The girls were rewarded for their strong form with a prime game time of 3pm to take on the East Brighton Vampires at their home ground. A large crowd had swelled as word had spread that this was to be a hard fought match. Lily and Poppy were rewarded with their consistent form and were announced as captains for the day. The girls all looked great with ribbons in their hair to support brain cancer and were ready to rumble after Leigh put them through a vigorous warm up.
We were asked to kick uphill in the first quarter after the coin toss landed awkwardly. Not long after Mark Parker pounded the Sherrin into the turf, Jazzey C and Hannah were throwing themselves into everything in the middle and were leading the tackle count early. Tilly was holding up our defence with great support from Jess T and along with Lily and Poppy they were able to repel most of the opposition attacks. Up forward, Jess W and Audrey H were pouncing on any loose balls as both had great memories of kicking goals earlier in the season at this same venue. Both teams struggled to move the ball out of the congestion and it became evident that playing 14 girls on the ground was too many which was quickly corrected at quarter time ( well done Nicole ).
With the game more open, the Rovers were quickly able to gain the ascendancy in the second. Tilly, Poppy, Lily and Michaela began to win their own ball and were sending it inside our forward 50 on a regular basis. Bianca took 2 really strong marks in the space of 2 minutes and despite both of her set shots just missing her confidence was running hot with her aerial work. Sophie started to get right on top of her opponent, Tess and Cate were starting to get into the play and the Rovers were playing some really good footy. Jazzey C showed why she is in the 4 x 100m team at Sandringham with some great bursts of speed. She took the game on with her pace and was rewarded with a big goal. A highlight of the quarter was Michaela marking a low flying missile in the middle. It looked like she had glue on her hands as the ball stuck in the palm of her hands after reaching speeds of 70 km/h.
The oranges were the usual distraction at half time as the girls were commended on their strong team play. It was clear that they needed to keep working hard as were up against a side with similar strength. The 3rd started along the same lines as the first half and our mids led by Jazzey T, Jess T and Bianca were giving our forwards first use of the ball. Tilly was into everything and looked like kicking a goal which was touched on the line. Sophie and Poppy were providing great support up forward and were winning possessions on a regular basis. Jess T continued to take strong marks in defence and Jess W was assisting to ensure that goals weren’t conceded. Our forwards were working well but found it difficult to score a major. Audrey H was showing her usual courage with some great ball work and unfortunately copped a big knock after having eyes only for the ball. It was pleasing to hear post-match that she was ok and ended with bruised ribs after her injury seeming to be more serious.
The girls were all concerned about Audrey H at the ¾ time huddle and were assured that she was in good hands with the medics. It was pleasing that they were able to return their focus to the game for one last push after being asked to leave nothing in the tank. Audrey P got the girls off to a flyer with a big goal early in the last and the team plan quickly swung to defence. Hannah returned from her spell on the bench to totally control the situation like a general down there and along with Sophie and Tilly, the girls were able to stop any goals being kicked against the flow of play. Jazzey C and Tilly continued to dominate in the middle and before long the siren sounded to end another great display from the Rovers team.
Once again the girls showed how far they have come this year and most importantly, they all had big smiles on their faces as they sang the song once again. Awards for the day went to Jazzey C (a great 4 quarter effort and also received the coaches award from East Brighton), Sophie (terrific work in defence) and Bianca (great marks up forward).
U10 Girls Coach