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