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.