Canada Bay Cannons v Forest Lions
Round 12, Drummoyne Oval
Match report by Paul
The song has never been sung with such gusto. The Drummoyne grandstand shook and the light towers wobbled as the kids belted out the anthem in the rooms after a long, long wait.
The enthusiasm in the song matched their effort all day as every single player contributed to a mighty win. It might have been a chilly seven degrees as we gathered just after dawn but, even without a coffee cart, the crowd’s cockles were quickly warmed by watching their kids go in hard from the outset and lead all day.
Our previous two games at Drummoyne have brought us a draw and a one point loss, so we knew a win would come if we kept persevering and sticking at it. The fact we had the closest thing we’ve had all season to a full team also helped and proved what we’re capable of when we have nearly everyone on deck.
Manfred’s rich run of form since donning the magic headgear continued with his best game of the year as he repeatedly stuck his now protected head into packs and came out with the ball before putting his hefty boot into it.
Ozy also had his best game of the season, constantly applying forward pressure and always providing a contest. He came so close a couple of times to being rewarded with a goal.
Was it just a coincidence that our first win for the year was also Thea’s first game of the year? Surely not. We certainly missed her and the return of her run and creativity, not to mention her chatter, gave us a great boost.
Alex was dominant at both ends of the ground, proving himself a natural defender with repeated marks at full stretch and clearing kicks saving the day. And when sent to his old familiar territory up forward he continued marking everything that came his way and slotted a lazy three goals.
Versatility has become crucial – our usual reliable fullback Cooky has also proven himself to be a straight shooting goal kicker with a pair of majors, including the sealer in the final quarter.
The signs were good from the start with Sam controlling the midfield with his clean hands and penetrating left boot, delivering a pin point pass to a strong leading Ben M who converted the set shot to open the scoring. Thea was immediately busy in the forward line and was straight into the swing of things after her injury lay-off.
Our early ascendancy continued when Joey took the game by the scruff of the neck, grabbed the footy, tucked it under his arm and beat three defenders on a searing run, which ended with a booming goal. He repeated the dose throughout the day – taking on and beating defenders with penetrating runs which gave us great momentum.
Brayden, Will, Andrew and Alex in defence held Forest out, while Blake and Fin were crucial linkmen on the wings and Tomas was strong in the contest as we took a seven point lead into quarter time.
Ben M’s early goal after the break extended the lead but the rest of the quarter was tight, with two goals apiece. But it was no fluke how our brace of goals were created. Paddy attacked the ball in the middle, sent it forward and Fin cleverly gathered and goaled. Minutes later, Manfred attacked the ball in the middle and won a free kick, dished off the handball to a running Mala who bombed long where Alex took a strong contested mark and kicked his first of the day to extend our lead to 14 points at halftime.
That win was in sight!
We dominated the premiership quarter with three unanswered goals and stretched the lead to 30 points as Johnno was racking up possessions, Ozy continued his pressure and contest, Manfred kept winning the footy and X was making his presence felt. Ben’s beautiful ruckwork was giving us first use and set up a team goal with a controlled tap straight to Joey who handballed to Alex with an open goal in front of him.
Two late goals to Forest, though, caused some concern as they bridged the gap to 18 points at three quarter time, allowing dark thoughts of the draw and one-point loss to haunt any pessimists among the crowd.
The challenge was on, but our kids weren’t to be denied this time. They knew they had to stay hard at the footy to notch that elusive win.
Tank and Paddy combined in the middle to win the clearances and set up Cooky’s goal early in the final term to restore a comfortable buffer. Alex was back in defence where he and Will were taking desperate marks as was Ben at the other end of the ground, while Archie made sure no Lion was going to get past him in the middle. The pressure was on and with a win on the line, the Cannons responded.
We dominated possession in the final term, kept Forest scoreless and the win the kids have deserved for a long time finally arrived. And, with a little help, they remembered the words to the song.
CANADA BAY 9.8.62 Goals: Alex 3, Ben C 2, Ben M 2, Joe 1, Finlay 1.
Sing it loud and proud, U14 Cannons. You played so well today.Couldn't be prouder of our U14-2 team breaking their 2018 drought. First win of the year against Forest Lions - and what a great game it was. Cannons 9.8.62 defeated Forest 6.1.37.Bravo kids.Video via SimonPosted by Canada Bay Cannons Football Club on Sunday, 22 July 2018