Excitement has been building for the U19 Golds. With a solid pre-season and a couple of practice matches under their belts, the day had arrived to start the season proper against Oakleigh at our home ground.
With numerous first gamers and some new faces in the coaching group, the boys ran out onto a drizzle affected turf with an uncharacteristic South Easterly wind favouring the playground end. Leading up to the game we were hoping for some clean link up ball movement, but it soon became evident that the game was going to be played at ground level and a contest of strength and territory.
First quarter saw some tight defending from our boys as Oakleigh took full advantage of the wind and made numerous forward entries. In the second quarter DeLa were able to shift momentum in their favour. Clearances out of the middle together with some grunt around the stoppages allowed the forwards to put on some much needed score board pressure.
The game continued to ebb and flow, but it was becoming a very tight arm wrestle with both teams hard at it, and very evenly matched. The last quarter went right down to the wire with Oakleigh taking the points by kicking a goal in the dying moments of game. It would be fair to say that there were some moments in the game that were out of the players control. Pleasingly the effort and commitment was a highlight from all players, which is a great sign for the season ahead.
The game did have its moments of missed opportunites, particularly in regards to the high number of forward entries that did not result in shots at goal. The team will need to work on this aspect of the game, and we are confident this will be an area of improvement and growth.
Score: Oakleigh 6-9-45 def DeLa 5-9-39
Goal Kickers: Ganavas 2, Abrahams 2, Duncan 1
Best Players: Torey-Toth, McNidder, Ganavas, Bullard, Lanigan, Lawless, Hopkins