This week the Birds return home to Cameron Park to take on Newcastle City in a clash we are all looking forward to. We have been getting closer to the top teams in the comp and we approached this game with a great deal of confidence.
The first quarter was very a very tight contest with both teams hard at the ball and applying pressure at every contest. Once again, our mid field were doing their job well against a top-quality opponent. We were matching them at going inside fifty and just a couple of wayward shots on goal gave the visitors a narrow lead at the first break.
Cardiff 0 / 4 / 4 to 3 / 1 / 19.
Despite being behind on the scoreboard we knew we were right in the game and we flew out after the break and quickly piled on three goals through Hayley and Arizona. We were playing some really good footy and were able to keep pace with our rivals and even get our noses in front approaching half time. Tayla G, Shez, Allie and Nikki were all going great, but our defence was simply outstanding against a star-studded forward line with Matisse doing a complete shut down on the outstanding Sarah Halvorson. Nicola Walker, Eloise, Sam K and Ellisse were also making life very difficult for the blues forwards. We win the quarter but go in just behind.
Half time Cardiff 3 / 4 / 22 to 5 / 2 / 32.
The third quarter was just as tough with only one goal apiece for the quarter. Emma was proving what a talent she is with her versatility; we were able to play her in the ruck as well as hold down a key defensive role. Others to impress were our two new wingers Sophie and Kate and of course Bri.
Cardiff 4 / 5 / 29 to 6 / 5 / 41.
Try as we might we just couldn’t peg back the lead with injuries to Eva and the devastating sight of Arizona carried off on a stretcher with what looks like a serious knee injury, left our forward stocks a bit thin. We didn’t get over the line in the end, but I honestly believe we matched them everywhere around the ground and just a few things that didn’t go our way hurt us. It was another brave performance and one that we can take a lot from as we have proven to ourselves that we can match it with the top teams.
Last, of all I just want to wish our injured players all the best and hope for a speedy recovery.
Cardiff: 4.8 – 32
Gosford: 7.5 – 47
Goals: H. Wright 2, A. Cross 2
Best Players: M. Coram-Parker, T. Grazules, E. Hieke, S. Vukovich, T. Wilks, A. McRae
Players Player: Emma Hieke
A match up against perennial contenders Newcastle City and our very own Cal ‘Chop’ Buchan running out for his 100th game was plenty of motivation for the Ressies boys. With a strong side in and a lot of senior players returning to the team, the boys were up and about early on. A massive focus on pressure and effort, saw a scrappy first quarter ensue, with City kicking the only 2 goals of the quarter, one of those a dubious free kick.
The second quarter began much the same as the first with huge amounts of pressure being applied by the Hawkies, half chances were key. Aaron Wivell pounced on some good work from the midfield group to kick the first goal. Some good work from BOG performer, Maxi Kozlik allowed Steamer to capitalise and bag his first for day. Unfortunately, a little more polish from the City side resulted in the next 3 in row and the Hawks when in down 2 goals.
The boys knew a big start would be needed in the premiership quarter and with Steamer bagging is second goal, the Hawks hit the front. This resulted in City kicking it up three notches and kicking the next another 2 quick ones before Aaron Wivell nabbed his second.
To bring home the win the Ressies knew they would need to step up another notch. The effort and intensity could not be faulted all day. However, City’s skills shine through and was the difference on the day running away 38-point winners. Very proud of the boy’s effort that was evident throughout all four quarters and very encouraging signs going forward.
Cardiff: 3.7 – 25
Newcastle City: 8.15 – 63
Goals: A. Wivell 2, C. Jones
Best Players: M. Kozlik, H. Thomson, M. Dippolito, C. Jones, T. Lashlie, C. Wivell
Players Player: Max Kozlik
Three late City goals to end the first half – one from a 50 metre penalty – and another two to start the second half was arguably the difference on a day that we just didn’t make ours.
Throw in some inaccuracy in front of goal (we had the same number of scoring shots) and slick ball movement versus clunky and we just weren’t allowed to get our game going by a dogged Blues after an even first quarter and a half.
The game was played in good spirit and at a frenetic pace and it seemed like we were made to work a lot harder for our goals than they were for theirs with perhaps the biggest source of pressure coming from our own inferior skills.
Our backline battled manfully all day, led courageously in an undersized matchup by Dave O’Donnell, who unfortunately suffered a head knock and a fractured collarbone in the dying minutes, but he picked up the Ironbark Hill 1%er Award and the “Old Boys’ Player” nonetheless.
He was ably supported by the athletic Mattie Vukovich who is in great form and quelled the influence of the dangerous Connor Haswell whenever he was on him.
Coach’s Best and Players’ Player Marcus DeLeur never stopped and broke the game open with numerous clearances and running bounces, neat delivery and a late goal.
Our post-match cans went to Tim Keys for his impressive ruck efforts and energy around the ground, Hugh O’Neill who made Blues distributor Mitch Knight earn every touch, and veteran Adam Clarke who ran up and down the wing all day and was under most packs.
In the end we were left to rue some messy forward entry resulting in low percentage shots on goal and easy defensive rebounds which really put our midfield on the back foot.
We thank the Old Boys who gave us immense support throughout the game and breaks and we’ll endeavour to get the Richter-Marlborough Cup back later in the year.
Our thoughts are also with the Cross family who lost Zander and Arizona to serious injuries on the day.
Cardiff: 17.11 -113
Gosford: 11.10 – 76
Goal Scorers: Z. Cross 2, B. Job 2, M. DeLeur, M. Ryan, I. Hughes
Best Players: M. DeLeur, M. Vukovich, S. O’Brien, P. Delaney, D. O’Donnell, J. Campbell
Game Day Photos courtesy of Geoff Robinson