|De La Salle||8||12||60|
As the fog descended across Waverley Oval, the Guns were ready to take to the field against the Preston Bullants in the opening game of the Pink Sports Day triple header.
There was plenty to be excited about within our group, having come so close to tasting victory last week, there was a sense of anticipation in the air that our first win was only a couple of hours away.
On top of that, the pink playing kits were a huge hit amongst the guns and as part of their preparation time prior to the coaches pre game chat, a photo shoot had to take place, with all combinations of players on either side of the camera.
The other exciting aspect of the morning was a major milestone for one of our leaders, 50 games in the Blue and Gold for Jen Males a much loved player within our club, ‘The Jenerator’ was her usual, understated self as the attention turned to her pre game with some beautiful words from captain Grace McDonell. Jen has helped to keep this program alive in some challenging times, and it is great that she can now be a part of a thriving guns program with plenty of players and the appetite of our group to continue to get better. Jen is now super determined to get herself to 100 games, a milestone we cant wait to be a part of!
Pre game, the Guns were challenged to run all day, with the advantage of having 24 players, compared with the oppositions 14, there was no reason that we wouldn’t be able to run the entire game out. From the first bounce, there was real intent in what we were doing, moving the ball with speed and into open space. It didn’t take long for us to hit the scoreboard through the ‘Wrecking Ball’ Stevie Hatzis, who kicked her first ever goal to get us underway, following a terrific piece of play from Rachel ‘Scrubs’ Whitelaw. We were generating plenty of chances inside our forward half and after setting up Stevie’s first goal, Rach got on the end of the next one with a perfect finish to get us off to a great start in the opening quarter.
We had our highest score for the season by quarter time and the energy was infectious through the whole group, they were able to identify that a lot of things that we have been working on, most notably what they have named ‘the circle of support’ was working, allowing our ball getters plenty of options to give a handball to a player in space. The game continued in our favour in the second quarter, with the ball spending a lot of time in our forward half, where we generated opportunities, Emma ‘B1’ Carson was a brilliant target for us inside 50, able to mark the ball in the air, bring it to ground and in a number of instances collect the ball on the ground herself. We weren’t able to make the most of our dominance with goals but we defended incredibly well, stopping the opposition from scoring once again.
Stoked with what we had done to that point, there was an understanding that the game was still well and truly on, with just a 4 goal margin separating the two teams.
The way we started the third quarter ensured that the game would be beyond doubt by the final break. Our ball movement and the space inside our forward half allowed 4 goals to be kicked, all from marks inside 50 which shows that the way the ball was coming into our forward 50 was brilliant, and on the end of it was Kym ‘Spicy Rum’ Morgan who put the game beyond doubt with a 3 goal burst in 12 minutes to blow the margin out, her strong hands and confident set shot kicking, saw the bench erupt! Coops also was able to find plenty of space inside forward 50, with one mark just slipping from their grasp at the last moment before an uncontested mark in front of goal saw another goal for them this season, we now have two guns tied as our leading goal kickers for the season!
The last quarter started to become quite scrappy, as players on both teams started to tire, however the Bullants were able to hit the scoreboard for the first time in the game, with a couple of impressive passages of play leading to scores. Meanwhile at the playground end, we were generating chances but weren’t able to take any as the forward line became crowded.
With 15 minutes to go, our 50 gamer was given one simple instruction as she ran back out onto the ground. “You are going to full forward and you have 15 minutes to kick me a goal!” Whilst she cut the timing fine, it was one of the highlights of the day watching Jen run away from a number of opponents towards goal, ‘touch’ the ball on the ground and then put it straight over the goal umpires head! She only had 13 teammates on the ground at the time, but the celebration was huge and the excitement on the bench was just as significant, there was no more appropriate way for Jen to get the goal in game #50!
The siren sounded with the Guns 7 goals clear having landed our first win of season 2023. There was plenty of joy within the group, and certainly some relief as well as Rach Whitelaw and Jess Carson carried the 50 gamer off Waverley Oval to a great reception from plenty of De La people, with many of the mums in attendance including Jen’s mum who had flown in for the game!
We sung the song with 9 players in the middle of the circle singing the song for the first time, a great moment, one we hope to replicate many more times now before the season is complete!
|May 13, 2023||9:40 am||Womens||2023||5|
|Waverley Oval, 425 Waverley Rd, Malvern East VIC 3145|