Cardiff Hawks Black Diamond AFL Semi Finals – 19 and 20 August 2017


Cardiff Hawks v Terrigal Avoca Panthers

By Coach Nathan Harkness

Pictured: Abbey Cooksley, avid Cardiff Hawks fan and Lady Hawk. Image supplied by The Newcastle Herald.

In our biggest game this year, we played Terrigal Avoca in the 2017 Black Diamond Cup first Semi Final at Dick Burwell Oval in Nelson Bay. The weather was cold and blowing an absolute gale.

We went into the game reasonably confident that we would be at our best and compete like we did last week. The issue was, Terrigal turned up raising the bar in contested ball and effort. Terrigal started off on fire, kicking the first 3 goals and eight of the first 9 goals of the game. We had our opportunities but unlike Terrigal we didn’t capitalise on them. The Panthers where kicking goals off the ground, snaps from everywhere and making the most of their half chances. As we know, finals footy heats up around the contest, the panthers won this area in all aspects.

By half time we were 27 points behind. The game was far from over as we just needed to win more of the ball, make the most of our opportunities and get back to playing the way we know. We got within 18 points ten minutes into the third but unfortunately we weren’t able to sustain the Panthers pressure and they kicked the next 6 goals. Terrigal eventually won the game by 46 points.

Positives that we can take away from the game is that we know that we are better than what we dished up on Saturday. We are a super relentless and ruthless side that thrives on the contest. And if we get our structure and discipline right this week (preliminary final) we will be a hard team to beat.

Jack Pratt was our best player, Jacks effort was super throughout the game, he truly led from the front and is a remarkable competitor.

Our Captain Simon O’Brien was also outstanding, Simon won many clearances and kept working hard under a mountain of Panther’s midfield pressure.

Liam Gibson and Dave O’Donnell were solid in defence. Both Liam and Dave are in great form and give us plenty of rebounds coming out of deference.

Trent Thompson and Lachlan Price were very good up forward. Both Trent and Lachlan worked extremely hard in keeping the ball inside our forward line.

Final Score:
Cardiff Hawks 9.10.64 Terrigal Avoca Panthers 17.8.110

Goal Kickers:
J. Murphy 2, C. Jones 2, K. Bellemore, T. Quade, B. Job, S. O”Brien, T. Thompson


Cardiff Hawks v Killarney Vale Bombers

By Coach Peter Bleus

Abbey Cooksley and Zahra Haryadi

They were trying conditions at Killarney Vale. It was blowing harder than a fat man running up hill to get a lifetime supply of cheeseburgers and a win of the toss would be important to get an almost certain early lead. Alas we lost the toss and as an aside, I never got my cheeseburgers.

Killarney Vale proved strong from the first bounce and playing on their home deck would have filled them with confidence and it showed with two goals being scored within the first four minutes. Shortly after we responded with a classic Tony Edser goal, one that you don’t expect him to kick and yet he does, from 50 against the breeze which lifted spirits. But at the end of the quarter  we were down by almost four goals.

If we thought the breeze was going to do it for us in the second quarter then we were mistaken, as Killarney Vale kicked the first one for the quarter before we responded with two of our own. And we went into the sheds at the long break with faces longer than Celine Dion.

The third quarter proved our undoing as Killarney Vale again opened scoring early in the quarter. If it hadn’t been for Tom Lashlies excellent personal goal, arching his back like a yoga instructor, there would have been few highlights.

The final quarter started yet again with a Killarney Vale goal, which we needed like a plebiscite on marriage equality and despite having the wind for the quarter managed only two goals as the game came to a thankful close.

All in all the day was as disappointing as your first born giving up footy to play badminton but  there’s a reason you have a second child. Our hard work throughout the year has given us the opportunity to have another crack at grand final glory. This weekend the challenge is there for us to live up to our potential and it’s right there if we want it. Now we just have to show what we’re capable of.

Let’s do this boys!

Final Score:
Cardiff Hawks 6.3.39 Killarney Vale Bombers 12.10.82

Goal kickers:
Z. Moore 2, H. O”Neill, T. Edser, S. Wolfenden, T. Lashlie