The Canada Bay Cannons U15YG completed a fairytail season in a Father’s Day Grand Final Showdown, with an 18 point win against the Maroubra Saints at Olds Park.
Despite playing away from home on a cold, overcast, Sunday morning – but inspired by their pre-match rendition of Advance Australia Fair – the Cannons were on song from the opening bounce and struck the first blow of the match with a sensational team goal into a fresh southerly wind. The Saints were equally as hungry for the ball, however, the Cannons skills were crisp and clean, as such, they were able to hold the highly fancied Saints goalless at quarter time, and maintained a single goal buffer.
The wind proved a decided advantage in the second quarter with the Cannons able to produce a number of penetrating kicks deep into the forward line. After applying 5-6 minutes of unrelenting forward pressure to their opponents, resulting in a number of unsuccessful attempts on goal, the Cannons were finally rewarded with two outstanding team goals in the latter part of the quarter. These goals would prove priceless given the cold slippery conditions which prevailed all afternoon. Again, the Saints were held goalless and the Cannons led by three and a half goals at the main break.
The Saints never gave up and came out fighting after half time. The “Premiership Quarter” was a defensive slog as the Saints threatened to steal the momentum. However, the Cannons defence held strong and was able to repel the Saints time and time again. The quarter was headed for a goalless stalemate until the Saints scored a lucky goal after the three quarter time siren to lift their spirits and keep the game alive! The Cannons, filthy at the slip up, went into the final change with a two and a half goal lead.
Fuelled by Lenny’s Magic Oranges, this three quarter time huddle was special. The Cannons could hear the Saints were up and about, ready for one last tilt. However, with the cool, calm head of Captain Emily and reassuring words of Coach Michael, the girls were re-focused on giving everything left in the tank to produce 15 more minutes of “tough as old boots” Cannons footy.
The Cannons, with the wind at their backs, arrested the momentum early in the final quarter with the Saints forced to repel a number probing kicks into the Cannons forward line. To their credit and in their final push, the Saints managed to bring the ball end to end along the ground to win a free kick close to goal. The Saints kicked truly and the margin was back to 15 points with eight minutes remaining. This would be as close as the Saints would come to their goal for the remainder of the match.
The Saints goal triggered the Cannons centres back into gear, with the likes of Jasmin leading by example in her best game of the season, taking the ball straight out of the centre to score an outstanding reply within 20 seconds, more importantly, sealing the deal!
The Cannons pressed the Saints backline with unrelenting intensity, so much so that the ball never left the Cannons forward 50m for the final five minutes of the match as the girls played the match in an excellent spirit right to the end. There were euphoric scenes all over the ground as the final siren sounded and reality set in that the Cannons, although finishing third on the ladder, were Premiers and easily the best team in the competition.
Never has “See the Cannons fire up” been sung with more gusto as the girls and their huge supporter base celebrated a victory based on hard work, fun and friendship. A victory all the more special given that 60% of the team are in their first season of football.
The Cannons now look forward to celebrating their victory and all the clubs’ success in 2018 at presentation night on the 16th of Sep.
The girls should be immensely proud of their efforts, they are champion kids who are now a champion team and by example are outstanding ambassadors for Canada Bay Cannons Youth Girls Footy!!
- Match report by Scott