U12 Youth Girls v East Sydney Bulldogs White
Round 12, Drummoyne Oval
Match report by Ian
The mighty Cannons played at Drummoyne Oval for the second time this year in Round 12. Kicking the frost off the grass for a chilly 8AM start, it was weather for puffer jackets and scarves rather than short sleeves. The Cannons welcomed Tamara back from injury and Skye was a late withdrawal, in otherwise what was a near full strength team.
The girls got off to a great start after an early scramble. Tamara made her presence felt with two big tackles and Ruby was providing drive from the ruck. But it was Lila starting forward, who quickly made her mark.
Lila was on the end of a good pass after some earlier teamwork from India and Ruby and she converted the goal on an angle from about 20 metres out. Minutes later, she scooped a ball out of the pack and snapped through another!
The girls were playing with confidence now and Isabelle collected the ball on the boundary line and sprinted away from her opposition only narrowly missing what might have been a goal of the year contender.
However, the momentum in the second quarter changed completely, with the Bulldogs running confidently down the centre of the ground and putting on four consecutive goals to take the lead. Catriona and Sienna did well defending to ensure the lead didn’t blow out further. The girls had to halt the tide and needed greater defensive effort. In response, Tahnee tackled ferociously as ever, Niamh provided a steady influence in the backline and eventually the game was being played on even terms again.
Towards the end of the quarter, Katie sent the ball forwards after bullocking through a pack and Lila again, with great touch, snapped a clever goal along the ground.
The third quarter started much as the first had. This time Molly was making her presence felt with her customary tackle breaking runs and big bombing kicks up the ground. Ruby was swinging the ball forward with her raking right foot and India was swooping on ground balls and running forward at every opportunity.
The play of the day came with a chain of handballs that swept the Cannons forward, Molly to Ruby, to Catriona to India to Lucy in the goal square who jubilantly kicked her first career goal! This set the scene for the rest of the quarter. The next passage came from some precision kicking. India passed to Molly, after a nice running mark, who launched a kick to Tamara, who then calmly snapped a goal from near the point post.
And right on the siren, India gathered the ball in the centre of the ground and dodged three or four tacklers to launch a tumbling goal from a long way out.
As the Cannons took a strong lead into the last quarter, coach Lenny called for the team to keep concentrating and to protect the lead. Molly answered his wish as she completely dominated the last quarter. First was a typical goal, bursting through a pack and running forward, second was a pass that found goal-sneak Lila, who then dribbled through another great goal under pressure.
India then ran the ball forward from the centre and was on the end of an accidental head-high tackle that drew “ooooooooohs” from the crowd. Although, she surprised everyone by quickly getting up and playing on to Molly in the goal square, who kicked another.
Tahnee playing as a defensive forward kept tackling and tackling and tackling ensuring the Bulldogs had no easy way out of their back half.
The final play of the day was Lucy’s brilliant half volley trap and quick handball to Ruby who ran on and sent the ball onto the chest of Molly who kicked through the final goal of the day.
In the wash-up, it was another great game from the Cannons, who showed they can match it with higher teams on the ladder. They also should also take confidence in this game as their effort was 100% over the four quarters. Lila played her best game for the club, four goals could have easily been six with a bit more luck!! India’s running persistence and handball to bring her team mates into the game was great, Niamh, Tahnee and Katie provided strength and defensive run. Molly’s supreme last quarter put the exclamation mark on a great win…
A few more like that girls and we could be playing finals!