Coming off two straight losses and into a match-up with perennial heavyweights Terrigal was always going to be a challenge but the energy at training all week was buoyant and our boys showed no signs of shying away from it. We welcomed back Marcus DeLeur, Tom Williams and young gun Damien Haynes, and the surprise inclusion of the popular Matt Vukovich from a finger break weeks ahead of schedule bolstered the backline, however we were without Tim Keys, Scott Pierce, Lachlan Price and Ben Taylor.
The Panthers hit the ground running with three straight goals before we could settle but we went into quarter time down by only 10 points. Callum Spoor and DeLeur were in everything through the middle and Jack Pratt was rebounding defiantly from defence.
Despite going into half time 21 points adrift, it felt like we were going with them and if not for some inaccurate kicking the game would’ve been a lot closer given we’d only had one fewer scoring shot than them.
The message has been to try and string four solid quarters together but the third quarter was our downfall. Nasty injuries to Patty Delaney and Daniel Robson in the first half began to have an effect as the Panthers extended their lead to 38 points by three-quarter time.
We started the last quarter brightly through a Max Kozlik goal but the Panthers kicked the next four to put it beyond doubt as we were left to rue a second half fadeout. Final score: 16-13-109 to 8-10-58.
Top performers on the day were Spoor, Pratt, DeLeur, Izaac Hughes who kicked three goals, Regan Bowe who shouldered most of the ruck, and Tom Lashlie who continues to go about his business quietly but efficiently off half back.
The coaches are continuing to challenge the players to grow each week despite results not going our way. We now sit 10 points outside the top 4 with seven games remaining and with our Reserve Grade flying the objective is clear starting this Saturday with Wyong at Wyong.
This week The Birds return to their beloved home ground to take on the Terrigal Avoca Panthers. An important game this one as both teams will have finals aspirations. So, after a good week on the training track we are confident we can play well on our home ground.
A few of our girls are carrying injuries into the game and to make matters worse, Alex Fardell badly dislocated her finger in the warm up. A painful injury, however, that wasn’t going to stop “Fard “ from taking the field, some quick treatment and good old tape from Wazza and Fard gives the thumbs up, good to go. Such courage!
The first quarter was a dour affair as both teams struggled a bit to handle the breezy conditions. It was tough footy and despite kicking into the breeze we are winning the battle for feild position. The signs are good for us and we hold out the Panthers who hold the narrowest of leads at the first break.
0/0/0 to 0/1/1.
The second quarter doesn’t get any easier but we are still winning the field position battle, but scoring is difficult and we only kick one major to grab a narrow lead. We are looking good at the main break.
1/1/7 to 0/1/1
We talked at half time about using the space out wide to test the Panthers fitness, and captain Shez urged her team to have a big third quarter and boy, did they deliver. The Birds were full of running and set the tone early as they defied the significant head wind to score an early goal, we once again dominate field position and scored two more goals against the wind to put us in a strong position going to the final break.
4/1/25 to 1/2/8.
The three quarter time talk was all about maintaining momentum and being disciplined with the wind. Our girls were full of running and we really start to dominate the Panthers who tried hard but couldn’t go with us in the last quarter. It was a really good performance by the Birds and with injuries and illness taking a toll and players playing in unfamiliar positions, to get a win like that was a bit special. We finish off with a four goal final term to kick away to a solid win.
It’s really hard to pick players out in a game where everyone contributed so evenly. Special mention to Allie who handled the rotations like a boss.
Goal Kickers: D. Graan 3, D.Preist 3, M. Holmes 2, J. Martin 2, A. Walker, T. Brown, J. Jolliffe
It was a windy day at Number 1 and the under 15 girls including 3 gutsy under 13s showed up ready to take on the City blue side.
We trialled some changes to our structure this week, Sienna our usual ruck was given the job of playing defence with the sole purpose of keeping City’s strongest forward out of play, this gave Mia S an opportunity to try her hand at rucking and what an amazing job both these girls did!
The first quarter saw the best game this team has played, they contested, ran and played their hearts out leaving the first quarter pointless for both sides.
The second and third quarter saw our defence line working over time to keep City’s score low on the board while our forwards fought hard to get a behind.
The final quarter saw city kick a few more goals and move into a convincing lead but our girls refused to go down without a fight and showed their Hawk spirit. An impressive play between Hannah and Charlotte in the mids, handballing and keeping City guessing where the ball was going opened the opportunity for Hannah to get to space and with an impressive boot sent the ball to where the forward line was ready and eagerly waiting. Dyllan scooped up the ball confidently knowing her team mates had her back and sent the ball sailing right between the goal posts!
We were fortunate to have good umpires who were fair and knowledgeable and although the win wasn’t ours this time these strong, determined young ladies came off smiling and should be proud of how they played and came together as a team and will only continue to improve!
|Newcastle City Blues U15 YG||0.0||2.3-15||4.5-29||7.8-50|
|Cardiff U15 YG||0.0||0.1-1||0.1-1||1.1-7|
On Sunday the Under 9s played Newcastle City Double Blues. In a game where there was a gale force wind in one direction Brody decided to kick with the wind.
Cardiff started strong and kicked well out of the middle to start the scoring. Unfortunately, Georgia got hit in the nose with a football and had to go sit off. We played well in the first quarter with a player down and dug deep to kick a few goals with the wind. The defence stood up strong and rebounded the football to the midfield well.
In the second quarter we had to kick into the strong wind. Our gun midfield consisting of Mason, Caleb and Brody held Newcastle well. The defence was strong but Newcastle City kicked a few goals to probably lead at half time (we don’t score so only guessing).
The third quarter was dominated by Cardiff. Caleb couldn’t miss the goal and was well supported by the rest of the team. In the last quarter Archie, James and Kensi worked hard in the middle but with the wind picking up our forwards didn’t get much action but our backline was worked overtime. The result was very close.
Connor and Louis played their best game of the season this week showing some great handball skills and tracking of the football. Evan, Sophia and Georgia continue to improve and build their confidence attacking the football. Dara continues to put his head over the football and beating opponents to deliver the football to our team.
Layken and Beau were missed this week at the game, however last Wednesday we had 100% of the team at training. They continue to work hard on improving their skills, tactics and communication and always have FUN!!