Well Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the big league, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll RUUUNNNNN!!!! ‘Cause it’s all downhill from here. As Tex Perkins and the Cruel Sea fatefully said, “The honeymoon is over baby, it’s never gonna be that way, agaiiiin”. Or something like that, this may not surprise you, but my recollection of song lyrics (like footy rules) isn’t really spot on.
So as we all know I usually get the report off to a rollicking start with tales of the Daisy Dive Roll, (which made an appearance at a random point in play) or a potentially fictitious comment about Mika’s ability to fly, but today….. well…. Welcome to Div. 1.
Personally I would have appreciated a heads up that Div. 1 is SERIOUS, not serious like, they have good coffee and pastries serious, but like these girls actually pay attention at training, Serious!
My notes were pretty thin, I was initially shell shocked, after all, it was Mother’s Day and I could have been ankle deep in luke-warm water having a foot massage, holding a latte and being smug. But NOOO instead we all rolled up totally unprepared! The Port Melbourne girls obviously didn’t get the memo about it being our first EVER game in Div. 1 but push on we must.
The first quarter wasn’t without merit, we got to test our defensive play and our fitness. Elicia may have been out weighed and out reached but she didn’t notice. There was a moment when Elicia tackled a girl so hard that she actually stopped to look at her lying on the ground before being jolted back to reality by the fact that the Port Melbourne girls hadn’t even stopped to check if their team mate was ok. The Port team put plenty of points on the board and Squiz managed to get a goal through for us as well.
The opposition Umpire was pulling us up on things that (surprisingly) I didn’t even know were rules (keep your sniggering to the end please) like leaving the mark or moving from the mark or calling the Umpire Mark. I don’t know but you’re not allowed to do it, and, if you do, you get a free 50 (also not as good as it sounds.) Then they got some goals.
Although we made every attempt to up our own Umpire game – he brought his own water boy thank you very much – we just couldn’t compete.
Callum settled the girls and sent them back out with instructions to “take it to them”.
We lifted and had some great moments of play with Maddy working hard and Squiz, Mia S and Elicia jumping on anything that came close. Thriving on the physicality of it all Mika got tackled but managed to keep the ball and get of a great little kick whilst lying on her side.
We may not have scored in the second quarter, but we were starting to stem the flow and as Callum said – take it to them.
Unfortunately, the third quarter resembled a bit of a blood bath, Channel 7 was there reporting on ugly parent behaviour, Port Melbourne added at least 4 goals and 2 behinds then I stopped counting and just wrote UGH! Which may seem a bit technical to some of you but roughly translates to – HOLY CRAP, I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS! Fortunately, neither Katie nor myself were caught on camera being ugly parents, in fact, if we’re being honest the Rovers Mums are at least a solid 8 so we shouldn’t really have been worried.
Now, here is where an ugly parent might make a comment about the Umpire being visually challenged, but not me, I’m a solid 8. So I’ll tell you about how Callum had one of those awesome coaching moments, and made it clear to the girls that no matter what happens, being good teammates was more important than winning.. Awww… He also said that Mika’s only job was to make number 15’s life miserable, which she well and truly took to heart. Then Daisy aggravated the tallest girl on the pitch by refusing to let her run without jumping on her back and Caitlin, Mia S & K, Maddy, Aliyah, Elicia, Batman and Lizzie all had moments of greatness of their own, showing us that we may be off to a slow start, but we will definitely be able to grow and rise to the occasions ahead of us.
The post-game wrap-up was a little more subdued than normal but as the coach from the other side told the girls, it took them a few games to come to terms with the pace and physicality of Div. 1 too, so hang in there girls. You were all fantastic and we were very proud. Even the weird looking guy in the lab coat who seemed to think he was a pit girl and not a goal umpire.
Awards to Mika B.O.G. and Maddy, Eloise and Aliyah. Then a rousing “WE LOVE YOU LOTTIE” to our missing Rover. Get well soon Lottie or I’ll be forced to make stuff up.