|De La Salle||1||4||10|
The Guns show was taken on the road for round 4 as we headed to Kensington to take on UHS-VU in our first game in Division 4.
We arrived in Kensington with a swimming pool in the middle of the ground and some dreary conditions surrounding the ground.
Throughout the week the enthusiasm was high, with the re grading process completed. We ran out full of confidence and with a full squad assembled including our 11th debutant of the season Maddy ‘SOX’ Bamert.
Mads played a terrific game, predominantly through the middle of the ground where she was clean in very tricky conditions.
The opening quarter was a scrap, a tone setter for the way the remainder of the game played out. In tricky conditions, it was the cleanest team that would own the game, in the initial stages we did this really well and had some opportunities inside our forward 50.
Coops and Stevie looked super dangerous in the forward half and both drew opportunities in front of goal, but we weren’t quite able to convert. We felt confident going into the second quarter that we would remain competitive and give ourselves every chance of winning.
Having not converted our chances in the opening half, UHS-VU began to get on top around the ball and were able to convert in front of goal prior to half time. There were however some brilliant efforts through the second quarter.
Our defence held up brilliantly throughout the entire game, as always, led by the experienced heads of Michelle Bourke, Grace Mcdonell and Izy Catrice who was a very welcome return from covid! Moving the ball from end to end in the conditions proved challenging so it became an incredibly contested game. Head and shoulders above in this area was Poppy Palma, small in stature, her intensity at the ball and preparedness to put herself in harms way gave us opportunities to move the ball forward, unfortunately despite all the hard work of the midfield group, there was little reward going into half time.
There were still plenty of positives going into half time, trailing by 4 points and feeling like we were in the game around the contest, the confidence remained high. We came out in the third quarter doing a lot right, looking for the breakthrough. It felt as though we had plenty of chances going forward, but our ability to finish was deserting us. Unfortunately, despite periods of dominance on our side, the opposition were able to run down the other end and score what was probably a little bit of an easy goal late in the quarter. To say there was some frustrating moments in that quarter would be an understatement, we had to go out of our way to protect our teammates, Poppy, in particular getting a lot of aggressive attention around the ball thanks to her first half dominance. Our third quarter pressure remained high, led by our midfield group and followed in by our forwards, most notably Kirsties pressure resulting in a holding the ball free kick. As Kirstie put the pressure on, her opponent looked to be getting away, but Kirstie wasn’t giving up and a strong forward 50 tackle resulted in an opportunity in front of goal.
This moment typified the effort and intensity of the guns throughout the entire game, despite the tricky conditions.
Throughout the preseason and in small sided games at training, there has been evidence of the competitive streak of this group, this was once again on display at ¾ time, frustrated with the treatment of their teammate and intent on going out and running down the deficit in the final quarter, the Guns were hellbent on doing what they could to reel in the 10 point deficit and win their first game of the year.
The opposition made the final quarter a real scrap, we had most of the play in our forward half in the opening 10-12 minutes of the final quarter, until Grace Martin was able to get a set shot probably a little beyond her distance. However, she took the coaches instructions of being brave and have the confidence to do anything, as she ran straight past the player on the mark and flushed her kick at goal to kick her first goal in footy just 4 games in! All of a sudden, we trailed by 4 points with 7 or 8 minutes to go. For the following 2-3 minutes, we had the ball exclusively in our forward half, but it became crowded and made it hard to score.
Then the ball went to the other end and a couple of behinds were scored, making the margin 6 points. By this point, the best we could hope for was a draw, but we weren’t able to get into another scoring position before the siren sounded.
Post game, a sense that this was an opportunity missed, but an understanding that we are where we belong, and we will be super competitive in every single game that we play for the remainder of the season.
Despite a challenging first month of the season, the Guns spirits are incredibly high as we look to the next couple of months with optimism of competing week in and week out and seeing the wins come along with that. We continue to add to our squad, now currently at 32 players, now creating competition for spots for the first time in the history of the Guns, which will only see us improve as the season goes on.
As a group, we cannot wait for Saturday to roll around as we take on Preston at home in the first game of the triple header before the Mother’s Day lunch, we are hoping to see a big contingent of Blue and Gold at the club on Saturday to watch the game and get us to our first win of the season. We will see you there!
|May 6, 2023||9:20 am||Womens||2023||4|
|JJ Holland Park|
|Childers Street, Kensington|