East Sandringham Zebbies 3.7.25 defeated Hampton Rovers 3.3.21
Captains / Luke Ryan & Freddie Kellett
Adversity can bring out the very best in us. While being pushed out of our comfort zone can make life very challenging, it makes us learn, grow and become better.
The conditions we faced at Castlefield on Sunday were horrific. Freezing cold, windy, wet, and at one stage lighting threatened to stop play. On top of that we faced what would be our toughest opposition this year. East Sandy firmly in the top spot, and us sitting just below at number 2. It was going to be an epic battle. I likened it to Hawthorn v Geelong in the eighties.
The siren sounded, and the Zebbies broke out of the centre and kicked a goal in the first minute. While that looked like it might have been a hard day in the office, that was not to be. Our boys kicked into gear and started fighting back. Our key to this game was our trademark defensive pressure. We had to shut them down. And the only way we were going to do that was with intensity, effort and hunger. And we needed the contribution of every boy on the field. With each quarter we lifted, and maintained the pressure on our opponents. We won 3 quarters, and were up until the final minutes of the game. Not due to a drop in our effort, East Sandy managed to sneak in 2 quick goals and took victory from us. The coach of the Zebbies was the first to say to me after the game that they stole it from us.
While our boys did a great job of holding their heads high, they were shattered, and rightly so. They worked so hard, and to have the win ripped away, so close to the final siren was painful. However, with every cloud there is a silver lining. Something very positive came out of this. We now know that we can beat the top of the ladder Zebbies. We now have the belief of what we are capable of. And we now have to embrace that hunger, for when we meet them again. We’ll get them next time. That’s something I’m sure of. And I could not be prouder of my boys.
Goals / 1 each to Mitch Tuffley, Jay Todd & Jem Thomas
Awards / Taj Hotton found his feet after a few weeks sidelined with injury, with a solid 4 quarter game. Jem Thomas was again instrumental with a spirited and courageous effort out of the middle and all around the ground. And Man of the Match went to Ollie Sutherland who’s relentless attack and monster tackles across the back flank were a key force in our defensive pressure.
Thanks also to Tom Kollmorgon and Josh Cameron for helping us out with our low numbers. A great contribution to the team.