|De La Salle||3||3||21|
We are getting incredibly used to the slippery conditions to open the day on a Saturday morning as the dewy ground takes a quarter or so to dry up.
The Guns have been playing some brilliant football in our new grade and were looking for a third successive win against Wattle Park, a team we faced in our first practice match back in March, they were able to challenge us on that day and whilst we don’t know the final score, we would have found ourselves behind in the conclusion.
Given the conditions, the opening 20 minutes was a real scrap, both teams evenly matched and super competitive around the ball, not giving either an inch. Whilst no one was able to get a goal on the board to quarter time, it felt as though we had the majority of the game in our half of the ground without being able to set up enough meaningful opportunities in front of the goals to score. We went into a quarter time with only point scored in the game being our lead.
The effort was brilliant as was the tackling pressure, we were confident that once the conditions begun to dry up, if we hung in there, things would start to turn our way. We went away from our run and carry in the second quarter, producing more stagnant ball movement and were found to be second to the ball, particularly in the back half of the quarter. Our midfield group was considerably younger and outsized compared with their opponents, with the average age of our inside midfield group being 19 years of age, with Maddy Bamert, Lucy Papp, Jules Luth, Poppy Palma and Ellie Poon. One or two of the Animals midfielders begun to takeover the game and started setting up opportunities for them. A great chase from the skipper Grace McDonell nearly resulted in the saving goal, only for a stray hand over the shoulder resulting in a free kick against. The inside 50 kick which came from that setup a disappointing mark over the back for the first goal of the game going to the opposition.
Half time was an opportunity to reset, and challenge our team to get back to what was working for us which was our ability to run and carry, forcing the opposition to defend, rather than kicking the ball in hope to our forward line and giving the ball back to the opposition.
The third quarter looked much more like us and our best footy, as we created opportunities forward of the ball, as our defensive group continued to hold up. A half time positional switch saw Jess Coleman go back to CHB and Izy Catrice go to CHF, this paid dividends for us at both ends, with JCole playing a brilliant second half in defence, repelling opposition attacks regularly and setting up attacking opportunities for us, whilst Izy created a great target forward of the ball when our midfielders were running forward with the ball.
One of the great things about this team is seeing the development of all our players but seeing the confidence of our players playing footy for the first time growing has been brilliant, one of these examples is Amanda ‘Slopes’ Cordeiro who has thrived in recent weeks, her agility and athletic ability has helped her on the field and on Saturday she played her best game which culminated in what was nearly a contested mark inside 50 before drawing a free kick in front of goal and converting her first goal in footy, a great moment which gave the guns a boost. Moments later, she put herself into a vulnerable position going for a contested ball and had a head clash with an opposition player resulting in an unfortunate concussion to her opponent, she bounced up and and whilst ruled out of the remainder of the game, you could see her confidence grow from that moment. Another example of this development was on show in the second half was from Phoebe Obrien who played a terrific third quarter in particular in defence, attacking everything coming her way and showing some finesse by foot going forward. It is great to see our players developing their footy and enjoying their first experiences of the game.
Following the aforementioned concussion issue which delayed the game a number of minutes, we had a 3 minute period prior to the ¾ time break with scores level. However in the dying moments we were able to open the game up and find some space in the forward pocket where a composed Lucy Papp was able to collect the footy, balance herself onto her right foot and finish perfectly to give us a lead, we went into the final break with a 7 point lead.
Wattle Park despite being down on players were super competitive all the way to the end, challenging the Guns around the ball all day. In the end the difference in the game, particularly the last quarter was Maddy Bamert, playing only her second game for the season, she produced a terrific game, prepared to break lines and take the game on through the middle of the ground, this was on show on a number of occasions as she ran through the forward 50 thanks to a great shepherd and was able to finish in front of goal to extend our margin. As had been the way all day though, we couldn’t shake the Animals that easy. They were able to get out the back and score on a couple of occasions to draw within a point with 4 minutes left on the clock.
There were some nervous moments as one of their small forward was streaming towards an open forward line at some incredible speed, although when attempting to kick, she wasn’t able to compose herself and find a target due to the De La pressure. Their final opportunity came with moments to go until the ball got to a couple of our young guns in Julia Luth and Maddy Bamert who managed to move the ball outside of our D50 and to the boundary on the club house side as the final siren sounded.
A terrific effort from all of our guns as we lost a couple of players to injury in the second half, those still on the field were able to rally and run the game out as the resulted ended up in our favour, seeing us now with three consecutive wins, a confident group and one that is working hard to continue to get better and see where the season may take us.
With one more week before the King’s Birthday bye weekend, we face Old Carey who have been a strong team through the first 7 weeks, but a win would see the guns get to the half way mark of the season inside the top 4, despite starting in Division 3, this would be a brilliant effort and would set up the second half of our season!
We are looking forward to the next challenge in primetime at 2pm next Saturday afternoon at the Carey Sports Complex.
|May 27, 2023||9:20 am||Womens||2023||7|
|Waverley Oval, 425 Waverley Rd, Malvern East VIC 3145|