After a week off (God Save the Queen!) there was built up excitement among the boys to be playing again. In a season of hot and cold performances, the early vibe was good. On top of this, the sun was out. The ground was in good condition. Indeed, the modified field had its own line markings (a first).
As the players took the field, the positive vibes continued. Warm-ups were conducted with energy. Handballs and kicks hit their targets. Concentration and desire evident.
The message from Steve was clear. Work hard. Take first options. Mark your opponent.
After the centre bounce, the immediate work rate had tongues wagging among the parents.There was run. There was desire to win the ball. And the skills were good. The Rovers midfield worked the ball into the forward zone, and for much of the quarter is stayed there. On the occasions St Bedes got the ball into their forward zone, the defensive unit of Hugo, Jeffrey, Will L, Kit, Jackson B and Seb had their measure and quickly had the ball moving back towards the Rovers goals. Despite the sustained pressure on St Bedes, the first quarter finished without a goal and the scores all level.
The second quarter followed the pattern of the first. The run continued. The desire to win the ball was still there. The Rovers players in each zone dominated play. The defensive unit repelled every entry into the St Bedes forward zone. The midfield of Kai, Eddie, Toby, Cruz, Cooper and Charlie S moved the ball effectively and efficiently forward, and the forwards Will B, Charlie E, Ashton, Jackson N, Harrison and Caelan saw plenty of ball … and yet when the half time siren went, only a single goal separated the teams.
The Crows have Eddie Betts. The Rovers have Eddie P. Eddie was moved into the forwards at the start of the third quarter, and what followed was the Eddie-show. St Bedes had no answer for his pace, weave and spin. In the blink of an eye, Eddie had kicked two and Kai two more. The scoreboard now fairly reflecting the Rovers efforts.
The run, desire and pressure continued in all zones in the fourth quarter. Two more goals – one each to Josh and Charlie S – guaranteed the result. At the final siren, there were smiles all-round and a general feeling of pride. The red in the cheeks of all the boys was evidence of their effort throughout the game.
After the song was sung loud and proud in the rooms, Steve congratulated the boys for their sustained work rate. It had been an excellent performance by all, and one that establishes a new baseline for the team.