This week the birds fly down the M1 to take on Terrigal Avoca on their home ground.
We are trying to make our starts a real feature of our games and it’s starting to tell. We did start well, however, we just didn’t impact the scoreboard despite several inside 50’s. Terrigal made the most of their first few 50 entries and before long we are two goals down. But, in what is becoming a trademark of the birds we fight back hard and go to the first break with a slender lead.
More tough, hard footy was waiting for us after the break and we had to work hard for every possession. It was only a bit of inexperience here and there that cost us, and we found ourselves behind on the scoreboard, but we were well in this game. A couple of injuries made it hard with our rotations and on a hot day, we lost a bit of momentum as we had to play in unfamiliar positions. It’s a steep learning curve to go from the training track to the playing field and we can very proud of the way our girls go about their work.
We still trailed at the third quarter, but the belief is strong that we can peg the lead back. As has been a feature of our game for some time now our last quarter is often our best no matter what the scoreboard says. And today was no different, we tried and tried and while we did narrow the gap, we just couldn’t quite get over the line.
We had a lot of contributors today but some of our best were Matisse, who was just outstanding, Nikki, Emma, Taylah Grazules and our three debutants Hayley, Sophie and Nicole had wonderful games, also Shez, and Claudia with four goals were great
Coaching this team is one of the most satisfying things I’ve done. The way these players conduct themselves on the field is something the whole club can be proud of.
We get new players to come along and immediately feel like they have been around forever. It’s a reflection of not just our established players but our club in general.
Let’s look forward now to our big ANZAC day clash with our old foe Warner’s Bay.
Cooky and Shez
Cardiff: 5.5 – 35
Terrigal Avoca: 8.6 – 54
Goals: C. Russell 4, T. Grazules
Best Players: M. Coram-Parker, K. Moffatt, N. Standen, E. Hieke, H. Wright, S. Ranken
This week saw our Ressies boys make the trek to Terrigal to take one of the competitions best.
Knowing from the start that the contest was going to be fierce the boys were fantastic in their endeavour to compete and attack the footy. This resulted in the first 2 goals of the game going the way or Hawks. A host of returning players, headlined by Callum Spoor, Matt Dippolito, and Aaron Wivell gave us much-needed polish around the contest and their class showed out.
The second qtr Terrigal stepped up their game and our boys were a little flat-footed, and the next 5 goals went to the Panthers, unanswered. The sheer effort of our guys could not be faulted, however, Terrigal’s ball movement was too good. Some slight positional changes to combat this resulted in A. Wivell bagging his 4th goal before half time and the game was back on even terms.
After the halftime break, Terrigal stepped up a notch again, and kicked another 3 goals in very quick succession. A scoring drought then took hold as Terrigal dropped numbers back in defence, and the Ressies boys just lacked a little bit of polish going forward.
Heading into the last, we knew a monster effort was going to be needed, and the boys responded well by dominating the centre clearances, thanks to new ruckman Tim Keys. Our mids got first use and were able to get the ball forward quickly giving Wivell the opportunity to kick his 5th. Terrigal responded, however, kicking another 4 and running away with the game by 7 goals in the end.
A fantastic effort nonetheless by our boys, and in the end just lacking a little bit of cohesion and structural discipline. Our book ends we’re both outstanding. Aaron Wivell finished with a bag of 5 goals and Hamish Thomson was a rock in defence winning several 2 on 1 battles and coming off his man to help. While Keys, Spoory and Dippa were great through the midfield. Unlucky boys this week boys.
We look ahead now to our highly anticipates Anzac Day match up with Warner’s Bay! Go Hawks!
Cardiff: 6.2 – 38
12.17 – 89
Goals: A. Wivell 5, C. Spoor
Best Players: T. Keys, H. Thomson, C. Spoor, A. Wivell, T. Machart, M. Dippolito
They say in the face of adversity your true character shines through and from the moment our pre-game preparations began the challenges were evident. However, our group showed utter maturity and professionalism to take everything in their stride and they took that into the game when faced with some testing moments.
Knowing how well drilled the Panthers are, we were determined to make them feel pressure like they might not have experienced yet this season given they’d had some one-sided wins coming into this game.
Importantly we were able to maintain that for the whole game, stifling them when it threatened to open up and also finishing running on top of the ground well into the last quarter despite some wounded soldiers.
After an even first half, we were able to kick six goals to two for the rest of the game to give us an important win if we are to challenge for top spot.
Jack Lennon continued his good form in front of goal with five important majors and he looked dangerous every time the footy went near him. He deservingly nabbed the Coach’s Best and Players’ Player Awards.
Luke “Dubbo” Griffiths showed his strength of character when, after spending the morning and right up till game time vomiting, he had to step into the ruck breach solo after Regan Bowe was concussed early in the second quarter. He earnt himself the Ironbark Hill 4.5%er Award for his Herculean effort.
Our post-match 3-2-1 beer cans went to three of our regular onballers Marcus DeLeur, Simon O’Brien and skipper Bryce Graetz who also had more trouble than usual keeping down his Staminade so kindly provided by President Damian Charleson! With important help from second-gamer Declan Hoy-Maroney, the four of them gave us enormous effort out of the middle and around the ground when we needed it most in the second half.
Debutant Daniel Robson was lively every time it went in his area, leaping at everything and making their defensive rebounders nervous with his pressure.
At the other end Jack Pratt was ever-selfless marking up on one of their more dangerous forwards – often left one-out inside 50 – and held him to just two goals. He even snuck forward himself and “stole” a goal…!
Special thanks must go to Cameron “Steamer” Jones and Jared Campbell who took charge of the whiteboard and rotations in the absence of Bilks, and also to Johnny Ryan for putting his hand up to run messages despite already having punched in a few beers after playing Reserve Grade that morning. Their efforts played an integral part in helping me “see” the game and undoubtedly influenced the result.
The challenges keep on coming now with an important ANZAC Day assignment up next at home against rivals Warners Bay after the Easter long weekend. This week will be all about recuperation topped off by a solid conditioning session with Clarkey leading into a well-earned weekend off.
Cardiff: 11.6 – 72
Terrigal Avoca: 7.11 – 53
Goal Scorers: J. Lennon 5, I. Hughes, M. Ryan, J. Pratt, S. O”Brien, N. Tomlinson, P. Delaney
Best Players: J. Lennon, L. Griffiths, M. DeLeur, S. O”Brien, J. Pratt, B. Graetz
Game Day Photos courtesy of Geoff Robinson