Keilor counts itself lucky as poor kicking takes its toll

Keilor's Riley Ham. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

By Tara Murray

A wasteful Keilor still did enough to come away with the points against Avondale Heights in Essendon District Football League premier division.

The Blues dominated the scoring shots with 30 to just 10, but Avondale Heights was in the game until the final quarter. The Blues held on to win 10.20 (80)-9.1 (55).

Blues coach Mick McGuane said they could not get away with such poor kicking against the top sides.

“It was a good win,” he said.

“We had 30 shots … which was the only downside of the performance.

“It was a different game style with more of a stoppage game.

“They were able to convert their chances and kept the game close.

“Once we were able to get the game on our terms we had multiple entries and they struggled to get it out.”

McGuane was left frustrated by the side’s kicking at goal – Keilor kicked 1.9 in the final quarter alone.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” he said.

“The players have standards and we’re not letting them off the hook.

“Against the likes of Abers and Greenvale in the next couple of weeks, we can’t afford to miss them.”

Matthew Clark kicked four for the Blues, and Dylan Joyce two. Dean Galea had a rare day not kicking a goal, missing several shots.

McGuane said it was a team performance.

“We had a number of contributors in fits and spurts.”

The win was the Blues’ 13th of the season and they remain undefeated on top of the ladder.

They have all but sealed a top-two spot with five rounds remaining.

“We’re more than satisfied with the building of the season,” McGuane said.

“We’ve earned the right to be where we are.”

Scarily for other teams, the Blues are nowhere near full strength. McGuane said if luck went their way a number of players would return in coming weeks.

“We’re still a few numbers away from our best 22. There will be pressure on for spots,” he said.

Among those still missing are Damien Cavka, Bradley Xavier, David Gourdis, Stefan Radovanovic, Nicholas O’Kearney and Mitchell Ellis. Nash Holmes, who is playing VFL, is another player missing.

McGuane will remain at the Blues for another two seasons.

He said the club had backed him in to continue on.

“I’ve been here a long time and sometimes you have to question how long is long enough,” he said.

“They were adamant that another two years was in the realms of possibility.”