U11 Black v Wests
Round 14, Alan Davidson Oval
Manfred’s the Mann, Cooper was super and Paddy Power was back.
What a fantastic win. It was the most mature, well rounded, team-focused performance from everyone we’ve seen all year. And it reaped the just reward of a massive 12-goal win.
It was so good to see the kids work for each other. Players ran through the lines with ball in hand and a mate behind them protecting them with a selfless shepherd. Handball chains were mature and slick and allowed us to run the ball, the defenders were stout and smart and, by the end of the game, kids were lining up to kick beautiful drop punt goals from the boundary line.
It started in defence where Jack regularly cut off Wests attacks and was well supported by the miserly Connor, Ben and Fergus.
And Manfred’s three first half goals set us up.
He opened the scoring when we were kicking into a stiff breeze in the first quarter with a clever goal out of a crowded pack. And then, when we needed a lift with the game looking tight in the second term, he cracked it open with a pair of equally creative goals to give us a handy halftime lead.
He was unstoppable – he marked, used his brain, helped teammates and kicked goals. But it wasn’t just him.
Cooper’s return has brought a touch of class to the team. His skills by hand and foot are beyond his years and bring teammates into the game. Oh, and he helped himself to six goals!
After suffering a suspected broken hand in the previous game, Paddy bounced back with his usual attack on the footy and also ended up with a hat trick of goals.
Warrior Will just keeps on throwing himself at the ball, the contest and the man. His first quarter goal when he competed hard in a marking contest, won the ball on the ground, broke a tackle and kicked truly from a long way out typified his relentless effort.
James G has really come of age in the past month or so in the ruck and set up the goal of the day in that tight second quarter. With brilliant tap ruckwork in the middle, he palmed the ball back to Paddy who swooped on it at full pace, broke a couple of tackles and sent it long to Cooper who centred it where Manfred scooped it up on the goal line and sent through his third.
That gave us a comfortable, but hard fought, three goal lead at halftime.
And then everything just clicked. Eleven goals later, we had recorded our biggest score and best win in history.
When he wasn’t kicking goals, Manfred set up a couple in the third term, while Thea was winning lots of ball around the ground and Romano is revelling in his role as a creative linkman on the wing.
James A opened up a candy store on the forward flank and had plenty of customers, while James G even bamboozled the goal umpire with his double reverse banana from the boundary line.
Charlie showed us his array of skills with a pair of goals in the final term – one off the outside of his boot on the run before taking the more respectable approach with a gun barrel straight drop punt from wide out.
Then the procession began. We raised the bat after Cooper’s sixth and finished it with one more to record an amazing win.
With only two games left as Drummoyne Power, let’s take this momentum with us and finish the season on a high.
Cooper 6, Manfred 3, Paddy 3, Charlie 2, James G 1, James A 1, Will 1