The rainbow at the end of a dreary day reflected the reward we earned for sustained hard work in a solid win over our neighbouring rivals Warners Bay.
Heavy conditions made for an even first half despite feeling like we dominated the play. The back six repelled the Bulldogs’ forward thrusts time after time, led superbly by Tom Lashlie who’s been a revelation since moving to halfback from the wing, and Mattie Vukovich who’s been a mainstay down back all season.
Our forward crumbers of Daniel Robson and Declan “Bok Choyvi” Hoy-Maroney were all class from the second quarter onwards mopping up everything that came to the ground and putting their defenders under immense pressure.
Robson, in particular, has been building well lately threatening to break games open, which he did on Saturday earning the Duke Hotel Coach’s Best Award.
It wasn’t until after half time that our efforts were really rewarded on the scoreboard with seven goals to nil to close out the game. Tim Keys began to give silver service to Simon O’Brien, Marcus DeLeur and Bryce Graetz, highlighted by a textbook tap down Rat’s throat who then hit Jack Lennon on the proverbial for one of his game-high three goals to send us on our way.
To keep Warners Bay goalless after half time says a lot about our defensive attitude and this was epitomised late in the last quarter when they looked destined to goal off a fast break but we were able to gut run back in defence and rally to put them under enough pressure to result in a saving mark in the goal square by eventual Players’ Player Vukovich.
Our post-match cans went to Keys, Vukovich and Adam Clarke who reveled in the conditions and continued his purple patch of the last month since moving to a wing.
The Ironbark Hill 1%er Award went to Cam “Steamer” Jones who re-emerged bravely in the third quarter after hyperextending his knee in the second.
There’s no denying the importance of this weekend’s game against ladder-leading Terrigal-Avoca and we’re relishing the challenge.