Cardiff Hawks v Nelson Bay Marlins

By Coach Nathan Harkness

Preliminary final against Nelson Bay at No. 1 Sports Ground was a solid performance all round.

After getting our pants pulled down last week against Terrigal Avoca in our Semi Final we were determined to turn our effort around and secure a spot in the biggest day of the year, The Grand Final!

Photo courtesy of Illustro Photography

After our Inspirational Captain Simon O’Brien arrived at the ground from marrying Lady Hawk Cat O’Brien we were ready to get the show on the road.

Nelson Bay kicked the first goal within a minute of the opening bounce. But you could sense that the boys were here to play. We kicked the next 3 goals and went into the first break with a small but handy lead.

The second quarter was another tough battle with only four goals kicked between both sides. Although we felt we were on top and the scoreboard showed, we knew that the Marlins were not going away without a fight.

The second half again proved to be our best. Captain O’Brien kicked a sensational goal from forty out, the crowd went berserk and the game was as good as done. We ended up kicking ten goals to five in the second half eventually winning the game by 61points and securing a place in the big dance.

Simon O’Brien was outstanding in the middle, a massive day on and off the field for this champion.

Jack Lennon was again simply brilliant. Jack is playing disciplined aggressive footy and casing absolute havoc for the opposition. Jack kicked three goals and created many more for the team.

Kieren Bellemore stepped up to a new level and played his best game thus far for the Cardiff Football Club. Kieren showed his ability to win the contested ball and drive the ball forward punishing the Marlins at every opportunity.

Tom Quade was awesome, crashing packs kicking goals and being a competitive beast. We love seeing Tom play like this and look forward to seeing this form against Terrigal.

Zac Metcalfe returned from work commitments with a bang and was outstanding in defence. Zac controlled the defence throughout the game and was pivotal in Marlins low score card.

Bryce Graetz played a vital role in defence playing on one of Nelson’s Bay best forwards. Bryce was able to negate this forward but also winning many important balls and making great decisions going forward.

Andrew Walker played a solid role throughout the midfield and is a force to be reckoned with in the contest.

Brandt Job looked at home in defence and gelled well with Chad Mayo, Dave O’Donnell and John O’Regan.


Final Score:
Cardiff Hawks 16.13.109 Nelson Bay Marlins 7.6.48

Goal Kickers:
J. Lennon 3, J. Murphy 3, T. Yensch 3, T. Quade 2, T. Thompson 2, L. Gibson, S. O’Brien, K. Bellemore

Best Players: 
S. O’Brien, K. Bellemore, J. Lennon, M. DeLeur, T. Yensch, T. Quade


Cardiff Hawks v Warners Bay Bulldogs

By Captain Tony Edser

After re-grouping and training hard following our Grand Final qualifying loss to the bombers, the mighty Hawks turned up at Number 1 Sportsground ready to take on the dogs in a blockbuster of a Preliminary Final. The Grand Final awaited the winner, while the loser had an earlier than expected Mad Monday commitment to attend. After an emotional Coaches pre game talk, the boys warmed up with intensity, voice, purpose, and a sense of pride. It was an amazing speech.

The first Quarter started as expected with both teams getting early chances, heads over the ball, and a furious pace. We kicked the first goal of the game on a day where majors were hard to buy. It was an arm wrestle with both teams allowing the opposition uncontested marks (we can’t do this on Saturday) but with little conversion on the scoreboard. A goal at the half way stage of the second quarter from the captain who had more strapping then a mummy blew the score out in Cardiff’s favour only for the Dogs to claw it back with quick consecutive goals. This would be the only time in the game they would lead. A Wivell special, not his Friday night Pizza and garlic bread order, right on half time, gave the hawks a slight lead in a tense half of footy.

Uncontested football, no inside 50 pressure, and the inability to kick the ball over half forward saw the bulldogs dominate the hawks in the opening 10 minutes of the quarter. Fortunately for us all the possession, and inside 50’s only resulted in 6 behinds to the opposition. Crumber Jesse Coombes scored a couple against the run of play that saw the momentum of the game change and the oppositions head’s drop. Consecutive goals saw the score blow out to a 4 goal margin just before three quarter time which was crucial in the end result.

The final quarter saw both teams run off their feet. It was a tense opening 5 minutes before a head clash stopped the game for several minutes which felt like an entirety. The difference between winning for Warners Bay and losing was converting. Every time they kicked a behind we made them pay at the other end or held possession.

The sound of the fulltime siren was arguably the sweetest sound of all time. Jubilation, tears, and the realisation that we were off to the big dance hit home pretty hard for most players, especially the older ones. The team song with the kids is something personally I will never forget.

Grand Final week. Hopefully a week we will never forget. The miles are in the legs, the laps have been clocked and the second and third efforts have been on show all year. A Flag/ a Grand Final/ A premiership will mean different things to every one of you. Regardless of what this would mean to you, one thing is guaranteed. A premiership can never be taken away from you. Regardless what you do the rest of your life you will be a premiership player for the greatest club of all

Dare to dream


Final Score:
Cardiff Hawks 8.7.55 Warners Bay Bulldogs 4.15.39

Goal kickers:
A. Wivell 2, J. Coombe 2, H. O’Neill, J. Clements, Z. Moore, T. Edser

Best players:
R. Bowe, N. Kocon, B. Wold, C. James, S. Wolfenden, J. Coombe