Having missed out on finals this year, our round 15 away game against East Sandy ended up being our last game for the season. We had a fantastic training run leading up to the game where we spoke about how much we’ve grown as a team over the season and the importance of bringing the same intensity and pressure that we’ve seen over the past month to this game. In our pre-game address we spoke about finishing the year off strong and proving to everyone outside of our team that we can take it up to the best. The playing group were relaxed and focused prior to the opening bounce and there was an air of unfinished business as we ran out onto the ground.
The first quarter proved to be a tight struggle with both teams moving the ball into their perspective forward fifties. An amazing snap and goal by Jamie really lifted our side as the opposition also responded with a major. We did have the wind but didn’t take advantage of it as we came into our first huddle for the day with both sides evenly positioned. The second quarter was all East Sandy as they really showed us how to play their ground with the wind and capitalised with two more majors. Our defenders were under enormous pressure for the quarter led by Gus Z who’s attack on the ball has been a revelation all year supported by the always skilful Fletcher who can play a number of roles and the incredibly reliable Jed who was having probably his best game for the year. At the long break we were 14 points down as we took some shade from the warm sunshine for our half-time address. We discussed within the group how we could get back in the game, use the wind to our advantage and really open up the game. There was something different though about the group, a quiet confidence and it was all going to play out in the third.
In short our third quarter was to be our best quarter for the season as every player sensed the moment and lifted. Starting with Josh H who’s ruck work was the best we’ve seen all year supported by our amazing and incredible mid-field in Taj, Jem, Jasper, Mitch T & Gibbo who between them literally turned the game around for us providing so many opportunities in our forward line. Our forwards were working incredibly hard with Charlie’s and Jonty’s pressure awesome to watch along with Tom K who was taking his game to another level with his attack on the ball. The always dangerous Luke R who was taking marks from everywhere but it was to be Jamie who yet again snapped truly for his second to put us right back in it. With the quarter nearly over Matt stepped up and took a great mark in front of goals, kicking truly and putting us five points in front at the last break. How many times have we been in this position during the season and lost it. Could we hang on and finish the season on a high.
Our last address for the season was all about being stronger in the contest, controlling the play and shutting their forwards down. Enter Harry T and Josh C. As they have done all day, they defended like warriors. With a lucky goal to the home side and the clock ticking down it was all East Sandy who only needed a goal to win by one point. Enter Jacob C. With the ball sailing through the air in front of the opposition goals, Jacob courageously ran back into a pack and marked it. Amazingly though the ball rebounded back again as Jacob yet again ran back and marked the ball in front of his opponent. He cleared the ball out as the seconds ticked down and the siren sounded to end the game. Our fourth win for the year by five points against a quality opposition.
To say that I’m incredible proud of this playing group would be an understatement. It’s been a bit of a tough year for everyone but to finish the season off in the way we did really proves that this team is on the verge off something special going forward into 2020.
Insane game boys, you kept the best for last. You proved it to yourselves and your fellow teammates.
East Sandy 4. 5-29