U14/2 v St Ives

Cannons U14 v St Ives, Round 4

A heavily-depleted Canada Bay Cannons produced a season-best, all-round attacking and defensive performance to defeat St Ives by a satisfying margin on Sunday.
The pain of nine key players missing from their squad appeared only to stiffen the resolve of the undefeated Cannons who matched desperation in loose ball contests, with strong aerial skills in attack.
Coach Dean Lee praised the hunger his players showed in game. “It was great effort by everyone,” he said in the post-match address. “Everyone had a part to play and everyone did their bit. You played hard at the football and you should be proud of the effort,” he told the players.
Ruckman Edward provided great service to midfielders, Joshua, Jack, Patrick and Joel to dominate out of the centre.
But it was the big, bustling powerhouse forward George who made the forward 50 his own. He bagged five goals by three-quarter time before being moved to the ruck for the final term.
Despite the scoreline, this was a game played up and down the field. The Saints had their chances in attack but were thwarted by desperate Cannons defenders led by Jasper, Sebastian and Mathew.
The Cannons turned up at St Ives’ Acron Oval switched on and ready to make a point. Co-captains Joshua and Jack spent two minutes in the pre-match huddle appealing to all in the team to play hard at the ball. And they responded, playing with purpose right up and down the ground.
Both teams softened each other up in the opening minutes with the ball pinging between the arcs in rapid fire.
Within six minutes the Cannons found their opening. A deft kick from glamour forward Ethan found a menacing George lurking 10 metres out in front who marked then goaled.
After some clever lead up work from Daniel, the hard-running Jack slammed the Cannons second major.
Sebastian was blocking everything in defence along with Jasper. This set up attacking raids time again through Patrick, Joshua and Gabriel, playing his first match of the season.
By the time George booted a clever goal on the run – his second – the Cannons had stamped their authority on the match.
Though they were 21 points up, Canada Bay was all too aware, the Saints had the capacity to return fire in the second quarter.
And they did.
St Ives came out strong after the first break, stretching the Cannons defenders to the limit. They peppered their forward 50 but just couldn’t break through – the odd point, but no majors.
As if almost against the run of play, the Cannons, through Joshua and Joel got the ball back into their own forward line. George swooped on a loose ball delivered by Josh, broke a tackle and snapped over his left shoulder for his third goal … and again the game was back on track.
As the shadows on half-time loomed, the Cannons defenders dropped off, allowing a St Ives mark just 35 metres out and just like that, they had their first major on the board.
It appeared to be the wake-up call the Cannons needed. A rousing half-time address called on the Cannons to forget the scoreline and “push the pedal to the metal”.
But 90 seconds into the third term, the Saints goaled – their second. That got the visitors moving … and it was brutal.
The Cannons threw everything at the game and although at times they rushed their options in attack, they simply took over.
Canada Bay showered their forward 50 with seven scoring shots, netting four goals, three behinds for the term to earn a considerable lead.
It was their best stint by far and nearly every player wanted a piece of the action from backline to the forward line.
The home side appeared determined to finish the match well and they gave it their all. Again, the ball ricocheted between the arcs and despite strong efforts by both teams, they finished the final term with a goal apiece.
As the Cannons coach and support staff reflected on a strong game, they had nothing but praise for the disciplined, structured approach of their players.
The skills just lifted. Players were hard at the loose ball all over the ground but they also showed courage and skill in the air. Strong, difficult marks paid big dividends for the Cannons.
The Canada Bay Cannons are now undefeated after four rounds – three wins and draw, giving them quiet confidence as they prepare to take on the tough Western Suburbs Magpies at Drummoyne Oval next Sunday.
CANNONS GOALS: George 5, Aiden 1, Jack 1, Joel 1, Patrick 1.