U12 YG v Maroubra Saints

Round 6, Hefron Park: An amazing victory on an incredibly windy day

What a match – here are the highlights: Goals across the park from five players. Edie kicking an incredible four goals, two each from Amy & Esperanza and one to Zara (first goal in AFL) and one to Audrey. With the final score an impressive win to the Cannons.

The game was evenly matched through to half time with both teams gaining the advantage down wind. The Cannons worked hard on the defensive end with strong work from Audrey, Christina, Bella and Amy. This combined with great work from Marlie all day chasing hard, tying up the ball and ripping it clear of the pack to help feed the forward line who proved extremely accurate in the windy conditions. Late in the half, after great work from Clara in defence and in combination with Amy,  Zara burst clear and kicked straight for a well celebrated goal.

The game was turned on its head in a dominant third quarter working into the wind. Amy dominated the centre hit outs, feeding the forward line with three goals straight, two to Edie and one to Audrey as she burst into the goal square to kick her goal. Two late goals from the Saints evened things up but by this stage the game had swung the Cannons’ way.

The final quarter was all one way traffic with goal umpire Hamish  (great rookie outing) kept busy with the flags as Amy dominated in attach with two goals and three behinds, plus goals to Edie and Esperanza (one of the highlights rolling through from 50 metres out) plus a behind to Bella sealing the deal. The forwards were again supported by strong centre work from Ivy PB, Marlie and Audrey and in defence with the Saints being kept scoreless.

Well done to all the girls on a fantastic team effort all round the ground making it very difficult for a one eyed, rugby loving AFL convert to pick the best and fairest.

– Dan

U15/2 v St Ives

Round 6, Acron Oval

Acron is a beautiful oval nestled in a bush setting adjoining Garigal National Park. On Sunday the tall gum trees that surround the oval swayed rhythmically in the wind as the players went through their pre game drills. Mother nature providing a backdrop of majestic trees performing a Tik Tok dance!  The sun was shining but the strong wind that blew from the south west brought with it a coldness that penetrated the skin and left goosebumps on your bones.

St Ives are undefeated in 2020 and sit deservedly on top of the ladder. They proudly see themselves as the benchmark for other teams to meet. The Cannons 15/2s enjoyed a gritty hard fought win last week, so this week there was a layer of confidence interweaved with the fabric of nerves as the siren blew to begin the game many believe will be the Grand Final Preview.

Although the Cannons started against the wind, they emphatically won the first clearance, registered the first inside 50 and fired in the first goal.  St Ives are a quality team so it didn’t take them long to get going and counterpunch. Their tall and very mobile forwards stretched the Cannons but some determined defence kept the margin to a goal and a half at quarter time.

The two teams are so evenly matched that it somehow seemed appropriate that at the start of the second quarter, St Ives would do exactly what the Cannons had just done. Running into the wind they broke through the middle and scored. Then, in case anyone was staring at the dancing gum trees, they did it again! It took a few minutes but the Cannons started to find their mojo and pressure the scoreboard. The run and ball movement was very good but the swirly conditions meant a return of 1 goal 5 for the quarter. At the long break the scoreboard read 7 scoring shots each but inaccuracy in front of goals meant the Cannons sat 11 points adrift.

Coach Paul urged his players to repeat their 3rd quarter heroics last week. Supported by the hard running midfield the defence stood tall conceding only one the one goal despite the relentless attack of sixteen steely eyed Saints and the atmospheric support of a wind worth at least 6* goals.

(*number not verified by Bureau of Meteorology.  Terms and conditions apply. Read the PDS before determining whether this match report is suitable for truth)

Just three straight kicks separated the two sides at the final change and it was clear that for the second consecutive week spectators would be on the edge of their seats, with their hearts in the mouths, chewing their fingernails and this match reporter clutching a molehill of straws for another cliché.

“A week is a long time in football” seems the most appropriate as this week the fairy tale ending was not to be. St Ives withheld the Cannons incursions and their counter attacks were effective. St Ives made a statement in the last quarter and finished the game deserved winners.

Despite the loss, Coach Paul could see the positives from the game. Lachie played his best game all season and despite getting tagged and closely marked all game, Cooper worked his guts out. Eathn’s 100th game was marked with 100% effort but the stand-out player of the game was Max. He capped off a stellar game with a one handed gather on the run, two bounces (or was it 3?) and magnificent goal from outside 50. A fitting highlight that even brought praise from the opposition!

Although the final result suggests a “comfortable” 3 goal win for St Ives the result could easily have been different. As always there were some unlucky bounces and the swirling wind meant the posts got more hits than the You Tube music channel.

The two teams are very similar on paper and are destined to meet in the finals. When that time comes the winner will be the team boasting the players with the right attitude. Those who are committed to training hard and playing hard. The players who willing to chase even when their opponent is well ahead.  Those who have the courage to shepherd, to smother a kick and the determination to impact every contest.  Those who will make mistakes but continue to try and never give up.

It’s the extra “1 percenters” that make the difference but it will take every player to make every effort, every time.

  • Stephen Grech

 

Cannons U15 Div 2 v Penshurst

Round 4 – The Long Road

It has been said many times that this season is like no other! Even though the Cannons are yet to play all the teams in comp, Sunday 16 August meant a long road trip to Penshurst for a Round 1 rematch.

When these two teams met in round 1, the Cannons were short on numbers, completely lacking pre- season game time and their fitness was best described as “developing”. This week’s game would be a good indication to see exactly how far the Cannons have come in only four weeks.

Things didn’t look good early with late withdrawals due to illness meaning only 16 boys fronted up against a confident looking group of 21 Panthers. Coach Paul knew that following the shaky start to the season the Cannons have turned a corner with their fitness, and that the previous two weeks had shown the quality of footy they are capable of.

Despite the Panthers starting with a strong but swirling wind, it was the Cannons midfield that ensured first use of the ball and started a relentless attack into the forward line. It was a fast paced but evenly matched quarter with the Cannons sneaking a point ahead at the first break. There was a definite sense of excitement at the start of the second quarter as the Cannons swapped to long kicking options to capitalise on the breeze. The Panthers were prepared however and their rock solid defence conceded only the two goals.  At three quarter time Coach Paul reminded the boys that the third is the “Premiership quarter” and boldly predicted that whoever won the third quarter would win the game. Confidence is a big thing in footy and the Cannons went into that third quarter full of belief in themselves. Despite running into a strengthening breeze and with nobody on the bench they had twice as many scoring shots as the opposition to push their lead out to 15 points.

The final quarter would become a test of endurance, fitness and the ability to withstand pressure. The Panthers took it up a gear and although it was already clear how far the Cannons had come, the question became for how long could they hold on?  As the minutes ticked slowly by the Panthers forwards flew forward, the Cannons defenders doggedly defended, and the stressed spectators speculated how long was left in the game? There was a real fear that the Cannons, like the daylight, were fading fast. 5pm on a Sunday is supposed to be a time to sit back and perhaps relax with a pre dinner snack and a drink, but for the supporters it was only nervous chewing of fingernails and parched throats from yelling encouragement! When the final siren blew after what felt like the longest 20 minutes ever the scoreboard showed the Cannons as victorious by seven points.

It was a collective team effort by every one of the 16 players on the ground. The midfield were on top all game with Riggers tirelessly rucking  allowing  Damo, Coops and JA to dominate the centre clearances.  JB’s work rate in front of goals was outstanding and his second and third efforts provided crumbers  Kipp and Husky plenty of opportunities. Rameez and Max were again blistering with their speed and tackling both in attack and defence. Stewy and Broadie both copped heavy blows but displayed immense courage to see the game out . When they were needed most the defence stood tall.  Lachie, Eathn, Cruisey and Grechie withstood the pressure all game but particularly in the last quarter when the game was there for the taking. They were fully supported by the hard running midfield who dropped back to assist and this was never more obvious than late in the final quarter when Woody marked on the half forward flank and turned to see acres of space in front of him with only the goal umpire forward of the 50m arc!

As Paul had predicted, this game would be a good test of how far the boys had come in only four weeks. Their depth has been revealed, their fitness has been tested and their determination has been displayed.   They have turned a corner and have come a very long way in four weeks. The point is though there is still a long road in front and the question becomes, how far can they go?

 

  • Stephen Grech

U17 Div 3 Mongrel Ducks v Miranda, Round 5, Aug 16

MONGREL DUCKS v MIRANDA

The Ducks came oh so close to pulling off one of the great comebacks in footy history with a blistering last quarter against Miranda only to fall one kick short of a thrilling victory.

Trailing by six goals at three quarter time but with a strong breeze at their back in the final term, the Ducks kept Miranda scoreless while piling on goal after goal to bridge the gap and bring victory within sight.

With more than half the team playing their second game for the weekend – Will’s third including his soccer match that morning – the Ducks came flying home. 

Still sore after rucking all night on Friday in Div 2, Liam found his touch in the final quarter and every goal started from either his dominance in the middle, Fin’s rebounding off halfback or Tommo’s and Matt’s brutal tackling.

The surge started immediately after the first bounce of the quarter when Matt attacked the footy and sent it to George who kicked the first of his four goals for the term.

A Tommo and Liam gang tackle earned us a rare free kick and Liam sent the ball long for Brayden to take a strong pack mark.

He set it up for George to mark 20 metres out directly in front of goal and we had already ticked off two of our target of six goals for the term.

Liam won the ensuing bounce, Tommo earned a free kick for going in hard and Cam swooped on the advantage loose ball, ran with it and all of a sudden we had kicked three goals in six minutes to cut a 35 point deficit to 17 points. Three goals needed with 10 minutes left. Game on.

Our momentum was irresistible but we still had to wait a few more minutes for George’s next goal which was set up by Fin’s second and third efforts to keep repelling Miranda’s attacks and eventually get the ball back in our forward line. Two goals to go.

Miranda saw the urgency at hand and picked up their effort and made us fight hard for the next goal when Duck after Duck after Duck in the forward line tackled, smothered and kept the pressure on until the ball spilled loose for George to snap truly.

Five points down with five minutes to go and a thrilling finale was in store.

The nervous crowd rode every bump and swayed with every bounce as the ball rebounded between our forward line and halfback line with a gritty Miranda defence holding us out.

New recruit Luca came close to a miracle debut, but a cruel bounce took the ball over the boundary line as he prepared to swoop in the forward pocket and another chance was dashed.

With seconds left, the moment looked like it had come when the ball spilled loose from a tough contest on the forward flank and Cam marked in front of goal, but the eagle-eyed umpire had spotted a Miranda free kick and called the ball back.

Miranda took the free and their time, kicked long into their forward line and just as we rebounded, the siren blew to put an end to a very gutsy Ducks effort.

While they played brilliant footy in the final quarter and showed plenty of heart, the match also showed that every minute of every quarter counts. A four quarter effort is always better than needing a great comeback in the last.

Thanks to all the boys who doubled up on the weekend – Brayden, Jake, Will, Liam, Tommo, Matt, Fin, Cam and Tom.

 

MONGREL DUCKS 7.2.44

MIRANDA 7.7.49

 

  • Match report by Paul Mulvey

 

  

  

 

U17 Div 2 v Easts, Round 5, Aug 14

CANADA BAY V EASTS

One slog in the slop is good fun, two is a bit annoying. But three in four weeks is a little too much like Melbourne.

The only rain to fall last weekend just happened to be in the few hours while we were playing footy on Friday night. Despite three wet home games in a row we still can’t quite class ourselves as wet weather specialists, going down on Friday to a pretty good Easts side. The post-match pizzas were good, though.

So, too, were quite a few Cannons’ efforts on the night. Alex was exceptional with his clean hands on a dirty night and tried his guts out to keep us in the contest and showed his versatility down back, while Liam rucked unchanged all night against a couple of experienced ruckmen.

Louis continued his great season and Ellis and Cam were hard at the footy all night.

Louis deserved more than a point from his shot at goal in the first quarter after starting a lovely passage of play from the half back line which went down the outer wing through Brayden, Pat and Will. He finished what he started as he followed up to take a strong mark from Will’s pass but his shot with a wet footy just slid to the left of the post.

Matt had better fortune in the second quarter with a mighty long range goal on the run after good, and typically robust, lead up work by Tom R.

Tom’s many touches proved very popular with the socially distanced crowd – whenever he and Brayden went near the footy, the small but vocal Concord High cheer squad on the members’ wing gave plenty of voice, while a wet and unruly mob in the outer let us know Liam was having a good night. 

Buck and Tank sounds like a cartoon duo but is actually a very solid combination on the last line of defence, Buck with his clever reading of the play and Tank with his ferocious attack on the footy. Add Andrew and Jake taking intercept marks and you have a pretty strong backline. 

The intent on the night was good and the boys had a go but were just outclassed in the wet by a skilful Easts.

Our two wins (we were leading when the Kellyville game was stopped, so we’ll take that) were both in the sun, so let’s pray for good weather this weekend.

CANADA BAY Goal: Matt

  • Match report by Paul Mulvey

 

U15 Div 2 Cannons v Wests

Round 4, St Lukes Oval

Surprisingly there wasn’t much talk about the round 4 game against Wests being a Grand Final rematch.

It’s been 10 months since the last time these two teams played and this over enthusiastic match reporter had already lined up clichés and puns about how revenge is a dish best served cold and how the cold (and wet) Sunday presented the perfect setting for an old fashioned grudge match.

As is so often the case however, reality is different to expectation.

When the Cannons ran onto St Lukes in the freezing cold and pouring rain, their thoughts were not about last year’s grand final. Nor were they thinking about the way they were completely overrun in the rain at St Lukes two weeks earlier. They weren’t even thinking about their convincing victory under cloudless skies last week.

They were thinking only about the game and the very clear instructions that coach Paul had given them.  They knew that the conditions were difficult and they would have to focus and concentrate. They thought about their individual roles and how each of them had to contribute in order for the team to succeed.

They were focussed. But, importantly, they were focussed only on what was in front of them!

Wet weather footy is never pretty or spectacular to watch. It is a gritty, physical test of determination and commitment.

Everyone on the field, including the umpires, find themselves cold, wet and struggling to stay on their feet.

In these conditions only teams that hold their structure, communicate and help each other, and are controlled in their use of the ball will succeed.

The 15/2s remained focused throughout the whole game and actually got better as the game (and the rain) went on.

The forwards were patient and followed game plan, reaping the benefits in the final quarter. The midfielders were driven and persistent in playing to their strengths and controlling the ball. The defenders were determined, committed and remained miserly even in the final quarter when the game was well and truly over.

It was hard to see in the rain, but the reward for the team effort was clear to see on the scoreboard with the Cannons running away convincing winners.

On a day when visibility was not good, the Cannon’s performance was not spectacular or pretty to watch but the maturity the boys showed was crystal clear.

The boys  were focused purely on the job ahead and they worked together brilliantly to achieve their common goal.

With a couple of very tough games coming up in the next fortnight, the Cannons will need to maintain that focus and continue the belief that if the individually bring the same commitment and effort, the team will has a very bright future.

Why on earth would you want to look back when there is so much excitement right there in front!

  • Match reporter, Stephen Grech

Round 3 – U15/2 v Willoughby Mosman Swans

Families often celebrate together over a Sunday lunch. It’s an opportunity to eat, relax and enjoy each other’s company but lunch time for the Cannons 15/2s this week meant footy! Having been starved of a win for the first 2 weeks there was an obvious hunger when the boys took to the Gore Hill Oval to take on the Willoughby/Mosman Swans.

The venue was new but there was something familiar about the old combinations at the opening bounce as the Cannons midfield set about serving up some of the some of the most entertaining footy you will ever see. Footy, like a roast dinner, is best served hot and the Cannons were eye watering, mouth burning chilli hot from the opening bounce.

With the stakes high, the defence went about their job like a chef cooks a steak. They put opponents on the grill, placed some t-boning tackles and shepherds, and made sure scoring opportunities were rare. Overall their performance is best described as “well done”.

The forwards presented a smorgasbord of options and importantly kept going back for seconds whenever the ball hit the ground.  There were goals on the run, goals from set shots, and one passage of play involving half a dozen Cannons that had everything – a burger with the lot! Overhead marking in the goal square the obvious answer to “Do you wanna fly with that?”

The meat in the sandwich was the midfield who took charge in the kitchen and served up a never ending sushi train of forward fifty entries.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all served by ¾ time and the result was beyond doubt, so recognising the importance of a balanced diet, some the teams were balanced out for the last quarter.

There was a menu full of players who contributed all day but there were a few listed on the Specials Board that were worth individual mention.

Fast food is popular with teenagers but Max, Stewy, Rameez and Elliot all showed that fast footy is equally popular and of much better quality.  They fried their opponents like bacon and scrambled like eggs to get the loose ball.

Playing with an injured hand, Coops ordered a take away from the centre bounce and the delivery into the forward line was at a speed Uber eats could only dream of.

Riggers is recognised as a dominant ruckman but today his sportsmanship in helping out the opposition was on also on show. His all round skills have developed such that he would be hot favourite to win “My Kicking Rules”!

Woody had an outstanding game gorging himself on goals. He took countless marks right in the bread basket and capped off a great game with the last quarter run in the ruck.

JA’s assumed the role of Masterchef as he organised teammates, dined out on countless possessions and sold candy to unsuspecting opponents. Watching it was as sweet as a sumptuous desert and his helping out the opposition in the last quarter was the cherry on top.

Damo showed us why he has been practicing left foot kicking at training with a beautiful helicopter goal late in the game. It was satisfying and tasty but really whet the appetite for more.

At the end of the game the team song was sung with gusto as the highly entertained crowds celebrated a toast with the players. The look of satisfaction on the boys’ faces showed that they enjoyed this Sunday lunchtime more than any other. Thing is now that they have tasted success, they look hungry for more!

U12YG Round 3 v Ramsgate

Little girls with big hearts showed the way for the Cannons last week.

Even though they were up against a much bigger team, the gutsy Cannons weren’t daunted by the task and never gave up, getting better as the game wore on.  

Audrey and Marlie put their head over the ball and went in hard no matter how big the opponent facing them.

Audrey repeatedly used her pace and courage to attack the footy, while Marlie’s second and third efforts in defence in the fourth quarter especially were matched only by her brilliant smother to save a certain goal.

While their efforts at ground level were impressive, Cristina and Amy were taking strong marks all day and clearing the footy from defence as the entire backline regularly held out Ramsgate attacks in the second half.

They were well supported by Haylee who showed great composure as she regularly mopped up the loose ball and followed up her kicks with strong tackles.

Edie is quickly taking to the game and took a strong overhead mark on the wing and also picked up plenty of contested possessions in and under, while Ivy E was also prominent.

The girls showed plenty of character on a tough day which shows they’ll have many more great days as the season continues.

 

U17s Div 2 Round 3 v Kellyville

The trip took longer than the game. But at least all those L platers clocked up a few hours.

An awful leg injury to the poor Kellyville lad just before halftime put an end to what was shaping as a terrific contest.

We might have been two points up at the time but we’d let a three goal lead slip as Kellyville lifted their intensity in the second quarter to put the game back on level terms.

Our first quarter though was a potent blend of tough defence and free flowing running footy.

Time and again, the desperate defence led by Mala, Buck and Jacko held Kellyville out and then launched our attacks. 

Paddy was a creative link between defence and attack and won the footy in the clinches as well as outside, while Ellis and Wriggles ran hard through the middle.

We finally broke open the tight contest when Tom uncovered his new Irish manoeuvre as he baffled the opposition, his teammates and even himself when he cunningly faced the wrong way after marking a Kellyville kick in.

With the opposition players all looking in the wrong direction, he quickly pirouetted and lined up for a straight as an arrow booming drop punt to kick the opening goal of the day.

He followed up with a couple of great contests and combined nicely with Manfred who did well in his first game up in Div 2, leading, marking and kicking long.

We started to get well on top and Paddy pulled out his best Dusty fend before his clever kick off the outside of his boot put us two goals up.

That lead quickly became three goals when a Liam handball found Jacko bursting through the middle and the footy ended up with Pat C for a simple shot in the goal square.

Kellyville narrowed the gap late in the first quarter and were close to another goal but were again thwarted by the Cannons defence, this time by repeat efforts from Andrew and Tank.

But they took that momentum into the second quarter and beat us to the footy to kick a couple of goals, while we had several near misses.

With the margin down to a few points, the game was developing into a tight back and forth contest which could have gone either way.

Sadly, the injury struck and a lengthy wait for an ambulance forced us to leave it at that.

 

CANADA BAY 3.5.23 Goals: Tom, Paddy, Pat

KELLYVILLE 3.3.21

 

U17s Div 2 Rd 2 v Willoughby/Mosman

Sunshine’s overrated.

Only a waterlogged hard slog in teaming rain, bottomless puddles and a descending gloom can produce a gripping game like that. 

Footy’s a winter sport and every now and then in Sydney we actually get to play in wintry conditions. And they produce, not pretty, but gutsy footy with everybody throwing their bodies into the contest and through the St Luke’s slosh.

It’s easy in those conditions to lose interest but no-one from either side did in an enthralling game that ebbed and flowed with the torrential rain until Willoughby kicked away with some lucky late goals in the dark for a 12 point win.

Mala returned with a bad haircut but great attitude and showed the way from defence as he attacked the footy, putting his head over the ball and into the puddles. 

Covered in mud from the first bounce, Louis and Liam gave us the early edge while Paddy was in and under. Our dominance, however, wasn’t converted on the scoreboard and, after we hit the post and a certain goal to Cam was touched on the line, Willoughby kicked a goal against the run of play to take a lead they never gave up.

But there was never much in it  – Wriggles kicked our opening goal while landing on his backside and Pat converted after good lead up work by Liam and Ellis to keep us in the contest.

And when Jordan slid the first goal of his career home from 50m out early in the third quarter, we were back within three points.

The intensity lifted and we regained the momentum as Jacko and Jake were hard at the footy and Liam kept working in conditions not suited to big men.

But, again, a Willoughby goal against the run of play deflated our hard work and as the rain pelted down and it became harder to see across the field, they got their bodies in front at the contest and skipped away to another handy lead at three quarter time.

With a couple of car headlights and the bright lights of the scoreboard showing the way in the final quarter, we kept slogging away but couldn’t quite match Willoughby’s endeavour despite late goals to Louis and Cam.

Many thanks to our soaked volunteers, especially goal umpire Peter, whose misery of standing in the torrential rain was compounded by his iphone showing him Collingwood getting smacked by West Coast.

Boundary umpire Matt, however, had a far better way of easing his drenched discomfort, with his trusty and well stocked esky sitting on the boundary line waiting for him after the final siren.

CANADA BAY  5.7.37 Goals: Wriggles, Pat, Jordan, Louis, Cam.

WILLOUGHBY/MOSMAN 7.7.49