Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. In hindsight, we may have been better served leaving Murphy to his business and heading to the pub instead of testing his patience by heading to Gosford. History shows we did head down the highway on Saturday, however not all players made it there. Trent Thompson was a late withdrawal with a hamstring complaint bringing the number of forced changes from the week prior to six, while young guns Tim Martini and Billy Towers we involved in a nasty collision on the M1 that had the potential to be catastrophic, but amazingly everyone worked away from just a little shaken (not stirred). Finally, our footballs and jumpers arrived just as the boys were getting through their warmup. Because the reserves played at another location, we had few options for our last spot on the bench, until Quinn Waters happily put his hand up.
On a positive note, the long-awaited debut of local junior Billy King was well received. Billy has come from a family of Hawks players and has spent this year under the watchful eye of the Swans Academy, performing well in recent matches against the Giants Academy. His eagerness to learn and prove himself as a senior player was refreshing. Continuing the trend of the year set by other junior debutants, Billy slotted in exceptionally well, looking completely at home in the line up. We look forward to seeing much more of Billy over the coming years.
As for the football, the less said the better. The Hawks brand of football that put us in a strong position at half time last week was nowhere to be seen. We fumbled the ball, choosing to knock it on rather than take possession, and our skills once we did get our hands on the ball let us down, putting our teammates under further pressure. While the play was scrappy, we managed to work our way to a half time lead of 10 points, 2.5 to 3.9.
The third quarter is known as the premiership quarter, and Gosford seized their moment. Billy King was getting his hand to the ball first in the middle, however clearances were going against us, and, aided by a slight breeze, Gosford put their foot down and kicked seven goals to one, affecting a 35 point turnaround, going into the final break with a handy 25 point lead. Adding to this were game ending injuries to Jack Pratt and Tom Hawthorne. The charges were told they needed to get to the ball first, take possession and have some pride in their disposal. A goalkicking accuracy of 26% (not including some out on the full) was symbolic of our generally use of the ball, but this was not going to cut it in the last stanza.
The tide certainly changed, with young Billy Towers spending more time in the middle, and Max Kozlik dashing along the wing. Izaac Hughes almost single-handedly dragged his side across the line with 4 final quarter goals. He was sniffing his fifth, and the match winner when the final siren sounded, signalling the end of the match, and a 3 point victory to the deserving Tigers.
This week’s match against Warner’s Bay is an opportunity to re-group and show our supporters the pride we have in the jumper, and the desire to put on a strong performance.
This week The Birds head down the M1 to take on the Kilarney Vale Bombers. The girls are little bit light on with some big outs stretching our squad to its limits. One of the great thing about this club is the production line of juniors coming through each year and so we are lucky to be able to call on some quality players from our under 17 girls when needed , and this week we needed them. Hayley Hawkins and Beth Martini are now considered regular senior player and Shelby Newton and Holly Keeble also fitting straight in to senior footy when called upon.
It’s a tough ground to play at and against a team that has been together for a few seasons now , you need to be on your toes. We start ok but the Bombers are very good at centre bounce set ups and if you give them an inch they take six points. We struggled to contain them in the first half and they took a big lead into the main break.
KV 10/9/69 to 1/3/9.
With a ten goal lead and having a lot of momentum , we could be forgiven for rolling over and letting them kick away. But The Birds rally in the third quarter and really lift their pressure game to rattle the Bombers and halt their momentum keeping them goalless in the quarter. Our pressure across half forward ramped up and the Bombers struggled to clear the ball out of defence , but we couldn’t hit the score board and while we halt their scoring , their lead is still strong.
We finish off in style and keep the pressure up and match the Bombers for most of the last quarter. Once we learn to pile on the pressure early and stop these teams from the start and not let them get away from us early , that’s when we can knock them over. Not far to go to get to the top of the mountain now.
11/18/84 to 1/7/13.
Goal Kickers: T. Grazules
What an awesome day it was for footy! Normally we are in the off season by now, but this season we got to play on a beautiful sunny day against one of the teams in with a shot of making the GF.
With a fairly different combination of players (plus the return of Bleusy) this week due to unavailabilities and injuries, we were keen to make the most of the opportunity and perform well.
In the first quarter, we saw a very competitive affair, with some early opportunities going our way. Debutant Rhys kicked things off 5 minutes into the match with a nice goal, followed shortly after by Jordan in just a couple of minutes of running onto the ground. The remained of the quarter was hotly contested, with the ball pinging back and forward between the 50s. To our credit, our midfield structure and back 6 were impressive, keeping the Bombers scoreless for the quarter.
The 2nd quarter continued much the same as the first with very contested play, preventing either side from getting much momentum. A nice early goal to Nick, a result from clean passage of play from our mids. This was followed up a few minutes later by a goal to the Bombers, to see them hit the scoreboard. A penalty and 50m penalty saw Chriso marched up the ground where he made the most of it and slotted a goal for the back men to go into the main break leading by 19.
The 3rd quarter saw us make some structural changes, with the introduction of Bleusy into our mids. Although the Bombers snagged a goal in the early parts o the quarter, to my delight, the plan worked and Bleusy played his role perfectly, allowing our other mids the opportunity to control the stoppages around the ground result in footy kicking 2 beautiful goals from stoppages. Unfortunately, our accuracy in front of goals let us down and we only went into the last break with a 28-point lead.
We knew that Kilarney Vale were not just going to roll over in the last and true to form, they came out in the 4th firing. 2 goals within the first 5 minutes to the Bombers put the wind up us a bit. Thankfully, all the training and effort the boys have been putting in saw us swing the momentum back, kicking 2 goals within 2 minutes. Kilarney Vale then kicked 2 more and trailed by 15 with 5 minutes to go. The last 5 minutes of the game were as impressive as any during the game for both teams. Hard contested footy around the ground resulted in neither side being able to move the ball freely into their forward 50. It was great to play out a game for 4 full quarters at such a high intensity after several weeks of cricket score wins, especially with finals not too far away.
To the credit of the players and the club, Kilarney Vale passed on their thanks and appreciation to our playing group who hung around after the game, showing great sportsmanship. Amazing to see the culture we have built being recognized by our opposition.
The solid win saw the Hawks all but wrap up the minor premiership, with a win next week putting it out of question. Next game is going to be a cracker as we take on Warners Bay in a top of the table clash at home. Hope to see you down at The Nest cheering our boys on as they march towards finals.
Goal Kickers: J. Foot 2, R. McLean 2, N. Kocon, C. Davies, J. Martin, M. Holmes
Well what a Great day it was to play football. It is certainly a better time of the year to be a spectator, instead of some of those freezing cold mornings we have had.
Today saw our U11 Swans team take on the Newcastle City white. We had not played this team yet, and did not know what to expect from our opposition.
Unfortunately due to 2020 being a crazy year for sport, our team plays short every week.
City was generous enough to lend us 3 of their players.
Captain of the day was Cooper, he won the toss and elected to run against the wind. We set our positions and discussed our first qtr plan. The boys executed the plan perfectly with short low kicks and running with the ball as much as possible. Jakx won most of the ruck contests and combined perfectly with the midfield, Liam, Will and Ayden. We led for most of the qtr but City kicked a late goal to level the score.
The 2nd qtr we had the wind at our backs and our plan set to kick long and look for our big targets with our small forwards to rove front and centre. Our back line was as steady as a rock with Jasper as reliable as ever, repelling any attack City threw at him. Carter was brilliant on the wing and battled hard to win most contests. We had a healthy lead by the end of the second.
The 3rd qtr was a tough fought battle. With our lack of bench the boys showed some fatigue and fought hard to hold onto their lead. The City team got on top and with relentless attack finished the qtr with a 2 goal lead.
In the team huddle prior to the final qtr, our discussion was all about how we were going to attack the footy and drive the ball forwards. With some final words from the team captain, the boys were ready to go.
Unfortunately team captain Cooper was unintentionally sling tackled to the ground and hit his head. He came off with a suspected concussion.
We also lost Jasper with a blood nose and jarred fingers.
With two of my key players off the field, it was not long before City began to run away with the game.
The rest of the boys put in a valiant effort to bridge the gap but could not.
Keep your head held up high boys. You are an amazing group and I could not be prouder of you.
This week the Cardiff U11 Giants played at home against Newcastle City’s ‘Sky Blues’. It was a perfect spring morning at Pasterfield and the army of Cardiff volunteers had the field and facilities looking pristine as usual.
The uncertainty of the early months of the season meant the U11s have a small squad this year, however each week the boys continue to develop and play as a team.
Our defenders were put to work from the first bounce. Chase, Zack, Dylan and Jensen were reliable and strong in defence. Lucas repeatedly turned the tables on the opposition with some impressive kicking. Despite our efforts, Newcastle City played consistently and managed to lead comfortably by halftime.
The third quarter saw a change of fortune as we had the wind at our backs. Our midfielders worked cohesively and the play shifted in our favour. Ryan, Finn, Patrick, William and Oliver were wrapping up opposition players and finding space to move the ball. The team’s mood had lifted, however we were unable to regain the points conceded in the first two quarters.
One of the highlights of the day was seeing some surprising new talents emerge. Jack, having only recently joined the team, discovered he was a talented ruckman. Bill moved from full-back to full-forward and scored one of the best goals of the match.
Newcastle City won the match, however the Hawks can be proud of their sportsmanship and their continual growth as a team. We are already looking forward to next season and playing with a larger squad. Thank you to the parents and guardians for their generous support with all the volunteer roles. Go Hawks!