“We can always begin again”
Major Semi-Final 19 August 2018
With the regular season behind them, Cannons U12-3 Orange and Westbrook Bulldogs, the two teams at the top of the ladder met on a wild and windy St Lukes Oval to decide who would be the first into the Grand Final.
With a Severe Weather Warning in place and gusts of up to 90km/hour forecast, the slick skills of a calm Thursday night’s training session gave way to a battle of wills. With the wind moving the ball sideways and the Cannons running into it in the first quarter, it was always going to be difficult to stem the tide. However, with Damian controlling the backline the Cannons only conceded one goal in the opening term and headed to the break within nine points of the Bulldogs.
A surge out of the quarter time huddle was soon followed by an excellent Denver goal and a constant stream of pressure thereafter. Luke and Ethan showed great tenacity in the forward line and were desperately unlucky not to find six points next to their names. It was touch and go at half time and the game was promising to live up to its billing as a contest between the two heavyweights of the competition.
The second half started with a bang for the Cannons with Luke’s goals into the breeze defying belief ~ and for the first time the Cannons were in front on the scoreboard. But the pressure from the Bulldogs kept coming, with Jasper having a very strong quarter in defence. Despite conceding a goal with only 16 seconds to go before the final break, it was a really good defensive effort in tough conditions.
Moments after the hooter signalled the start of the final quarter Luke found the middle of the sticks from the 50m mark and, down by only two points with a huge breeze behind them the Cannons looked a good thing (a ‘Gold Jacket’ good thing!)
However, despite Herculean efforts from Lucca, Lachlan and Ethan the space between the big sticks proved to be elusive and at the bell the Bulldogs had prevailed by two solitary points! Congratulations and commiserations found themselves in the same sentence ~ but “we can always begin again”.
Congratulations to all the boys for playing the game in the right spirit ~ we’re now only two good training sessions away from a grand-final win that promises to be all the sweeter for a loss that was measured in inches. Next time.