Saturday saw the Hawks head to No.1 Sportsground for our first twilight match of the year against the Newcastle City Blues.
A much-awaited match between both sides, with the Blues looking to make amends for their round 1 loss against us, and the Hawks looking to continue our winning streak to 11.
A strong Northernly breeze was blowing across No.1 Oval, as returning Skipper Simon ‘The Rat’ O’Brien, who had missed last weeks game with a bung calf, (really hitting home the fact that he is getting old) made his way to the centre of the ground for the toss. In typical Simon O’Brien fashion, Rat did not win the toss but came second, and Newcastle chose to kick with the breeze.
The game started as expected, very fast paced and physical, with both sides struggling to get clean passages of play, our boys struggled to adapt to the pressure and ferocity of the opposition, which has not been as intense in the past few weeks, mistakes were made by the Hawks as City settled early and reaped the rewards, Kicking 5 goals to Cardiff’s 0.
Although the scoreline at quarter time was 32-1 our backline played very well to stop the score from blowing out too much, with limited pressure from our midfield and forwards, City moved the ball forward far too easy and it was a credit to the back 6 lead by Zac Metcalfe and Chad Mayo to keep City to 5 goals.
Kicking with the breeze in the 2nd the Hawks again had a slow start, still fumbling and making some poor decisions, finally after another 2 goals to City and some great rebound work out of the backline, big Trent Thompson got the Hawks on the board, closely followed a goal to Liam Gibson (I don’t know what he was doing in the forward line!) and a pair of goals to Josh ‘Kombucha King’ Murphy.
Although we outscored City in the 2nd, we still trailed by 29 points going into the 3rd quarter.
After a rev up in the sheds at halftime, the boys marched back out on the ground ready for the second half, the wind had died right, but the Northern end still seemed to have an advantage, City scored an early goal, which was then followed by some good hard football from both sides, no score to either side for the next 10 minutes with the Hawks having majority of the ball but failing to hit targets with our forward 50 entries. Some lazy play and again lots of fumbles, cost us dearly in the second half of the 3rd with City banging home another 3 goals to our 2 points before the 3rd quarter came to a close.
Going into the final change 53 points down saw a shift in mindset for a lot of blokes, although everyone believed we could still win this game, the general consensus was, we have nothing to lose so we may as well have a crack.
The 4th quarter was by far our best, blokes seemed to relax a lot more with less pressure and our fumbles all but faded away.
Although City may have ‘put the cue in the rack’ so to speak we played some of our most intense and hard-hitting football for the year. Kicking 5 goals to City’s 0 was a big step in the right direction for next time we face the Blues.
All in all, a poor result going down 12.12 84 – 9.6 60, but a great learning game for all involved, that just shows we must always bring our best and not get caught up in the outside noise of how others think we are travelling.
The Hawks were best served by Chad Mayo, Doctor Nick Riviera Nicholson, and Jack Lemon Lennon.
Until next time,
Newcastle City 5.4-34 | 8.8-56 | 12.9-81 | 12.12-84
Cardiff 0.1-1 | 4.2-26 | 4.4-28 | 9.6-60
Goal Kickers: T. Thompson 2, J. Murphy 2, J. Lennon, M. Vukovich, L. Gibson, L. Price, S. O”Brien
Best Players: J. Lennon, T. Yensch, Z. Metcalfe, D. O”Donnell, S. O”Brien, B. Job
This week we stay local, however, on enemy turf… No. 1 Sports Ground.
It was a big game and unfortunately, we had a lot of outs and would’ve played short if not for Wilksy’s partner Brit and her mate Lu Lu making their debuts for the birds. Thanks, girls you did an amazing job for us!
As the birds went through their usual warm up it was now time for our last messages before we hit the ground. Yowie gave a truly emotional pregame speech with the story of Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who was badly injured by a shark but got back in the water despite her injuries and “ found a way “ to get back and compete, it was great stuff and it worked.
So with the message “find a way “ ringing in their ears the birds ripped in from the start. It was a great first 1/4 and City just couldn’t get going there, was just too much pressure. Massive efforts by Mattise, Wilksy, Allie and Mollie. We go to the first break down by just 2 goals.
The second 1/4 was much the same Shez was driving her defenders, Arizona was starting to get busy and our ever reliable ruck duo Claudia and Tayla G were great.
Despite hitting the scoreboard after a Courtney went so close but finished off by Faith we are down by just 3 goals at 1/2 time.
Third 1/4 and the blue bags are starting to look rattled our birds were full of fight, everyone was having a go, Deb Carlin was outstanding and our debutants Brit and Lu Lu were amazing in such a big game. It was an outstanding effort to hold City to 1 goal and score 1 ourselves. We go to the last break 5 goals down but it feels much closer.
The last term just didn’t seem fair we worked so hard and didn’t deserve to have the scoreboard get away like it did. A 7 goal last 1/4 by City saw the score finish at 14/8./ 92 to 2 /2 /14.
It is with a heavy heart that I say not only did the score widen but we lost our courageous and inspirational captain to a broken collarbone. All the best Shez in your recovery.
Cheers Cooky and Yowie
Newcastle City Stars 2.3-15 4.5-29 5.6-36 14.8-92
Cardiff 0.1-1 1.2-8 2.2-14 2.2-14
Goal Kickers: A. Cross, F. Lewis
Best Players: A. Cross, F. Lewis, S. Vukovich, T. Wilks, N. Walker, D. Carlin
This week saw a much-anticipated game, with the Hawks taking on arch rivals City. Round 1 saw us take on City with a much different side and saw us go down 106-25. The boys were up and about though and weren’t looking to let them walk all over us this time around. After a month or so of some pretty average footy against cellar dwellers, we got the chance to take on a good side. City are top of the table, undefeated and with a massive percentage. With a strong side, only missing a few key players, we were confident we could match them on the field.
The 1st quarter started out quite intense. With lots of contested footy being played around the ground. 1st gamer for the club Tom Hawthorne, the better of the brothers, kicked his first goal for his new club, while Steamer kicked a beauty in the dying seconds of the quarter. Not much could separate the teams leading into the quarter break 15-14.
The 2nd quarter started with Clint setting up Chop in front of goal and we took the lead. The quarter saw City with the wind behind them, which they used to their advantage and they went onto the attack. Defensive pressure was good and only allowed them shots at goal from wide. We went into the halftime break trailing 6.10-46 to 3.3-21.
The 3rd quarter was by far out best quarter, keeping City to only 1 point while steamer added another 2 to his tally. The wind was building and saw us shut down City across the ground while we kicked 3.4 and go into the 3rd quarter break only 4 points down.
With the wind still strong, City was at an advantage going into the last quarter. City also showed why they are so clear at the top of the table with some impressive skills, fitness and discipline during the final quarter. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to adapt and stay with them through the mids and backs, combined some poor discipline from our boys, saw them get a few easy goals. At the final siren, we went down 6.9-45 to 11.16-82.
A good 3 quarters of footy really ruffled their feathers and leaves us quietly confident that should we have a full-strength side and play out 4 quarters of footy, we could account for them come finals. The game left coaches and players with lots of clear areas to work on leading into finals.
Thanks to Nath and Bagga for running the bench and coaching for me while I tried not to embarrass myself too much on the field. Next week we take on the bottom of the table Nelson Bay away and hope to develop a few areas of our game.
Newcastle City 2.3-15 | 6.10-46 | 6.11-47 | 11.16-82
Cardiff 2.2-14 | 3.3-21 | 6.7-43 | 6.9-45
Goal Kickers: C. Jones 3, C. Buchan, C. James, T. Hawthorne
Best Players: C. Jones, C. James, T. Machart, J. O”Regan, P. Bleus, T. Lashlie