MONGREL DUCKS v MIRANDA
The Ducks came oh so close to pulling off one of the great comebacks in footy history with a blistering last quarter against Miranda only to fall one kick short of a thrilling victory.
Trailing by six goals at three quarter time but with a strong breeze at their back in the final term, the Ducks kept Miranda scoreless while piling on goal after goal to bridge the gap and bring victory within sight.
With more than half the team playing their second game for the weekend – Will’s third including his soccer match that morning – the Ducks came flying home.
Still sore after rucking all night on Friday in Div 2, Liam found his touch in the final quarter and every goal started from either his dominance in the middle, Fin’s rebounding off halfback or Tommo’s and Matt’s brutal tackling.
The surge started immediately after the first bounce of the quarter when Matt attacked the footy and sent it to George who kicked the first of his four goals for the term.
A Tommo and Liam gang tackle earned us a rare free kick and Liam sent the ball long for Brayden to take a strong pack mark.
He set it up for George to mark 20 metres out directly in front of goal and we had already ticked off two of our target of six goals for the term.
Liam won the ensuing bounce, Tommo earned a free kick for going in hard and Cam swooped on the advantage loose ball, ran with it and all of a sudden we had kicked three goals in six minutes to cut a 35 point deficit to 17 points. Three goals needed with 10 minutes left. Game on.
Our momentum was irresistible but we still had to wait a few more minutes for George’s next goal which was set up by Fin’s second and third efforts to keep repelling Miranda’s attacks and eventually get the ball back in our forward line. Two goals to go.
Miranda saw the urgency at hand and picked up their effort and made us fight hard for the next goal when Duck after Duck after Duck in the forward line tackled, smothered and kept the pressure on until the ball spilled loose for George to snap truly.
Five points down with five minutes to go and a thrilling finale was in store.
The nervous crowd rode every bump and swayed with every bounce as the ball rebounded between our forward line and halfback line with a gritty Miranda defence holding us out.
New recruit Luca came close to a miracle debut, but a cruel bounce took the ball over the boundary line as he prepared to swoop in the forward pocket and another chance was dashed.
With seconds left, the moment looked like it had come when the ball spilled loose from a tough contest on the forward flank and Cam marked in front of goal, but the eagle-eyed umpire had spotted a Miranda free kick and called the ball back.
Miranda took the free and their time, kicked long into their forward line and just as we rebounded, the siren blew to put an end to a very gutsy Ducks effort.
While they played brilliant footy in the final quarter and showed plenty of heart, the match also showed that every minute of every quarter counts. A four quarter effort is always better than needing a great comeback in the last.
Thanks to all the boys who doubled up on the weekend – Brayden, Jake, Will, Liam, Tommo, Matt, Fin, Cam and Tom.
MONGREL DUCKS 7.2.44
- Match report by Paul Mulvey