Round 1

St Lukes Oval
Sunday April 2


Coach Dean Lee’s half-time plea to be first to ground-ball contests after a tepid start to their 2017 premiership campaign, woke the beast inside his Under 15 Canada Bay Cannons.

Playing to a home crowd on a wet and windy Sunday, the Cannons’ midfield machine kicked it up a notch, dominating out of the centre to slam five third-term goals and put the game out of the Magpies’ reach.

Joshua was the “everywhere” man linking up with midfielder and captain Joel and the lightning-fast Patrick  to put on an attacking football clinic. Four goals came from Joshua’s deft right boot alone in a quarter that offered a glimpse of the Cannons’ season of promise.

It was a term where everything came together, setting up what coach Lee later described as a great win.

“We really worked well as a team in patches today and that was really pleasing,” he said after the game.

“But that’s where we have to do our work if we are to win this competition.

“We have to work together for four quarters.”

The Cannons had to rally hard before getting into their rhythm as the heavens opened right on the opening bounce to make the ball as greasy as a cake of soap.

Blessed with a glut of first-quarter possession and territory through the powerhouse displays of rucks Ed and Jordan, the home side rained shots on the Magpies goal.

But the frustration was clear for the coach. His team rushed shots and took low percentage options in attack taking a 2.7.19 to 0.1.1 lead into the first break.

“We should have landed six or seven goals that quarter.”

The bright spot was the bullocking form of power forward George who kicked two majors for the term – in the third and sixth minutes.

Wests threatened in attack early in the second quarter, partly through some soft defence by the Cannons. But the visitors just couldn’t convert.

Canada Bay’s flashes of attacking brilliance came through Jaden, Joshua, Pat, Joel and Michael who all linked up well. They were like a fleet of Porsche sports cars at times who ran rings around their opposites.

Sebastian, Matt, Sean, and Alex  were strong too. Max monstered his opponents in defence, earning good possession turnovers.

But for the rest of the team, the work rate just wasn’t high enough for long enough, prompting the half time push for greater effort.

The home side responded well and the third term was the jewel for the Cannons.

Canada Bay kicked into the teeth of a stiff breeze in the final term. While they were typically strong out of the centre, it was the Magpies who drew first blood in the quarter with a long bomb from the half-forward line put the home team on the back foot.

The ball pinged from arc to arc as both sides grew tired.

Pat and Tim each booted a major in the last quarter which was a good reward for continued effort. While defender Gus managed to wake the ancestors of his opposite number with a bone-rattling tackle that may still be felt next week.

All players had their moments today. Flashes of strong play by nearly everyone during the game delivered hope and anticipation of a season that should take the Cannons deep into the finals.

“Our new players all stood up well today and that played a strong part in the win,” coach Lee said after the match.

“We have work ahead of us but the key will be to play as a team,” he said.

GOALS: Joshua 4; George 3; Pat 2; Tim 1.
Cannons’ Best: Joshua, Michael, Max, Jaden, Patrick, Ed.