U14: Round 8 Match Report

Canada Bay Cannons U14-2  v Bangor Tigers

Round 8, Drummoyne Oval

Match report by Paul; pics via Michelle

It was halfway through the third quarter, the game was tense, Bangor had the footy, with four players streaming into their forward line all alone. A goal looked inevitable. But this week’s Cannons had other plans. Intense, team oriented and relentless pressure swarmed in and shut the Tigers down. Will, Johnno, Tommo, Cooky, Liam ran and ran to get to their opponnents and make contests, kept throwing themselves into tackles and smothers and fought for the footy. Each took their turn and when it was their turn again, they did it again. They all wanted the same thing and worked together to make it happen. What should have been a certain goal ended up in a turnover and our ball. 

It was only around 30 seconds, but it was half a minute which summed up our best game of the year. Effort, everyone wanted to be a part of it, everyone believed in themselves and each other, worked together and reaped the benefit. 

It was a shame to have drawn, especially when we were in such a strong position to win. But, as Coach Tony said, there was nothing but positives from the day.

Compare it to the last time we played Bangor when they beat us by 12 goals and we had a very slack attitude from the start. This time, the attitude in the warm up was brilliant, you could sense the kids wanted to have a crack. It was amazing to see the preparation and attitude and the benefit of getting there early and having a good positive warm up.

From the outset, the Cannons were firing. It was a cracking game, going goal for goal with the lead changing hands at least eight times in the first half.

Alex was a revelation in defence and found his natural home, using his skills to take intercept marks and cut off Bangor entries, while his penetrating kicks hit teammates up forward. He was even tackling!

Mala’s run and energy was infectious and he set up the first goal when he roved the pack, took the opposition on and spotted Liam with a clever short pass. Liam then went back and duly slotted the set shot.  Mala kicked his own goal a few minutes later after Alex rebounded from defence and a slick combination with Johnno and Ben M swept the footy downfield.

Hugh continues his good form and was again a target up forward, taking marks and finding teammates with clever kicks, Sam was racking up possessions in the middle, Andrew was taking strong marks, Will and Brayden were strong in defence, Fin and Blake were great linkmen on the wings.

Goals to Alex and Ben M – both from intercept marks – in the second term kept the deficit to two points at half time.

Then Ben took the game by the scruff of the neck in the third term. The quarter started with Manfred’s courageous mark when he held his ground in the middle as a pack bore down on him and Paddy had worked his way into the game and was winning his usual hard ball. But the premiership quarter was Ben’s quarter. He took big marks everywhere and kicked three big goals – one from a set shot, one when he roved off a pack and one when he played on after taking a strong mark at centre half forward. 

We went into three quarter time with a 17-point lead and a win was in sight. To Bangor’s credit, they defended stoutly as we pressured the goals early in the final quarter but could only manage a few points.

Bangor kept the pressure up and the tension in the crowd rose as they clawed their way back into the game bit by bit. They eventually kicked a goal to lock the scores with 60 seconds left and we were in for a frantic final minute. We hung on in that mad scramble as the ball bounced either way and we ended up with a fantastic outcome from a brilliant day’s footy.

It can be a turning point for the season – the boys showed what they’re capable of when they come into a game with the right attitude. They all wanted it and it was oh so close. Keep up this attitude and it’ll come.

CANADA BAY 7.6.48

Goals: Ben M 4, Alex, Nic, Liam.

BANGOR 7.6.48