MEN’S AFL – BLACK DIAMOND CUP REPORT
Cardiff Hawks v Terrigal Avoca Panthers
By Coach Nathan Harkness
On an absolute beautiful day for footy, Grand Final day was played at No1 Sports ground. It was a huge day for the Hawks, 3rd grade won the reserves premiership over Killarney Vale and 1st grade were up against minor premieres Terrigal Avoca.
From the opening bounce you could feel the players urgency in the contest. Jack Lennon kicked the first goal and we were off to a great start. But like all good sides the panthers kicked the next three goals and looked to be on top early. With Nick Chapman kicking a goal from the next centre bounce we hit back on the scoreboard.
Trent Thompson kicked one from outside 50 and with Tom Yensch kicking a goal after the first quarter siren we went into the first change with a nice little 2 point lead. The second quarter Liam Gibson and Tom Quade kicked a goal each but a ten minute lapse of pressure opened the door for Terrigal and they kicked the next four goals.
15 points down at the main break we re-assessed our effort and endeavour. We just needed to get back and play true Grand Final footy.
At the ten minute mark of the third we got the margin back to one point, but like the second quarter we dropped off our pressure and Terrigal kicked the next four goals of the quarter. Terrigal didn’t give us an inch and we needed to apply more pressure at the contest and make the most of our opportunities.
With the biggest Cardiff crowd cheering for us to get back into the game I brought the team over to the Cardiff faithful and gave the team an old fashion rev up. We put Marcus de Leur in the ruck, big Yensch one out down forward and Liam Gibson down back. This nearly paid off as we kicked the only goals in the last quarter but unfortunately lost the big game by 9 points.
Simon O’Brien led from the front all game. Simon was outstanding in the middle and was well supported by Mattie Vukovich, Marcus de Leur and Nick Chapman.
Trent Thompson played a super game. Trent has improved in nearly every game this year and is the cream of the crop in the BDAFL.
Down back, Bryce Graetz was again brilliant. Bryce played such an important role for the team and took many courageous marks and kept his opponent to minimum possessions. Zac Metcalfe, Chad Mayo and David O’Donnell were also very solid in defence. This back line is only going to get stronger with the more games these boys play together.
Elliott Davey Medal winner Tom Yensch was superb in the ruck and when moved forward was a massive target for us. Tom has had a super year and is such a versatile player in the Black Diamond Cup.
Up forward, Tom Quade, Jack Lennon and Jack Pratt were tremendous in the front half for us and each had a ripping finals campaign.
Finally, I would personally like to say how proud I am of all the boys this year, this also includes all the 3rd grade players. We played 43 players through 1st grade this season, which is a massive number and just shows everyone how important reserve grade is at the Cardiff Football Club.
Cardiff Hawks 11.14.80 Terrigal Avoca Panthers 13.11.89
T. Yensch 3, T. Quade 2, J. Lennon, T. Thompson, M. DeLeur, J. Murphy, L. Gibson, N. Chapman
M. DeLeur, C. Mayo, T. Yensch, L. Gibson, S. O’Brien, T. Thompson
MEN’S AFL – RESERVE GRADE REPORT
Cardiff Hawks v Killarney Vale Bombers
By Coach Peter Bleus
It was a rough night on Thursday telling players who had been a part of the team all year that they weren’t selected and something I looked forward to less than a tax audit. But without players missing out, we cannot make it through the year and it’s this kind of self sacrifice that’s respected by the playing group and builds a club.
With the warm sun bathing Newcastle number one, the dew on the ground lay a thick carpet of moisture awakening the rich dark soil to release its heady scent and I was at $1.05 not to cry in my pre game address. The sound of banter as the boys worked together to remove the covers and the faint whistles of junior netball hung and fell in the wind. Last night’s chill still lurked in the shadows like a vampire but had lost its power.
It was a scene of such Australian iconography that it’d pull at the hearts strings more than any QANTAS add pulls at the heart of an Aussie living in London on a gap year. In fact the only the thing that gave me more joy and pain was having to pay entry to get into the ground. But that pain disappeared quickly as Quinny reached forth with the reimbursement provided by Liam at Recruit Now. An early win that was to be matched all around the ground that day.
We’d lost two weeks prior against Killarney Vale in the second semi final comprehensively and came into day the with a minor premiership under our belt and something to prove after they sang their club song on the field. P.S. don’t sing your song on the ground. It’s like giving your worst enemy a box full of hand grenades and saying hold this for a while.
The pre match address by captain and coach set out the plan for the day and the emotion was higher than the back six rows of a Bob Marley cover band gig.
With the blow of the whistle and the first tap won by Clint James, we would have gone deep into our forward line immediately had Scott Hawthorne not knocked the ball directly out of my hands in a contest that I read like Where’s Spot but we moved the ball forward regardless and the day was on. There were few times this year that we have opened the scoring but this was one of them and with the siren signalling the end of the quarter, Jarrod Braybon finished the quarter with a great goal like he finishes a party pie, hungry for one more, as the disciplined use of the zone in our forward line paid off again.
We scored the first goal of the second quarter and the boys worked hard all over the ground. Nic (see you in 10 years Bryce) Kocon at the back and Zac (the lumberjack) Moore up forward worked harder than a double doona on a queen sized bed and covered about as much ground as we gained ascendency. With Aaron (I like goals as much as I like beer) Wivell scoring two for the half and the rest being shared around, we went into the half time break feeling very confident.
They call it the premiership quarter for a reason and we started like the premiers we were to become with Lockie Price gaoling the first major within thirty seconds like you’d gaol an Aussie tourist smuggling 10 kgs of marijuana into Bali in a boogie board bag. With very little thought. A magnificent end to end goal, set up by Healthy Tony Edser which received goal of the day from the Bar TV call team, probably a little brave nine minutes into the third quarter of the first game of the day and our tails were up.
To Killarney Vale’s credit they opened the scoring for the final quarter and came back at us in the final quarter but it would have been a task bigger than a hair ball in Spitz’s shower to come back from their position and we came away with the win.
It’s been hard giving votes every single week this year and something I hate doing but there were standout performances by every single player out there on the day. It was one of the best all team games of football I’ve had the privilege to play in. We did everything that we said that we would do and we did it well.
I’d like to thank every one of the players, coaching staff, committee, volunteers, sponsors and supporters this year for their help and support. It was great to be a part of it.
I couldn’t be prouder of you boys.
Cardiff Hawks 10.10.70 Killarney Vale Bombers 4.10.46
A. Wivell 5, L. Price, P. Bleus, Z. Moore, J. Braybon, J. Coombe
C. James, N. Kocon, Z. Moore, J. Braybon, B. Wold, T. Lashlie