Grading is done and dusted and we retained our position in the advanced division of Under 10 Silver. It sees us reacquainted with a few of our toughest teams over the past 2 years.
Our luck with the late morning / afternoon games ceased for the time being. We were back on the main ground @ 8.45am kick off.
The weather was pleasant which made the early morning a little easier. Will and Harry were our captains for the day.
The boys started slowly and we were easily beaten in the first quarter. The run and carry was on show from the East Malvern unit, with our boys caught chasing and 2nd to the ball. Despite this, Will took a great mark and Matty’s importance around the ball was brilliant. Jimmy was new to the side and was pacey when he got his chance. Mikey kept us in touch with a great goal close to the siren. We went to the break only marginally behind.
The second term saw the contest really tighten up with neither team gaining any great ascendency. It really was an arm wrestle and our tackling was important. Mitch was great in both his first and second efforts. Max took a screamer for his mark of the day entry. Isaac was really good and Charlie was holding his man well as part of a tight backline. Giddy was threatening all quarter to break free. He put away a great set shot straight through the middle. We went to the long break marginally behind. This was turning into one of those memorable matches.
Both teams came out with both barrells blazing in the premiership quarter. Olly was getting tap outs in the ruck whilst Kaden was creating opportunities and finding space. Ben H was getting plenty of it which led to Huddy stamping himself on the contest for two great running goals for the term. The backline was under the pump but Kian was playing tight and finding his targets when returning the ball from behinds. Ben W was back to his best after being crook last week. He kept us level with 2 great goals and at 3 quarter time we were still close enough to get up.
Chris changed up the strategy and moved some of the boys around. I was only focussing on how good the 3rd term was and how to push the boys to keep enthused and to keep running and fighting. The breeze picked up to our favour and we controlled the last term brilliantly. Wes still had plenty to give and Max took a great mark and converted. Ryan took an important mark and cleared the ball to the middle. Jake was pivotal in getting us in clear space and Harry was not letting an East Malvern player past him. Jack B had his best game of the year and sealed the contest with poise and 2 big goals.
We ended the game with the contest going our way by a single kick. The boys were beside themselves. The under 8s joined us for a great rendition of ‘Beside the seaside’. It was great to fill the club rooms with happy players and parents.
In another tough assignment, we head to Toorak Park to take on Prahran.
Go Hampton Rovers – best mates!