A line in the sand
Canada Bay Cannons U13-2 v Forest Lions
Round 8, Lionel Watts Reserve
Match Report by Stephen; pics by Sonia
The Under 13/2s had reached a cross roads. After a heartbreaking two point loss in round 1, the Cannons had rallied and won the next 3 games bringing them to equal first on the ladder. Despite their best efforts they lost a hard fought top of the table clash, which became the first of 3 consecutive losses. Over 3 weeks the Cannons slid down the table, losing not just games but momentum and confidence.
The round 8 clash against the Forest Lions had all the hallmarks of a season defining game. With light rain falling, 16 motivated players fronted up to Lionel Watts Reserve with the knowledge that their season was on the line. Would this be the game that turned the Cannons back on track? There were no players on the bench and there would be no excuses. Today would be the chance to draw the line in the sand and prove the team motto “Every Player. Every Effort. Every Time!”.
The importance of a good start can never be underestimated and for the first time in several weeks the Cannons fired straight out of the blocks! Daniel’s combination with Damo and JA in the midfield saw the early centre clearances favouring the Cannons but it was the use of ball and forward incursions that really impressed. Whether it was the safe hands of JB or the brilliant ground work of Jack and Archer, the ball seemed destined for the goals. Lachie’s intensity at the ball was on show early and his four quarter efforts resulted in his season best game. Dallas also took his game to another level with some strong marking and text book link up handballs.
The Lions dropped a man back into defence to stem the flow but this only freed up Jye and Mattie B who ensured the ball was locked into the attacking zone, behind them the ever dependable Husky was never going to let them inside 50!
With only 16 players there was no bench to rest, so players were moved through different positions to spread the load. Woody’s efforts in the ruck were commendable but Killa’s hunger for the ball in the forward line presented a very good case for a permanent move.
The result was beyond doubt by three quarter time but to their credit the Lions kept at it. The rain was gone allowing passages really of slick play from both teams that defied the wet and slippery ball. It was a fierce and physical contest right to the final siren and the Cannons were delighted to return to the winners list. Delighted too were the coaches who witnessed a gutsy team effort as well as some character defining moments. Fraser gave away a massive size advantage to his opponent but desperately stuck to his man. Matt was earmarked for a run in the midfield when he bent his finger back in a marking contest. In obvious pain his finger was hastily strapped before he was sent out to “rest in a forward pocket”. “Rest” according to Matt means take a brilliant mark on a lead (using his chest and good hand only) before sending a booming kick into the square to add to the Cannons goal tally.
It was moments like these, where the players dug deep, gave their all and played for each other that will define the season. This game was much more than a line in a sand, it was a clear message written in big bold capital letters. The Cannons are FIRED UP!!!