CANADA BAY V HEATHCOTE
It came down to the last kick of the season and no, it wasn’t a flukey mid air hack. It was Cooky’s superior footy brain and quick thinking that produced the goal of the year and another thrilling draw.
With a 13-point three-quarter time deficit to haul in and an Arctic wind at our back, we attacked and attacked in the final term but Heathcote’s defence held firm.
The margin had been whittled down to six points with less than a minute to go and time was running out until a chaos ball bounced, bobbled and ricocheted off the legs and arms and bodies of the crowd of players in front of goal. The more it bounced, the more the clock ran down.
“The ball was sort of bouncing and wobbling in front of me but their biggest guy was running at me, I was going to get smashed, so I didn’t have time to pick it up,” Cooky says.
“So I just kicked it. I double kicked it actually, the second kick got it over everyone’s heads.”
As the ball rose in the air, the wind caught it and the crowd held its breath.
Cooky’s precise aim at the right hand goal post proved perfect, the ball swung with the breeze and flew straight through the middle to lock the scores together.
The siren blew before the ball had time to get back to the middle and we’d finished the season with a thrilling draw that felt like a win against yet another much bigger team.
Good signs were there from the start when our tough defence and pressure restricted Heathcote to two goals in the first quarter, while Ben kicked one against the wind.
Will, Delps, Andrew and Liam were desperate in defence and Tank was strong in the ruck, while Mala swept across the half back line all day and his penetrating run was a constant first line of attack. He combined in the middle with Archie who drove the ball to Fin and then to Hugh whose clever hands found Ben for a classic team goal into the stiff breeze. A brilliant Manfred smother almost set up another goal but even though they went into quarter time 10 points down, the boys had their tails up.
Paddy was getting in and under and shot out a handball early in the second term to Blake who stepped his way through the defence to pass to Brayden to find Delps who had moved down forward and kicked the first of his two goals for the quarter.
Tommo and Ozy were running hard, attacking the footy and providing good options in midfield.
A slick one-two combination between Liam and Mala in defence delivered the footy into the middle where Fin, Cooky and Manfred combined again and although a behind wasn’t quite the reward the passage deserved, it turned into a seven point play when Paddy intercepted the kick-in and goaled from the boundary to put us in front.
Minutes later, Fin was again the crucial linkman after a brave Manfred mark in defence set up Ben’s second goal. Delps converted a longe range effort and we were nine points up at half time.
Johnno was playing a vital shut down role as we had to hold on in the third quarter as Heathcote ran hard and piled on three goals, but a lot of behinds and a few out on the full kept us in the game.
X was becoming a dangerous option up forward in the last term but as much as we attacked, the Heathcote defence did well to keep us out until Archie’s great snap over his shoulder got us to within a goal.
Heathcote threatened a couple of times in the frenetic final minutes but strong marks to Liam and Andrew in defence kept them out.
The tension was broken amid the chaos when Cooky’s brainwave found the only way through and we’d snatched our second draw for the year.
But the response from the boys was as good as a win and reflected a tight bunch who, even though there were some tough times, enjoyed the season together.
CANADA BAY 7.3.45 Goals: Ben M 2, Alex 2, Paddy, Archie, Cooky.