The Guns rolled up at Canterbury Sports Ground, ready to strike against the Cobras for a second time. I had a good feeling, the sun was out and there was something in the air. A victory was looming.
The Umpire’s bounce was 2 minutes shy of noon, and we were off.
The first Quarter was spent on the Guildford Rd side of the ground, everybody clearly avoiding the swamp that was the center square. The Sports ground is half the size of our beloved Basil St so you can imagine the pack football that ensued. Despite agreeing to play 16-a-side, even the umpire was getting fed up with ball-up after ball-up. However, once the Guns were able to clear the football from the pack, we were dangerous.
A special thanks to Bridie, Tess, Maggie and Em Becker, who threw on a jersey to come fight for the Guns. With their help we had a full bench and with fresh legs, we are unstoppable. Rachel Whitelaw showed us what happens when she turns the jets on; Rach caught the cobras holding-the-ball more than once, probably more than twice. Her speed and masterful tackles are unmatched. That’s not all, she topped off a great performance by kicking a goal while on the run.
It was the second quarter when we opened up the game and started playing in the mud. Despite the sticky and slippery terrain, we managed to pull off a few switches of play, finally utilizing the other side of the ground. I always thought cobra snakes preferred a swampy habitat, but not this quiver of cobras. On more than one occasion there were Guns left unmanned in the swampy, center square, and we used it to our advantage. Grace McDonnell was one of those lone rangers on the wing, she was the key that unlocked the door to our forward 50. She called for the switch, then delivered the football neatly to Bridie McConville, who finished it off with a goal.
Halftime saw the Guns in front with a 53 point margin and the Cobras, scoreless.
The Third Quarter was tough, the Cobras came out rougher and tougher than before. They were quicker to wrap up the Guns, resulting in more and more stoppages and pack situations. While this was frustrating, we got to see some great passages of play; Podge (Paige Hinrichs) popped around the back for the quick handball out and kicked 2 goals. While Jess Carson used her strength and stamina to tackle hard and run harder, she appeared at almost every stoppage and when she’s not doing all that, she’s throwing words of encouragement to the team. Canterbury scored 2 points in the quarter, a testament to our backline who were accountable for their players and protective of the space.
The final quarter saw the Guns kick another 2 goals while keeping the Cobras scoreless for the remainder of the game. When all was said and done, and we were covered in mud and bruises the final siren sounded.
Today we came out full of fury and frustration as we’d learned of the news surrounding the abortion laws in the U.S. Both the Guns and Cobras wore pink arm bands and hair ribbons in a stand for Women’s rights.
Though we had just fought against the cobras in a fiercely competitive game of football, we all stood together with arms around each other, in solidarity for all women everywhere. We acknowledged how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful country and to play a sport that we all love so much.
Canterbury 0.2.2 DeLa Salle 7.8.50