This week was a special one for the Cardiff Hawks Football Club as we open our new home ground, The Pasterfield Sporting Complex.
A change in timing meant that the Birds would be the first Cardiff Footy team to run out on to the new nest. The importance of this was not lost on our girls, you could feel the excitement build through the jumper presentation then reached fever pitch as Arizona Cross was handed her jumper to celebrate 100 games for Cardiff. An outstanding achievement and well celebrated by her team mates , we are all so proud of her.
Our first home game is against the Nelson Bay Marlins who have been a real force in the competition since the women’s comp began but last year had an horrific injury toll which has left their list pretty thin.The game got under way in very slippery conditions as a heavy dew covered the grass making for a lot of skill errors as both teams tried to deal with the conditions. The Marlins couldn’t field a full side so in the spirit of fair play and to give the Marlins a game we loaned 3 players to them.
Big thanks to Abbey Cooksley, Abbey Martini and Lily Skeet for donning the blue and gold. Despite a scrappy first quarter we had many forward 50 entries and many shots on goal, but the slippery ball was proving tricky leading to several misses however we take an early lead to the first break.
With our extra numbers we managed to kick away in the second quarter. However, the Marlins are a proud cub and despite playing short they were having a real crack and our mids had to work hard for everything they got. Slowly we edged away further and lead comfortably at half time.The third quarter was probably our best as we started to take a bit more control. We were being well served through the mids by Shez , Tayla Wilks and our mighty ruck duo Taylah Grazules and Claudia with our wingers Bri , Elise and Min Bailey getting plenty of it.
The last quarter was still hard work as the Marlins just wouldn’t give up and we’re well served by the Cardiff trio who gave their all for their team on the day. It was a solid win for us in the end and we can bank a lot of positives out of the game to use in the coming weeks. In a pretty solid performance we were well served by of course Arizona who showed great maturity to push aside the emotion of the big occasion to play
another starring role for us and Matisse Coram/ Parker stepped in in the absence of Sam Kelly and take the vice captains role , the future for the birds looks bright with such fine players coming through.
Congratulations to our debutants who all showed that they will be great contributors throughout the season, Kate Moffatt (2 goals), Hanna Moffatt, Liz Clark, Kyra Eason and Nicole Avis. Welcome aboard.See you all next week as we take on Terrigal / Avoca in what will be a great test for us.Cheers
Cooks and Shez
Cardiff: 10.15 – 75
Nelson Bay: 2.1 – 13
Goals: A. Cross 3, K. Moffatt 2, C. Russell 2, M. Coram-Parker, B. Morten, T. Grazules
Best Players: A. Cross, S. Vukovich, I. Jones, A. McRae, T. Grazules, C. Russel
What a way to kick start the new year!
The first quarter began with one of our veterans in Tony Edser showing that even a 6am drive from Sydney, couldn’t stop him giving our midfielders first use. This led to the Ressies boys piling on a 5 goal first quarter. The potent forward line boasting Steamer Jones, Brendon Wold and Matty Kenny was always going to tough for Maitland to stop and the latter having his name etched in Cardiff history kicking the first ever Reserve Grade goal at the brilliant new Pasterfield Sporting Complex.
The second qtr. followed a similar trend. The Ressies boys were first to the ball all day led by first gamer William Shippo who excelled on the wing showcasing his pace and tackling pressure. He was able supported by Maxi Kozlik who played well above his size all day and operated with excellent skills.
With the heat and fatigue starting to kick in, the Saints quickly foaled and just like that their tails were up. Well done to all the boys for identifying the situation and our one on one pressure kicked in. Returning players Chris Davies and Hamish Thomson led by example and were outstanding in beating their direct opponents, rebounding and executing the switch to perfection on multiple occasions.
In the end the Ressies boys proved too strong, taking the game by 7 goals. As a coach I couldn’t be prouder of the way the boys executed our game-plan, the determination to stop their direct opponent and hunt the ball in numbers. A big test next week against the always strong Terrigal.
A big thank you to Marine, Tayla and Celeste for running water! You the real MVPs.
Well done Hawkies! 🦅
Cardiff: 11.10 – 76
Maitland: 4.8 – 32
Goals: C. Jones 4, B. Wold 4, D. Robson, J. Stevenson, D. Stewart
Best Players: C. Jones, M. Kenny, C. Wivell, C. Davies, D. Robson, M. Kozlik
Well it’s fair to say life at the new nest got off on the right foot on Saturday with a beautiful Autumn day topped off by three resounding wins.
The atmosphere walking into our new home was simply fantastic and it didn’t take long for the boys to settle in after a positive build-up in the rooms off the back of our two debutants Luke Griffiths and Declan Hoy-Maroney and a slick warmup under Clarkey.
The message before the game was to remain grateful and humble given the hard work done by many to give us the privilege of enjoying such an outstanding venue and the boys were determined to get a win for all those who’d been and gone before them and missed out on that privilege.
Knowing we would be missing some personnel this week we were able to blood some players in last week’s tough encounter with Killarney Vale and it showed early with young Connor Edwards doing an absolute blanket job on one of their dangerous forwards who kicked five against City last week.
Izaac Hughes, in only his second year of footy, was best afield kicking three in the first quarter on his way to 10 for the day. He was simply unstoppable in the air and on the ground with his powerful leg work and also earned himself the Players’ Player award.
New recruit Pat Delaney was simply everywhere (responding emphatically to some gentle late night Greenroof advice from 300-gamer Liam Gibson last weekend!).
Fittingly, favourite son Jack Pratt was stand-in skipper in our first outing at the new nest in the absence of Bryce Graetz, and led superbly with his intercept marking, tackling, yap and sure-footed defensive rebounds.
Tom Lashlie also gut-ran the game out well given the hot conditions and wide expanses of our new ground and earnt himself the Ironbark Hill “4.5%er Award”.
In the end, it wouldn’t have mattered who we were playing, the boys were simply up for the task and the feeling at three-quarter time was to remain humble whilst being ruthless and to adhere to what we had set out to do at the start of the day.
If there’s such a thing as grinding out a win in such a big victory then we certainly did that in terms of practicing good habits under conditions where it would have been very easy to rest on our laurels in the second half.
The challenge now becomes to follow that up with an equally honest and passionate performance next weekend, matching that intensity for four quarters at an away venue.
Well done to everyone on a successful debut of Pasterfield Sports Complex and thank you to every single person past and present who helped get us there. The family club now has a home.
Cardiff: 26.13 – 169
Maitland: 3.5 – 23
Goal Scorers: I. Hughes 10, B. Job 4, J. Lennon 3, M. Ryan 2, P. Delaney, D. Hoy-Maroney, T. Hawthorne, H. O”Neill, L. Gibson, T. Thompson, Z. Cross
Best Players: I. Hughes, P. Delaney, J. Pratt, T. Lashlie, J. Lennon, S. O”Brien
Game Day Photos courtesy of Geoff Robinson