Finals Footy!! What a great way to finish off our season with the Lightning Carnival. An opportunity for the boys to experience the atmosphere that comes at the end a footy season knowing that they have all put in their best, learnt a lot, formed new friendships, and worked hard as a team.
There wouldn’t be a match report written in Melbourne this weekend that didn’t mention the arctic weather, and whilst we copped a few strong rain showers, our schedule of games in the middle of the day helped us feel a little bit warmer – well sort of! The boys definitely got to experience some true winter footy conditions and a good amount of mud.
We had three cracking games scheduled for the Lightning Carnival up at JL Murphy Reserve in Port Melbourne, with us lining up against East Malvern, Mordi-Braeside, and another match up with St Peters who we’d had a couple of great games against during the regular season.
The boys all trickled onto the ground to find our marquee after driving around trying to find a park. The atmosphere was electric with all the kids from all the various teams all excited to be there and the benefit of a large supporter group of families and friends.
In the first game against East Malvern, we had the benefit of the stiff southerly, but as has been the case during the year, we got off to a slow start and weren’t able to make use of it the way we would like. The change of routine and pre-match build up I’m sure had the boys a bit less focused than normal, but that’s what great teams in the finals are able to overcome. We had lots of great play around the ground but couldn’t get enough numbers to the ball or enough hard efforts to get on top of East Malvern and they were able to score against the wind making it tougher for us in the second half. We started to make headway in the second, but with Malvern with their tails up we did really well in defence to close them down and started to get into attacking mode with some run to close out the game well.
We had a 30 minute break before our next game against Mordi-Brae, which was just enough time for the boys to regroup, refuel and refocus before heading back out. It was clear the first game was an aberration, and the team immediately got into their rhythm and were able to set the tone of the game in the style we favor – Hard at the ball, fast ball movement, strong tackling, great marking & awesome teamwork. There were great efforts all around the ground and strong contributions from everyone. We were able to score well at both ends of the ground in the wet and windy conditions and it was a great game to watch.
The final game against St Peters was set to be a ripper. We’d had great matches against them during the year and were looking forward to another. We took the momentum from the previous game and started off well playing with wind, however St Peters were holding down great defence and we were finding it hard to get through the last light of defence. The game was a mix of tight contests broken with strong bursts forward from each team – both trying to assert their authority. It was only at half time we had realised that neither team had scored in a well fought out half. In the second we wanted to go all out attack as we we’re up against it against the wind. The adversity brought out the best in the boys again and we were making headway with several shots on goal, but only resulting in minor scores. St Peters then moved the ball well and were able to put on two late goals against the flow of play which kept us out of it after a well contested game. A fantastic performance from both teams.
We finished off the day with a rousing rendition of the Club Song.
It might be the end of a wonderful first season for these champions, but it is still just the beginning and I hope they all have many more years of footy, fun & friendship.
TEAMWORK PASSION FUN RESPECT