Round 4, Saturday 30 April
After the early rain cleared, U7 Black had a solid warm up then took the long trip to the far end of Picken Oval for their clash against the mighty Wests. By all accounts it was set to be an epic clash, with latest recruit Tess raring to go. Despite a handy tap out from Evie at the opening bounce, it seemed the trek down field cost the Power some of its, well, power, as Wests took control early, helped by the massive boot of their #11 — who knew you could kick a goal from half way?
The team shook it off, though, with a couple of players deciding a friendly midfield wrestle was needed to pump themselves up. Although it was probably not on coach Mark’s game plan, the tussle seemed to work, and Akira showed his own boot was pretty big, too, kicking straight and true for the first Power goal after some crafty attack from the centre by Arnaud and Tom. Tess gritted her teeth and showed she wanted some of the action, finding space and striking the ball beautifully. There was a moments pause from the team and supporters—was it a goal?—and after a bit of discussion between the umpires, and quick a call upstairs, Tess was awarded her first Auskick goal. Now she knows where the big sticks are, we’re guessing it’s the first of many.
Just as the Power were making the most from the change in momentum, some late game-day trading saw us gain a few additional reinforcements from the Teal team, with Hewston, Leif, Ben and Dean joining our ranks. It was like they had been part of the team all along, with Leif and Hewston attacking the ball with determination, and Ben and Dean showing good defence and teamwork—even helping even out numbers on the Wests team.
Alex V was involved in everything throughout the match, proving adept at handling attack and defence in equal measure. Lachlan showed his usual speed through the centres, staying strong on his feet and kicking truly as we piled on the goals on the second term. Tess showed her height is going to be quite the advantage in the ruck, tapping the ball to her teammates with ease, and Evie proved she is really coming into her own, finding space and looking ready to pounce on the loose balls in the ruck.
It was great to have Austin D back in the ranks, returning from injury for his first game of the season. It was like he never left, and he showed his usual brilliant defence that made it hard for the Wests team to even get close to the goals in the latter half of the game. The other Austen (with an ‘e’) had another solid game, getting some good kicks and marks and showing smart play out of the centre, with Alexander G proving his already mega-watt smile only gets bigger when he secures the monster marks for which he is now famous.
But the play of the day came in the final term, as the forward pack of Alex V, Arnaud and Tom got in a huddle to talk strategy. What was spoken between them is now the stuff of legends, but it proved a masterstroke, with Alex V nailing a cracker within minutes. There were high fives and more cuddles, I mean huddles, and the trio showed they could also turn it on in defence when there was a rare turnover. And when Arnaud pounced on a loose ball from a wayward Wests kick, he went on to knock it through for another spectacular goal to see out the match.
Highlights from the day included awesome marking by Tom and Alexander G, with focused attack coming from Lachlan, Leif, Austen P, Akira and Alex V. It was great to see more and more hand passes being used to get us out of defence and through the centres, and the team are really starting to find and kick to space. I think it’s fair to say, footy was the real winner here today!
Best on ground went to Tom, who was all over the field today and took some brilliant marks.
As always, big thanks to coach Mark and the solid team of supporters who are turning out every week.