First, some background to set the scene for this absolutely thrilling match. This season, Westbrook Bulldogs and Cannons Orange both demonstrated that they can play good, hard and fair football. They faced each other twice this season – stats one win a piece. Most recently Cannons were narrowly defeated by Westbrook in the first round of the finals, forcing Orange team into an elimination with Easts last week. Orange defeated Easts to earn another crack at this strong side. Both teams deserved a spot in the Grand Final. We were hoping for a great game, we go so much more, and it will stay in my memory for a very long time.
Under less than ideal conditions, Westbrook showed early dominance in the first quarter. Some steely defence from the Cannons prevented an early blowout, eight down by end of first quarter.
It was a scrappy game, the ball difficult to hold, more spilled marks than you care to imagine. The rain was relentless, yet the boys persevered. Cannons levelled, then were two in front by half time.
Third quarter, Westbrook kept coming. The ball was fiercely contested, both teams threw everything they had at it. Late in the quarter the Cannons kicked two goals, one miracle coming out of the mess of bodies direct in front of goals. Cannons pulled away slightly at the end of the third.
With excitement building and momentum in our favour we committed fresh legs to the fourth quarter. That didn’t seem to bother Westbrook. In what was a very impressive quarter of football, Westbrook pulled level in the dying stages of the match. The tension was palpable, with seconds remaining the Cannons committed everything forward, charging at Westbrook, the winning goal coming seconds before the final siren. Final score 29 to 23.
Cannons Orange, your supporters reminded you all before the game how proud we were of you, and how proud you should be of yourselves and your team to make a Grand Final. Congratulations Orange team, you believed in yourselves and you prevailed. You are U12 Div3 Premiers for 2018. Well done.