Canada Bay Cannons v Pennant Hills
Nothing was going to stop these lads playing their last game for the Cannons.
Dodgy ankles, tweaked hamstrings, broken fingers. Pain was no barrier when it came to properly putting an end to an era.
After starting his footy with the Drummoyne under 6s, Cam was determined to finish off his junior career on the field. So, with a couple of rolls of tape wrapped around his ankle, the co-captain sprinted on to St Luke’s and played his typical physical game, including an obligatory impossible shot for goal from the boundary. He limped off.
Louis joined the Cannons in the under 12s and, after ruling himself out with a hamstring strain on Thursday, ruled himself back in on Friday to close this chapter of a stellar career with two typically team lifting goals. In fact, our only goals for the night.
And, even in his first season with the Cannons, Jordan understood the significance of the occasion and also ruled himself back in hours before the bounce, borrowing what tape was left after Cam was finished with it to protect his busted fingers.
That was the sort of spirit that drove the Cannons this year. And it was that sort of heart that took it up to Pennant Hills on Friday, especially in the second half.
Or perhaps it just was the prospect of playing under coach Harry.
But there were also some fully fit lads who bade farewell to the Cannons last Friday night. Wriggles has come all the way from the Drummoyne under 7s and his 162nd game on Friday would have been among his best as he used his pace and balance to repeatedly outwit Penno.
It was nice to see the boys’ under 7s coach Nick Angelos there on Friday night to bookend their careers.
“I saw their first game, so thought I’d come and watch their last,” Nick said.
And he was very generous in his praise when asked if they’d improved.
“At least they can kick over the man on the mark now,” he enthused.
Anton and Pat have been with us since the under 9s and have both racked up a century of quality games, including plenty this year, and Friday was no exception.
Sadly, we lost the Buck to injury mid-season and sorely missed the reliable rock solid defence he developed in his 84 games since his debut for the Concord under 11s.
Matt and Jake rejoined us this year after a few years out and both made significant contributions all season.
In only his second season of footy, Jacko’s leadership shone so brightly, he was named captain and he again led fearlessly on Friday night, throwing himself into the contest and occasionally a teammate’s knee.
Our newbies were wonderful assets in their one and only seasons with the Cannons, Liam and Ellis have taken to the game like naturals and finished off as they’ve played all year – physical, tough, skilful and crucial cogs in leading the non-stop effort against Pennant Hills. And a couple of cameo appearances from Luca late in the season left us wondering how good he would have been with a full season behind him.
We needed that non-stop effort from everyone on Friday as the interchange gate became an interchange turnstile with each injury. Regardless of the physical toll, we kept them goalless and quiet in the third quarter and had a spirited bunch of wounded warriors finish off the game.
It was probably an appropriate way to end the weird season 2020 – ins and outs during the week kept us guessing, plenty of injuries on the night and a gutsy display from a bunch of good mates and good humans.
- Paul Mulvey