Round 12 - Coaches' Reports

With nothing more than pride on the line, the senior men travelled up Nelson Bay Road, along with every other long weekend holiday maker, to take on the Marlins in the final hit out of the 2020 season.

Nelson Bay, while very unlikely, were still a shadow of a chance to make finals, needing Killarney Vale to be beaten by Warners Bay, and get the job done Themselves against Cardiff. They also had a gaping 16% points to make up. Near impossible.

The First quarter was an arm wrestle, with Cardiff winning the taps in the middle through Tim Keys, but Nelson Bay’s classy midfield led by former Sydney Swan Craig Bird controlled the clearances. At quarter time, the Bay took a narrow lead despite more shots to the Hawks. 3.2 20 to 2.4 16.
A redress at quarter time saw ruck taps moving to less conventional spots and the Hawks midfield started to get their hands on the footy first. Marcus Deleur again continued to put his head over the ball, winning many clearances and earning himself best on ground honours, as well as two goals. Punters would do well to have a bob on “French” for the best and fairest. Up forward, Izaac Hughes again was causing headaches, and young Malakye Walford help firm in his second senior game. Half time scores saw the hawks edge in front, 4.5 29 to 5.6 36.

Regan Bowe has spent the best part of the past two seasons in the ruck in tandem with Tim Keys, and rightly earned the Coaches Award in 2019 for his consistency in a difficult position. With an unexpected glut of ruckmen through the middle of 2020, Reggie had an opportunity to move to Centre Half Forward and displayed his best game in that role this season. His leading and work up the ground were on point, and he has been relishing the new role in the back half of the year. His third quarter allowed the Hawks to skip away, kicking Seven goals to one. 3/4 Time scores 5.9 39 to 12.9.

With the game all but sewn up, there was a chance to get some players an opportunity to kick their first goals for the year. Tom Lashlie and Nick Tomlinson had snuck forward in the third term to show the forwards how to do it while registering their first goals for the year, and Reece McLean, Daniel Robson and Liam Cathcart We’re moved forward in the final stanza. McLean managed a classy mark and snap at goal, after missing two earlier attempts. Robson spent most of the quarter forward without registering a goal before coach Bilkey sent the runner out to send him back to the backline. Although runner Adam Dugan is fast across the turf, Robbo was able to make the most of his final moments in the forward line, receiving a cheeky handball from Hughes and calmly slotting the goal. Final scores for the day were 10.10 70 to 15.14 104.

A huge thank you from the senior team to all those that have helped get us on the park in an extraordinary 2020. The committee have overcome many hurdles to allow us on the park, thank you. The medical staff in Waz and Emily have worked their magic on young (and old) getting some of us on the park, when we didn’t think it would happen. To the volunteers on match day and the days in between, including Reece Barton for his video work, thank you for contributing to this team and this club. It is these efforts that are often unseen that make clubs great, and ours is a great club.

Finally, Doc, Ris, Bruce, Gibbo and Cookie, it’s been a strange year to be a coach, but there’s no other group I’d rather coach with. To you boys, and the playing group, thanks for making it such an enjoyable, if not frustrating season! 

Best of luck to the Reserves and Women in their quests for premierships. Don’t let anything stop you! See you at the footy. 
Nelson Bay3.2-204.5-295.9-3910.10-70
Goal Kickers: I. Hughes 3, M. DeLeur 2, P. Delaney 2, M. Kozlik, N. Tomlinson, D. Robson, M. Ryan, T. Lashlie, R. McLean, B. Towers, T. Thompson
Best Players: M. DeLeur, M. Vukovich, R. Bowe, T. Lashlie, T. Keys, M. Kozlik
The last game of the season and we knew we had locked in our finals spot. We were clear 3rd on the ladder and up against Terrigal at their home ground who were fighting for a place in finals. It was hot and we knew the pressure would be on us from the beginning. The challenge was set for us to finish the season well and go into finals with the momentum we needed. That we did!
Our first quarter hasn’t always been our best. We really wanted to start well and we finally did it! 4 goals in the first quarter to terrigals none. Goals to Beth, Clare and 2 to Hayley got us up and about. Our mids were working hard as always providing ball movement through the middle into the forwards. Our back didn’t let it down Terrigals forward line and we used the attacking down the wings really well.
4.2 26 0.0. 0
The second quarter was slightly different and was a tight battle all over the ground. Terrigal started to put the pressure on. This was good practice for us leading into finals as it felt like that typical finals footy game. With injuries to Eloise and Emma we had to change positions and adjust quickly in the second half.
4.2 26 0.1 1
Terrigal got the first goal of the 3rd quarter. At that point we could just let the game play out but this is where our team is so much better mentally and physically than it ever has been. We responded with 2 goals from Sophie attacking from the mids and Tayla putting in the second efforts down forward. A big positive was seeing our junior debutants Zara, Eleanor and Bella really stand up when we needed them! Zara was thrown into the ruck and did an amazing job giving us mids first look at the footy. Eleanor and Bella kept attacking the ball with confidence paying off with some good marks and link up play.
6.2 38 1.2 8
We knew Terrigal would be coming out hard for the last quarter for a spot in finals. They did getting the first goal of the quarter. Once again we could have just let the game play out knowing we had locked in a finals spot already but that’s not the way our team works. Our backs were as always tough and repelled every ball that came their way. Our run down the wings was awesome to see which resulted in 2 goals from Min. One coming from Nikki with a good mark and handball and another a good settled set shot. Well done to us. With heat and injuries trying to stop us we didn’t let it. We ran out with the win.
8.2 50 3.5 23
Thanks again to our awesome juniors who stepped up and played an amazing game. Once again it’s good to know our future is in safe hands. Thanks to Keebs for helping coach on the day. Our team is close and strong mentally and physically. We have an all round talented line up. We know our strengths and are know using them to our advantage. We are ready for finals. The belief is there. Get behind us because the birds are coming…
Terrigal Avoca0.00.1-11.2-83.5-23
Goal Kickers: M. Bailey 2, H. Hawkins 2, C. Cummings, T. Grazules, S. Ranken, B. Martini
Best Players: G. Browne, S. Ranken, C. Cummings, S. Vukovich, D. Spamer, N. Standen

+It is rare to play footy at this time of year and a 30ׄ°C really tested the boys against Gosford.

With the desire to ensure our structures and game plan was ready to go for finals, this game was a great opportunity for us, especially with having to play Gosford again in the upcoming Preliminary Final.

A blistering start saw the Hawks kick 2 goals within the first 90 seconds of the game to really cement how damaging our midfield and forwards are when they get clean ball. To Gosford credit, they settled after this and provided a contested game for the next 12 minutes, with a goal to each side, before the Hawks finished off the quarter strongly, kicking another 4 goals for the quarter, with doubles to Woldy, Dave and Jared. The Hawks went into the 1st quarter break up and about with a 39-point lead.

Gosford hit back quickly in the 2nd quarter with a great center clearance and a quick Goal, before the Hawks asserted their dominance on the game, kicking 7 goals to 2 for the quarter. Some great defensive efforts set up quick ball movement up the ground, allowing our forwards to make the most of their opportunities to go into the long break with a 70-point lead.

The boys enjoyed the long break in the shade as the heat of the day was starting to take a toll on both sides. The break benefited us more than Gosford, with the Hawks further asserting their dominance on the game during the 3rd quarter. 6 goals to 2 for the quarter, with Jared kicking 4 of those all but drove the nail into the coffin with a 90-point lead going into the last quarter.

The last quarter saw the effects of the heat and the massive lead start to impact our team with Gosford starting to string some more kicks together and winning the quarter 2.5 to 1.2, with Dave the only goal kicker for the last quarter.

An impressive performance saw the Hawks finish the regular season with an undefeated record and in a prime position to make a grand final birth.

Congratulations to Woldy who finished the season as leading goal kicker (as well as Jared and Dave who finished 3rd and 4th respectively)

Congratulations to the 46 blokes that contributed to an undefeated minor premiership. Without the entire squad, this would not have been possible. It is time to reset and get ready for the final series where we look to complete an entire undefeated season.

















Goal Kickers: J. Campbell 7, J. Jolliffe 5, D. Graan 5, B. Wold 3, A. Risby
Best Players: J. Campbell, D. Graan, T. Williams, M. Holmes, A. Risby, J. Drabsch