Cannons U14 Division 2
Round 12, Picken Oval
Canada Bay Cannons 6.8.44 d Western Suburbs Magpies 6.4.40
Canada Bay Cannons co-captain Joshua scored an inspirational running goal 20 seconds from full-time to snatch a four-point victory over a dogged Western Suburbs outfit at Picken Oval today.
In dour, slippery conditions the Magpies’ good basic football and hunger at the ball kept them in the match against the second-placed Cannons.
The visitors’ normally strong ball-handling skills had abandoned them for the most part of the match.
“We were sloppy today,” coach Dean Lee said after the match. “And it’s an area we need to improve on if we are to beat the stronger teams.
“After a slow start to the season last year, we came good around this time to make the finals. We can do it again but we have to be hungrier at the ball,” he said.
The Cannons did just enough today to escape with a win.
There were very good patches of play but the strong, well-directed kicks, thoughtful handballs and hard tackling – hallmarks of the Cannons’ match efforts of the past three games wasn’t on show against an under-manned Magpies.
The home-team kept their game plan simple: boot to ball and moving it forward. And they rattled the Cannons early who struggled to find their rhythm in the first quarter.
There were great passages of play from Ed, Joel and Joshua out of the centre, from Pat in the forwards and Jaden in defence but Wests were resilient. They earned turnovers in their defensive half and mounted their attack quickly.
Four minutes in, the homeside kicked their first goal.
A minute later Cannons’ Joel scored one back after some great lead-up work from Joshua, Jack and George.
When the silky-skilled Joel gathered a loose ball and slotted his second within 60 seconds, it looked as though the Cannons were away. But the Magpies would not give in.
After a glut of possession in their forward arc, they kicked the equalizing goal at the 13-minute mark and took the match to the first break 2.2.14 apiece.
With clouds closing in overhead and a light drizzle making the ball as slippery as soap, the match descended into a struggle for clean possession in the second term.
While there were bright moments through Jack, Daniel, Matt, Jaden and Jasper, play was lack-lustre.
Wests edged ahead with a goal and a behind to the Cannons’ two points.
Coach Lee challenged his players at the long break to unload the ball quickly, get back to basics with long kicks out of the contests.
And it appeared to work not long after the siren to resume play had sounded. The Cannons’ dependable midfielders stepped up through Joshua, Jack, Pat and Joel.
Fullback Jasper, playing a cameo in the forward line, kicked a goal just one minute in.
Jack followed with another at the four-minute mark, then Daniel broke through the pack to score one just two minutes later.
Wests regained their composure in the latter stages of the third term and managed a long-range running goal of their own to keep them in the match at just 11 points adrift of the visitors.
They took this momentum into the final quarter, scoring a goal in the opening minutes to cut the deficit to four points.
Another goal by the home team late in the quarter had them in front by just two and a whiff of a major upset in their nostrils.
The Cannons had their chances in attack but the Magpies were equal to the task.
Then with just seconds to goal, Joshua played on from a mark 40m from home and slotted the match-winner for Canada Bay. A real Houdini act.
Though it wasn’t the Cannons prettiest win, it was well fought in the end.
Good passages of play from Jonothan, Matt, Jaden, Jasper, Hugo and Daniel. Cassidy was good in the ruck until he injured ankle and was forced from the game.
Joel 2, Jasper 1, Jack 1, Daniel 1, Joshua 1