Rob Mann 1, Jason Salopek 1, Ben Phibbs 1; Overs – Jarrod Eggelstone 1, Tom Russell 1, Ben Phibbs 1, Matt Handley 1, Marshall Rippon 1, Mitchell Malt 1. 
Best Players; The whole VAFA team.