Cannons U12 Division 2 v Pennant Hills
Round Three, Drummoyne Oval
Friday night didn’t just bring a festive spirit to Drummoyne Oval, the lights shone on a spirited bunch of kids who pulled off a stirring victory and did their indulgent parents proud.
There was only a few points in it at half time but Pennant Hills always looked capable of taking control and running away with the match, especially after a couple of goals early in the third term. But Coach Tony’s words had an impact – keep pressuring them, keep perservering, keep helping each other and we’ll eventually get on top.
And we sure did.
They say the third quarter is the premiership quarter and it proved to be the turning point. A 10 point deficit became a four point three quarter time lead as that pressure and perseverance started to reap the rewards they deserved, with the momentum well and truly shifting our way.
Blake led the revival in the third term. His attack at the footy and drive out of defence repeatedly sent the ball forward and was the springboard for many of our attacks.
Blake kept sending the footy into the midfeld for Thea, Damo and Nic to combine with precision and get the ball to the silky goal kicking machine Alex who slotted another lazy five.
After cracking Penno in the third quarter, we took complete control in the final term with four goals to one to run out comfortable 26 point winners.
The first win against Easts was pretty easy and straightforward, this one was tough, gutsy and full of character.
Whether it was Paddy winning the hard ball and dishing out handballs, Finny taking on the big blokes, Will drifting across halfback taking intercept marks, JA putting his skills on show or Connor, Ben C and Jezza strangling the Penno forwards, there were contributors everywhere, all night.
Ben M and Tom had their hands full against a giant ruckman, but grew as the game went on and took control in the second half.
Ben put the icing on the cake with a last quarter goal from the boundary line to put us 16 points up.
And Gabe went in hard as did Fergus despite being struck down with injury.
The first quarter was a dour affair with only three points apiece at the break as both teams got used to the slippery ball and bright lights (a few ageing parents had trouble with their night vision as well). We came close to kicking a goal after Damo, Nic and Thea combined in the middle with run and slick hands but were beaten by the siren with the ball heading goalward.
Brayden finally broke the drought early in the second term with the opening goal of the night after a Will defensive mark, a Paddy pass and a Thea shepherd.
Paddy and Thea then combined out of the middle and the ball ended up with Alex in what should have been an impossible position until he pulled a canny around-the-corner dribble kick from his bag of tricks for his first goal.
A few late goals to Penno gave them the advantage at halftime as they tried to intimidate us out of the game. But these Cannons fired back, stood up for themselves and each other and kept running and attacking the footy.
As well as the great skill on display, two pieces of hard stuff typified the Cannons’ resolve:
* Thea’s goal to put us ahead late in the third quarter came after around six kids put their heads over the ball and kept it moving toward goal until she picked it up and snapped truly.
* In the final quarter, three fierce tackles in quick succession on our forward flank summed up the desperation to keep the ball in our 50.
The match was sealed when Ben M palmed a beautiful tap for JA to rove and kick a classy goal over his shoulder to put us 24 points clear.
Canada Bay 9.15.69 (goals: Alex 5, Brayden 1, Thea 1, Ben 1, James 1)
Pennant Hills 6.7.43