Cannons U12 Div 2 v Moore Park
Round 5, Drummoyne Oval
It will forever be known as the Mother’s Day Miracle.
It’s every mother’s dream: siren gone, five points down, a shot for goal to win the match.
The footy was in good hands as cool hand Cooper went back with the Drummoyne Oval siren ringing in all our ears.
We’d already withstood three minutes of intense pressure as these never-say-die kids came back from two goals down and now it was left to one kid with one kick.
Parents shut their eyes and held their breath, teammates called for silence but still muttered hopefully under their breath “C’mon Cooper”, opponents did their best to put him off and the boy himself was cool under the ultimate footy pressure.
And he nailed it! His teammates ran from everywhere, this time screaming “C’mon Cooper!” as they jumped on top of him and the crowd went wild.
Who wants a sleep in or breakfast in bed when this gets served up as your Mother’s Day treat?
While Cooper handled the pressure brilliantly, the ball got to him because of two mighty efforts from Will and Finlay in that frenetic last minute.
With Moore Park streaming out of defence and the ball seemingly destined to end up in their forward half to virtually seal the match for them, Will set chase. He kept running, kept running and kept running until he was within lunging distance. With a desperate dive, he grabbed the back of his opponent’s jumper, pulled him down and then wrapped him up and was awarded the free kick. It hurt him, but, gee, it felt good.
From the free kick, the ball ended up back in our forward 50 and a swarm of players converged with 30 seconds left. Again, a Moore Park player emerged with the ball and the Tigers looked safe until Finlay threw himself into yet another massive tackle to lock it in.
Ten seconds left, one last chance – a ball up 20 metres from goal. Cooper gets tackled without the ball, the whistle blows and the rest, as they say, is history.
Three moments from Will, Finlay and Cooper may have been the obvious match winners in that tense last minute, but match turning moments can come at any time:
Connor was strong and smart in defence and several times saved the day on the last line; Nic ran hard at a loose ball on the back flank in the second quarter with no thought about the oncoming Tiger and won the contest; Paddy backed back into a pack to take a strong intercept mark on the back flank in the third term; Alex DP’s opportunistic snap sparked our revival just after quarter time; Alex D’s steady set shot in the third term kept us in the game.
It’s not just a glamour goal after the siren that wins a game – it’s every little contribution in the 60 minutes before that.
Like they did against Pennant Hills a few weeks ago, these kids showed enormous grit to twice come back from behind.
After being kept scoreless in the dewy first quarter as the mist rolled in from Five Dock Bay, they went into quarter time three goals down, but not out.
Tackles, smothers, shepherds, run from everyone and goals to Alex DP, Paddy and Ben M locked the scores at halftime.
A pair of goals apiece, a few lead changes and scores were still level at three quarter time and we were in for a thrilling final term.
Two good goals to the hard running and clever Tigers put them 12 points clear early in the final quarter and they kept that margin with the siren looming.
But the desperate and gutsy Cannons kept fighting and spent the rest of the game throwing everything they had at trying to snatch the game.
With three minutes left, it started deep in defence. Alex D combined with Blake, then on to Thea on the wing who sent the ball to Alex DP who kicked a long range goal from the flank to put us within six points.
Soon after his goal, the crowd thought ADP had levelled the scores with another shot, but he was smarter than that. It was a strategic behind which put us five points down, but still in our forward line with a minute to go.
Then followed the most exciting 60 seconds of footy you’ll ever see on a Mother’s Day. And it was well worth giving up that sleep in.
CANADA BAY 7.5.47
Goals: Alex DP 2, Cooper 2, Alex D 1, Ben M 1, Paddy 1.
MOORE PARK 7.4.46
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