Drummoyne Power U5 v East Sydney
Round 13, Five Dock Park
It’s a little known fact that Five Dock Park is the windiest place in Australia. It earned that reputation in Round 13 as a bitter westerly wind set the scene for a gritty battle between Drummoyne Power Under 5s and their crosstown rivals, the fearsome East Sydney Bulldogs.
With coach Paul laid up by injury, Nathan gamely stepped in as umpire. Judging that his boys’ superior aerobic fitness would give them an edge, Nathan mustered his six charges and opted to play on the biggest field ever sighted by a four-year-old. In the ensuing battle, this proved the deciding factor of the day.
It has to be said that the Drummoyne boys benefitted from a gale-force tailwind for the duration of the match. But fortune favours the brave and the local lads didn’t take any chances. In the centres, Oscar and Toby took control of the game from the outset, with confident taps to each other and dashing runs up the long field towards their forwards. Toby kicked a goal from near halfway and Oscar sent a perfectly weighted kick to Neddy who got under it to take his very first mark-in-a-real-life-game. Delighted, Ned spun and slotted the ball through the posts for his second goal while his supporters cheered. Koji snapped a six pointer as well and the opposition looked rattled. Things were quiet for Eli, Riley and Silas in defence, but they spent their time well – huddling from the gale and discussing tactics for next quarter.
Preparation paid off for Eli, Riley and Silas when they moved to the forwards and peppered the posts throughout the second quarter. Silas belted the ball through a wall of Easts defenders and bagged a goal to thunderous applause. Koji and Ned were busy in the centres, tirelessly taking the ball up to their forwards and stifling the odd counterattack from Easts. Drummoyne missed the dominant rucking of Oscar and Toby this quarter, as those boys were relegated to a quiet role in defence and their teeth chattered as they watched the action from afar.
Coach Nathan made a mercy call during the break and sent Ned in to play for Easts for the final quarter. Ned agreed to defect on the express condition that he could play in the forwards and kick some more goals – he wasted no time and slotted a couple before his erstwhile teammates realised he’d switched sides and stopped passing him the ball. Things took a turn for the worse when Eli copped a falcon, Silas took a breather and Riley left the field under a mysterious injury cloud. Suddenly Power were down several men and Easts were back in the game!
With only one Drummoyne lad in the centre in the final quarter, Oscar dropped back from the forwards to help out. He was busier than a one armed bricklayer covering both positions, time and again sprinting up the field with the ball tucked under his arm, rugby league style. Dad Nathan frowned from behind his umpire’s whistle at the cross-pollination of competing footy codes but he was powerless to stop the young man. A bunch of goals followed as Drummoyne wrested back control of the match and the crowd went wild.
Koji summed up the spirit of the game in his post match interview. Asked about the highlights of the match, he replied, “I kicked a goal and I had fun!”
Many thanks to Nathan for stepping in to umpire. Very best wishes to Coach Paul for a speedy recovery and thanks as always to Alison for her work behind the scenes.