Under 15s Round 7 v Moore Park, May 26

Look under F in some dictionaries and you’ll find this definition of footy: “A bunch of mates having fun, working hard together, putting their bodies on the line for each other, sharing with each other, helping each other out, running all day for each other, never giving up, just so they can all achieve the same goal together. And then they burst into song.”

Our boys obviously read the right dictionary, applying that definition perfectly on Sunday as everyone contributed to a gutsy and thrilling one point win against a Moore Park team that beat them by 50 points only the week before.

There was a fair bit of skill involved in the win, but there was also a lot of the physical side Tony has been emphasising so much.

It was Ozy’s run from 20 metres to put on a shepherd, Manfred’s 40m chase which forced a fumble and allowed Johnno to lay a fierce front-on tackle, Andrew’s second and third efforts to bump and tackle, it was Tank’s desperate lunge and punch from behind, Nic’s hip and shoulder, Sam F’s bump which gave Joey room to run, Paddy throwing himself head first into a pack to clear the ball and keep it in our forward line in the dying minutes.

The boys might have kept their cool in those dying minutes, but it was tense on the other side of the boundary as the clock ran down.

After a dominant third quarter in which we kicked three goals to one, we took a seven point lead and a lot of confidence into three-quarter time.

Tenacious X put us further ahead early in the final term when he still managed to get boot to ball while horizontal and mid-air after being scragged and flung to the ground. He ended up on his backside, but the ball ended up through the big sticks and we were 13 points up and, apparently, in control.

But, as Moore Park do, they kept fighting and responded well with a couple of goals to get to within two points and set up an exciting final two minutes. It was desperate stuff as the boys threw themselves at the footy and into packs and tackles. Nic’s brave mark in defence cut off a potential match stealing entry and we took control, ferociously keeping the ball on our forward flank for the final minute or so to claim a great victory.

It was a brilliant all-round team effort, starting in defence with not just the aerial skills of Alex, Johnno and Sam F but the tenacity of Tommo and Andrew who constantly rebounded as the first line of attack.

Fin’s poise on the wing is remarkable, calmly picking the ball up off his toes as opponents bear down on him before he steps around them with ease and sends the ball back our way, while Will creates a contest every time he’s near the footy.

Cooky’s skills and footy smarts just get more impressive each week, highlighted by his clever flick over the back, turn and gather and his combination with Sam W up forward is proving very productive.

Sam’s progress is great to watch and he is becoming our main man up forward, backing up last week’s two goals with another pair this week, with his lethal combination of strong  marking and a rare ability to beat a man or three with a little jink and step.

Damo was a classy addition and he’s welcome to back up from the u14s any time.

And it wasn’t just the kids who worked together and helped each other out. Thanks to all the parents who volunteered for duty and ensured the whole match day ran smoothly. Thankfully, the grown-ups didn’t burst into song at the end.

 

CANADA BAY 5.5.35 Goals: Sam 2, Cooky 1, Alex 1, Xavier 1

MOORE PARK 5.4.34