u17s Round One v Moore Park, Bat and Ball Oval

It was worth waiting six months for.

Not just a great win, but seeing the boys look after each other and respond when challenged.

And watching new players make such an impression in their first game.

Welcome to footy Liam, Ellis and Jordan.

From the first ruck contest when Liam followed up his own knock and dished it off to Ellis who dashed through the middle, to Jordan’s defensive work, it was clear we had found some lads who would fit in perfectly.

Liam’s dominance in the ruck and Ellis’ dash set us up with several early chances and while we gave up the first goal to Moore Park, we quickly claimed the momentum.

As it was throughout the game, the senior players stood up and got us back in the contest, captain Jacko combining with his deputy Cam and Louis to claim control.

And when it occasionally became feisty, everyone was in to back each other up.

We finally took the lead when Alex converted from a contested mark late in the first quarter and we were never headed again.

We opened brightly in the second term with Paddy’s second and third efforts setting up the second of Alex’s five goals, while Liam and Ellis continued to combine and then Wriggles set the game alight with his blistering pace.

He’d beat defenders with sheer speed but still had enough control to deliver the ball sweetly and set up a couple of third quarter goals for Louis on his raking left foot.

Buck was strong at the back, repeatedly taking intercept marks.

As they always do, Moore Park kept going and after seemingly being in complete control at two goals up, we were only two points ahead at three quarter time.
So we again called on the leaders to lead. And they did.

With no-one on the bench and with a couple of players carrying injuries, there was a danger we could be overrun on a warm day, but the lads showed plenty of character in a high scoring final quarter.

Jacko and Cam were strong in tight and put us on top after the break.

When Louis lined up for a set shot from the wrong boundary for a left footer, Mala on the bench spotted Alex lurking in the shadows and predicted his next move. Steve Johnson would have been proud as Alex demanded the handball off Louis and then delivered as he curled in the goal from wide out to give us some breathing space early in the final term.

His fifth shortly after extended what appeared to be a match winning lead until Moore Park rallied yet again. Anton kicked a much needed settler and then Paddy twisted and turned and kicked a goal over his shoulder to seal the 12 point win.

The boys have built a good bond over their resumed pre-season Sunday sessions and that spirit was obvious during and after the game and augurs well for a positive season.

CANADA BAY 9.7.61 Goals: Alex 5, Louis 2, Anton, Paddy