With Lachlan Cowell and Zac Fuleky out, we were two short from Round 1, thankfully we had Jorge Houridis and Angus Cameron fit and hungry to play. And Lachie, being the consummate team player was on hand to lend support and to be the statistician on the bench.
The CHOGS team were last years U14 Div 4 flag winners and this game was their first home game for the season. To mark the occasion their Club President gave a rousing address to both teams before kick-off. It certainly did the trick for Benjo Wells as he exploded off his wing with a fast running left foot beauty within 30 seconds of the bounce. A minute later and another major from a left footer, this time off the boot of Will Tuffley. Another two minutes of structured dominance and Ethan Liu slotted one home to make it 0-18. GLORIOUS.
A super solid back six provided the platform – Ed Cassidy and Sam Palmer providing height and intercepting marks, Jorge Houridis and Kane Wilson dominating physically and Mitch Gathercole and Charlie Clarkson calm under pressure and providing options. Zac Z in the ruck was up against a 6’5” leaper, yet with Ethan L, Jack K and Will T working hard at ground level, we were mopping up effectively. Right across the oval our contest, structure and intensity were on display. We added another 3 goals (Presley McLeish, Kane Wilson helping themselves).
Quarter time (0.1) 1 vs (6.2) 38
CHOGS had the wind in Q2 and were up and about but we were holding strong with Grippo-Gathercole sticking a great contested mark. Eventually the CHOGS pressure paid off and they got their first goal for the day, 5 minutes into Q2. That only served to stir our boys up and with some hard running, sure hands and quick transitions through the middle the points and goals started coming. Kane Wilson goaled, Kennedy upped the intensity with a wrapping tackle inviting his opposition to eat a mouthful of grass. Having some sympathy for the lad, he was offered one of our water bottles to rinse his mouth out, but the bottle was cheap and as hard as he squeezed, no water made its way out of the spout and he was left to eat dirt – it was ruthless footy!
Back to business. Cameron knocked in another major. Kennedy with fast hands fed Hare who goaled. Rock n Roll footy with Presley to Presley and GOAL. Whenever CHOGS thought they had escaped their half then we had players like Jorge making 1st, 2nd, 3rd efforts. Kennedy was in Eddie Betts territory with a no look over the left shoulder snap to snag another major and after great distribution from Adam Doyle, Kane Wilson slotted another one through the up-rights on the buzzer of half time.
Half time score (1.1) 7 vs (11.8) 74
It’s a credit to Ryan and the coaching team that they kept the boys focused and disciplined at halftime. The team talk was a reflection of the core football philosophy of the team;
Win the ball (tick),
Shape (Good but can improve),
Fast and furious (tick).
Ryan also introduced more nuanced concepts such as “boys, hold your ring and you’ll get more space” the boys didn’t bat an eyelid. I on the other hand (not being local) was left scratching my head and feeling a little queasy.
With some positional changes made the boys continued Q3 where they left off. Set shot accuracy was perhaps coming off the boil with 5 minors, but the pressure applied through the aforementioned structure (the ring thing) was telling and McLeish and Kennedy each goaled. There were telling Tuffley tackles, James Usain Hare screamed away from his tagger and we saw some lovely defensive clearance plays from Eddie Davies.
Three Quarter time score (1.1) 7 vs (13.13) 91
During the final quarter the boys began to tire a little – not surprising with a bench of 1 – and CHOGS found some reward for their effort, nailing 3 majors. It could have been more had Zac Z not been so solid at the back. Our boys continued to apply pressure and displayed desire all over the park resulting in goals for McLeish, Kennedy, Hare, Kane and Zac Zeising.
Big effort. Big Win. No injuries. We’ll take that every day of the week. Well done boys!
Final Score (4.1) 25 vs (18.15) 123
Awards went to: Zac Z, Benjo W, Presley McL and Jack K.
Hardnut award went to Ethan L.
Regards, The Pommie Pie.