U12 div 2 v Forest

Cannons U12-2, Round 7

Canada Bay Cannons U12 Div 2 v Forest Lions

Round 7, 22 May 2016, Drummoyne Oval

We keep racking up the wins and this was another one we had to work hard to score.

It was the classic games of two halves: dominant and sleepy; comfortable and tense.

Finlay got us going in the first quarter, not just by tackling kids twice his size and taking big marks, but he’s playing smart footy. His pair of goals in the opening term were a result of being in the right place at the right time, as he patrolled the wall across our half forward line.

Paddy led by example in the second quarter and filed another contender for goal of the year when he gathered from the centre bounce, tucked the ball under his arm, beat two defenders, took a bounce and kicked from 30 metres out, while this week’s trick from Alex DP was a backwards over-the-head goal.

Manfred took a great mark on the flank and Jamie earned a tough free kick early on and just missed his shot for goal.
With five goals and a few too many behinds in the first half, we were in control and looked headed for another comfortable win.

But the 30-point halftime lead must have made everybody a little complacent, including the team manager who forgot to bring out the oranges.

Without their vitamin C at the break, the kids looked flat in the third quarter and the lead shrunk to 12 points as Forest went in harder and got to the footy first.

As the game started getting tense, Thea seemed to have a sixth sense and repeatedly stepped up to settle the side down. She’d take a gutsy mark, run the width of the ground to make a contest or create an option, or lay a strong tackle to stop a Forest charge.

And, after Nic, Damo and Paddy linked together down the flank to get the ball to Thea near goal late in the last quarter, she selflessly dished off a handball to Xavier who kicked the sealer and we all breathed easier.

The Dependable Twins Blake and Damo were again, well, dependable all day, both with great delivery by foot as well as doing the hard stuff – the tackles and shepherds that matter so much.

Ben C also continues to be Mr Reliable down back and, with a new shimmy and sidestep in his repertoire, is often the springboard for attack.

Archie took a critical mark in the middle as Forest threatened in the last quarter, while Connor and Will were strong when it mattered in defence, Liam was solid and Ben M rucked all day and took marks around the ground.

Thanks to Jezza, Tom and Brayden for backing up after playing for Div 3 and thanks to Nic, Damo and Finlay who helped the undermanned Forest.

CANADA BAY 6.15.51
Goals; Finlay 2, Alex DP 2, Paddy 1, Xavier 1.
FOREST 4.7.31


Cannons U14, Round 6

Canada Bay Cannons Under 14 Division 2 v Heathcote Hawks

Sunday, May 15, Round 6, Heathcote

It was top of the table versus the bottom. Under 14 Division 2 ladder leaders Canada Cannons versus the Heathcote Hawks who were yet to win a game.

But it was a determined home-side Hawks who served it up to the visitors in the second half, matching them goal for goal in a tough match that now has coach Dean Lee devising ways he keep his players focused for four quarters of football.

The Cannons won the match by a comfortable 31 points courtesy of their solid start but with an eye on next week’s game against a formidable Cronulla Sharks, Lee told his players they would need to work harder.

“Everyone got involved today but most came in and out of the match,” he told the post match huddle. 

“Bigger, stronger opposition will run over the top of us if we let them so we all have to switch on for the whole match. So we’ll work on that.”

But Lee said there we were some very good performances today. Cassidy rucked all day and fed his midfielders for the whole game, while the back six, led by Jaden, Sebastian and Jasper  frustrated the Hawks out of the game.

The match started as a dour struggle between the arcs. 

The Cannons took control of the centre from the opening bounce but the Hawks muscled up in defence and unsettled the Cannons’ attack. 

While play had settled in their forward 50 the Cannons just could not get a shot away.

Midway through the first term – after some excellent lead-up work from Riley and Joel – Joshua earned a free. He quickly played on to find Tim lurking near the goal square who marked and made no mistake posting the Cannons’ first major of the day.

This sparked the visitors into action. 

Patrick  was in everything alongside Jack. But when Joel slotted a goal from an acute angle deep on the left forward flank, the Cannons had skipped to a healthy lead going into the first break.

The second term was almost a mirror image of the first. A tough struggle as the Hawks put up a fight to frustrate the visiting forwards.

The Cannons’ midfielders worked well for much of quarter but couldn’t break through. Equally, the Cannons’ backs were rock solid – Jasper, Gus, Michael and Liam tackling hard and supporting each other.

It was a quarter of hard bumps from both teams.

It was going to take something special to stamp authority on the game and it came first through Michael who had moved forward. He took a mark on the run and ever so calmly threaded it through for a rousing goal.

Then Patrick, who always seems know where the ‘big sticks’ are, swooped on a loose ball from a long way out and snapped over his left shoulder to an empty goal square. And the Cannons lead by four unanswered goals going into the long break.

The visitors came out firing in the third quarter and the whole team seemingly looked to get involved. 

Big plays from Riley – hard as nails in defence – Aiden, Jaden, Liam, Joel, Michael, Sebastian and Joshua right up and down the ground.

It resulted in goals to Joshua and Christian but then the Hawks fought back, taking two quick goals of their own, their first major scores of the day.

Sensing the slight momentum shift, Coach Lee appealed to his players to put the pressure on the Hawks. And the Cannons came out firing.

Aiden swooped on a loose ball and snapped for his first goal.

Then hard, grafting lead-up work from Liam and Riley presented an opportunity for Christian who marked out wide. An indiscretion from their Hawks forced a 50 metre penalty to make it easier for Christian who made no mistake.

Jasper propelled forward to Christian who then off-loaded to a hard-running Jack who landed a long-range goal which was just pretty to watch. It then looked like Canada Bay would just run away with it.

But the Hawks were not done. They gave as good as they got, picking off two quick goals. 

Christian got one back for the visitors before the Hawks sunk another right at the end.

The final term was an enthralling shoot-out with the Cannons’ last term tally at four to the homeside’s three.

The Cannons now prepare for the Cronulla Sharks at Drummoyne Oval: One versus Three on the ladder. 

Cannons 10.3.63
Hawks 5.2.32

GOALS: Christian 3, Tim 1, Joel 1, Patrick 1, Michael 1, Joshua L 1, Aiden 1, Jack 1

U12-2 v Heathcote

Cannons U12-2, Round 6

Cannons Under 12 Division 2 v Heathcote Hawks

Round Six, Sunday 15 May, Heathcote Park

A trip to the Royal National Park is always a pleasant Sunday outing.

Especially when you convincingly beat the top team and claim first spot on the ladder!

That’s a well-deserved reward for a bunch of kids who have shown great heart and spirit all season. But there’s still lots of season to go.

After a long drive south, Dave G was keen to sample the Heathcote bacon and egg roll and was more than pleased with its energy-restoring qualities. Likewise, the kids were full of beans from the start, but without having to head to the barbie.

The Cannons dominated from the outset and should even have kicked more than the three goals they had on the board by quarter time.

Strong work in the middle kept the ball in our forward half for most of the quarter, with Alex D setting the tone from the opening bounce, winning the first clearance to set up the Cannons’ dominance.

Alex DP kicked the opening two goals of the game, the first coming after good work by ruckman Ben M. Ben then combined with Dominator and Paddy who kicked long for ADP to take a strong mark and kick his second.

Dominator then capped off hard work in the middle when he earned a tough free kick in the
goal square to kick his first goal for Div 2.

The wall was strong and remained solid the whole day. On the odd occasion the ball ever made it over the wall, we had an impassable second barrier with Will and Connor patrolling the half back line and reading the play beautifully.

The second quarter belonged to Liam and Blake, who kicked one of the goals of the year.
Blake gathered on the outer wing, switched the play to the members’ side with a long kick and kept running to meet Connor who was strong in the contest. Connor dished the hands out to the supportive Blake who swung onto his left to kick a Buddy Franklin-like long goal from the boundary.

A classy combination between Archie, Blake and Matt in the middle ended up with Liam taking a strong chest mark in the square and kicking the first of his two goals for the term.
Liam kept offering a contest at full forward and latched on to another pass from Blake with a strong overhead mark and goal.

Thea’s revelling in her spot on the wing and was tough and creative all day, Finn kept taking brave marks, Jezza was strong down back and if only Ben C was sporting a bushy mo you would have sworn it was David Dench and his clearing runs out of defence.

Nic kept running and going in hard, giving a slick handball in the third term to Damo who kicked beautifully to the square where Brayden’s strong hands and then trusty left boot did the rest.

Tank steamed through the final quarter, taking marks at both ends of the ground and kicking two goals for the term, while his teammates just love it when Coach Tony tells them to take the game on, play on and go for a run. And the results showed with five goals in the last quarter to record a great win against strong opposition.

CANADA BAY GOALS: Will 3, Alex DP 2, Liam 2, Tom 2, Brayden 1, Dom 1, Blake 1, Paddy 1.

Cannons U12 Div 2 v Moore Park, Round 5

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.


Goals: Alex DP 2, Cooper 2, Alex D 1, Ben M 1, Paddy 1.



To view the gallery, click into the first image, you’ll then be able to scroll through (preview size or full screen) and download, if you wish.

U17 v Heathcote Hawks, Round 4

UNDER 17 Division 3

ROUND 4, Sunday May 1

ELS Hall

Back on home patch for the Canada Bay Dockers U17s, and overnight rain had largely gone before the bounce. However, with ELS being well-grasssed, we found we were playing on that most treacherous of surfaces: firm underfoot but slippery on top.

As a spectacle, the game against Heathcote Hawks (who played in the Bangore Tigers strip) was lacking because the ball got “soap in a bath” slippery by halfway through the first quarter.

Any player using dry weather techniques learnt the folly and was greeted the incessant cries of “PICK IT UP”. Overhead marks were few and far between. Every pass needed to be grasped securely. 

It was a match driven by team endeavour and growing confidence. There were, of course, plenty of good individual efforts and several passages of sound team play. Overall it was a good contest. We got in front early, we kept stretching the lead, they kept chipping away at it. We had an edge in speed over the ground and wanted to win more.
A good result.
Oscar S. had a good day out. He dobbed a long range goal in the first quarter and was creative in the forward line all game.

Head down, full speed and damm the torpedos, Michael F, particularly in the first half, used his drive to advantage both in defence and attack.  

Lachie J started the game with a thunderous pack bursting mark that let everybody know we were serious. This and other vigorous efforts won him this week’s Five Dock Volkswagon “Played strong done good award”.

Developing steadily, NicholasT is beginning to back his own ability around the ball. He has the size to be a handy ball winner for us.
With his explosive burst of speed, Jack T was a standout. Adopted to the conditions probably better than anyone and was dynamic with ball in hand coming through the centre.

Initially marked out as injured, Angus M instead opted to play. His size was very handy in the conditions, and he’ll be better for the run.

Luke G put in another robust performance. He reads the play well and plays halfback in the classical barnstorming manner.

Dylan S was a valuable contributor throughout the game and seems to be having an inordinate amount of fun.
As usual, the master of in and under Tyler F continued to contest and drive the ball forward of us all day. You have to admire his  work rate.

A renowned mud runner (and I should know … I wash the jumpers), Jimmy B had a good day out. Goals, marks, plenty of possessions and provided leadership.

The bullocking approach of Macca found him around the ball and winning contests all day but his skills in the slippery conditions tended to let him down at critical times. 

It wasn’t a day for the highlight reel for Harrison L., but he was a substantial contributor in making/winning contests at half forward and creating opportunities with his handball. 
The tall timber HazG (B2) did everything the coaching staff could have asked. Rucked all day, as usual. Won 65%, as usual. When we get out stoppage systems sorted out and win 65% of the clearances we’ll be hard to stop.

Playing mainly off half forward Rory B showed some deft touches early and looked a dangerous attacking option with ball in hand.

Quieter, or perhaps less spectacular than usual, but still totally solid in his defensive capability Ehsen S ensured that the Tigers forwards had no opportunity to kick a winning score.

Josh L played a handy cameo… he makes a habit of it.  A renowned goal sneak. he performed well.
Twinkle toes MattyB looked very good whenever he applied the afterburners and ran out of defence. Contribution is improving as his confidence grows.

It wasn’t a day for a marking forward, so Matty K did well to snare an early goal and to stamp his authority on the forward line and contested well for four quarters.

We get the best out of LouisP and his blistering pace when we get the ball to him in space. Conditions made that hard to achieve with any consistency today.

Despite working tirelessly all day, Layton H had trouble getting his hands on the ball, though he got to where the ball was often enough. Also worked very hard off the ball in his defensive efforts.

The energy and running power provided by Sam P proved a real difference the longer game went on. 
So that result puts us third on the Div 3 ladder with a season defining encounter with the competition leaders Cronulla to come.

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.

Under 12 Div 3, Round 4

UNDER 12 Division 3 v Lane Cove Cats

ROUND 4, Sunday May 1

Blackman Park

It really was a ‘David v Goliath’ battle when the winless Div 3 Cannons took on the top of the table Lane Cove Cats in an epic battle at Blackman Park on Sunday.
In a game of AFL, every player is regularly expected to step out of his or her comfort zone and do things that we rarely do in everyday life. Taking on a complete stranger and tackling them to the ground in an act of strength and aggression is often a foreign act for many young boys playing Aussie Rules.

Some players come to grips with this quicker than others. It is not about being weak or scared – you’ve got to start somewhere.
But, at some point, every one of us will be asked to ‘cross the line’, step out of our comfort zone and into the danger zone.
As coaches, our job is to help our young players grow in confidence, build their self-belief, and self-inspire.
Pre-game, the coaching group asked six players – Hugh, Ben, Fraz, Luke, Maxy and Jae – for an extra special effort when given the chance to attack the ball. Little did we realise how they would go on to create and provide acts of inspiration.
Bolstered by the inclusion of Cooper, JA & Connor and with the reliable Matty & Liam keen to lead from the front, the Cannons went in to the game with easily our most competitive line up against the top of the table Cats.

Right from the first bounce the tone was set by Hugh S., who attacked the footy with his first opportunity, showing the way for his fellow team mates. Hugh’s team-lifting act was quickly followed by Max who used his strength and size in an early battle of strength. The first two quarters were an even tussle with the Cannons going in at half-time nipping at the heels of the Cats. Cooper, JA, Liam ‘The General’ and Matty were playing brilliant footy leading the way for the rest of the team.

Quarter 3 starts. Luke H. – an up and coming footballer a few seasons into his career – was put into a position where he had to put his body on the line and take on three opponents in a contest on the wing.
In full view of every parent at the ground, Luke ‘crossed the line’ and stepped out of his comfort zone. Luke could have backed away; he could have erred on the side of caution. The overwhelming situation could have got the better of him – but it didn’t. In what can only be described as a team-lifting act, Luke chose to put his body on the line, take on and beat three boys and win a pivotal dispute…sending the ball into our forward line, resulting in a goal.

A similar act occurred only minutes later, when Jae was presented with the chance to ‘Get or Fret’. At that moment, Jae also chose to ‘cross the line’ It resulted in one ‘hard ball get’ and, at quarter time, as Jae shared his battle scars with his teammates, it was beautiful moment; we all witnessed this young man grow in confidence, right before our eyes.

Ben C., another new player at our club, followed up with yet another memorable effort. Ben bought in, he also ‘crossed the line’, providing even further inspiration for his team.
Many pivotal moments occurred in the third quarter. At the time, Luke, Ben & Jae didn’t know it, but they were making investments into our team culture and, in the process, providing acts of inspiration for everyone – players, coaches and parents included.

We were brilliantly led by Cooper, JA, The General, Matty & Connor in the last quarter and the team ran away with what can only be described as one of the great wins in the very short history of the Canada Bay Cannons U12s.

A massive big ‘high five’ to the six boys mentioned above. Each and every one of those players did exactly what was asked of them and the inspiration that they provided added to the improved performance of the team.

A big shout out to Cooper D. who played possibly the best game of footy I have seen any 11-year-old play. Coops, you are a fantastic young man, a brilliant footballer and an inspirational leader. Thanks for the many investments you made in our team and the inspiration you provided everyone.

Big things to come… X-Factor one day you will be tearing games apart, buddy. Keep working at it and those big marks will come. Practice makes perfect.

A great win, boys, and a memorable day for all… plenty more to come!


Canada Bay Under 12 Div 2, Round 4

Canada Bay Cannons U12 Div 2 v Hornsby-Berowra

Round 4, Sunday 1 May

It was unfamiliar territory for all of us:

Up on Hornsby Heights looking over Galston Gorge;
Ben C up forward kicking goals;
Alex DP in defence;
Archie in a Hornsby-Berowra Eagles jumper;

…and nothing stronger than coffee to keep the crowd sustained.

It all took a bit of getting used to.

But it all turned out well, with a solid win to maintain our strong start to the season.

The long trip north must have affected the kids who all looked pretty sluggish in the opening term.

Alex D came in from Div 3 and was the liveliest one out there in the first quarter as he racked up possessions while his team mates spent the first 15 minutes shaking off jet lag. But once they found their legs, the form quickly returned.

A dominant six goal second quarter pretty much sealed the match for us as Nic began dictating the midfield. Five of the six goals in the term were a result of good team work as Thea, Archie and Paddy worked hard in the middle to get the ball to Alex DP and Nic who kicked all five between them.

Damo’s goal, though, was individual brilliance. He set it up with a chase and tackle in the middle of the ground and followed the ball forward where he snapped over his shoulder to bring up the half dozen for the quarter.

After the main break, Ben C relished his chance up forward in the third quarter and once he worked out they were our goals he was looking at, he was determined to use them. A strong tackle earned him a free kick and he went back and slotted his first goal of the year. (The celebration was not dissimilar to Swans fullback Rod Carter’s when he kicked his one and only AFL goal in the 215th of his 293 games).

Damo’s dynamic duo partner Blake was getting in and under, Declan was strong in defence and Finlay’s relentless grunt work was rewarded when he set up a deserved goal for Archie.

Ben M dominated the ruck again with clever tap work and marks around the ground while Tom was his ever reliable big man backup.

Tony issued the challenge at three quarter time to take the opposition on and it resulted in some spectacular footy – Jezza played on quickly from a free kick in defence, setting off a nice passage of coast to coast footy, while Paddy went for a run through the middle, took a bounce and sent the ball forward where Blake snapped a goal.

Nic, however, proved the importance of listening to your dad. He gathered the ball on the wing and, with his dad’s words in his ears (not the ones about doing his homework) , he took the opposition on, ran around a couple of defenders, took a bounce and kicked from outside 50 to send the ball bouncing through for the goal of the day.

So our first big trip for the year was a success, after a bit of a slow start.

Back to familiar territory at Drummoyne next week and, hopefully, another one of those wins which are becoming nicely familiar.

Cannons goals: Alex DP 4, Nic 3, Brayden 1, Ben C 1, Thea 1, Archie 1, Ben M 1, Blake 1, Damo 1

Cannons U14-2

U14 Div 2 Round 3

Under 14 Div 2

Round 3: Drummoyne Oval – April 24

Canada Bay Cannons: 9.6.60 drew with Forest District Lions: 9.6.60

Canada Bay’s Under 14s Cannons slammed four last-quarter goals in a dramatic fight-back to snatch a Round 3 draw with the Forest Districts Lions on Sunday.

Trailing the match for all but the final four minutes, the Cannons dug deep to find something special to deny the visitors.

That “something special” came in the shape of bullocking full-forward George, who bagged his sixth goal from a clever snap over his left shoulder to level the scores.

The Cannons, who appeared overwhelmed by Lions’ big men until the last break, just sprung to life to play desperate, contested football.

“Everyone lifted when it mattered,” coach Dean Lee said after the game.

He praised his team’s defensive effort and their clever options in the forward line in a strong finish that brought them within a whisker of a miracle win.

But in the end it was the Cannons’ sluggish start to the match that will drive preparations for their next match.

The Lions dominated out of the centre and intimidated Cannons’ defenders from the start. The visitors made the most of their opportunities in a scrappy opening term that was played between the arcs.

Their big men picked each other out and were able to break Cannons tackles with apparent ease. By the first break, the Lions had grafted a 20-point lead.

With the breeze at the backs, the Cannons were jolted into gear.

Joshua, Jasper, Christian and Jack began to play enterprising football while Gus and Liam provided the necessary starch in defence.

But it was George who got Cannons’ scoreboard ticking over. He goaled just 90 seconds into the term after a run at the sticks from an acute angle.

A minute later he booted another and all of sudden his team was back in the race.

The Lions answered with two goals – again through their big men. As the siren loomed for the main break Joshua  and George linked up for another goal and Cannons remained in the hunt.

Coach Lee’s half-time address warned that third quarter was the make-or-break quarter for his Cannons.

The Lions would be running with the wind and the effort of the Cannons’ back six was to be critical.

The third term was a scrappy, see-sawing affair. Both teams desperate to get the jump, they kept each other honest.

Martti, Damian, Aiden, Jasper, Gus and Joshua threw everything at the Lions.

The Lions and Cannons managed two goals apiece in the third term – just a 12-point gap between them to set up the barnstorming final quarter.

The Cannons took the match to another level, spurred on by goals from Tim and Matt.

The Lion’s two quick goals in response shifted the momentum back their way before hard-working ruckman Edward stepped up with a 30m snap to bag a major.

George’s last-gasp goal put the fitting seal on the game. The draw widely seen as a fair result in an entertaining game.

The Cannons now prepare for their Round 4 match against St Ives at Narrabeen next Sunday.

Cannons Under 12 Div 2 v Pennant Hills

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