U11 Black v Moore Park
Round 7, Drummoyne Oval
If it wasn’t for the red neon scoreboard lighting up the late afternoon gloom, a stray spectator wandering down to Drumoyne Oval would have sworn Drummoyne were thrashing Moore Park.
In every department other than those bright lights we were: We had more scoring shots, more of the ball, laid more tackles, spent more time in our forward line, took more marks and our leading, passing and marking was brilliant.
And it was such an allround, even team effort. Fergus, James A, James G, Romano and Charlie all had their best game of the year, while the whole match was full of individual and team highlights:
Finlay was taking the marks of a man twice his height and was impassable on the half back line.
Will’s eyes kept lighting up as he lined up hapless Tigers to tackle.
Manfred threw himself around, taking diving marks and overhead screamers.
Dan took the mark of the day, running Jonathan Brown-like with the flight of the ball and outmarking two opponents.
Thea was used up forward and presented a vital focal point, kicking two great goals.
Sammy was fierce at the ball as always, Jack was strong in the air and on the ground, Ben swung from defence to attack and was equally effective at either end of the ground.
And Paddy just kept winning the hard ball.
But what happend to the luck of the Irish? Connor must have kicked a leprechaun last time he saw one. He’s had a horrible run with injuries all year and was again struck down just as we needed his tough defence.
And there were some very mature passages of team play:
Charlie led and marked, went back quickly, found Thea with a precision pass and the skipper goaled.
Paddy won yet another clearance out of the middle, passed to James A who marked and then delivered a bullet pass which found a strong marking James G who just missed a terrific set shot at goal.
Sammy’s goal was a highlight. It started with Dan’s mark in the middle, he passed and found Finlay who took yet another mark, then kicked to a contest where James G went hard and made the sure the ball went to ground where Sammy roved and kicked the goal. It was straight out of an AFL highlights package.
But, the scoreboard doesn’t lie. Despite our fantastic effort, Moore Park were just too good at keeping their forward line open and used the space to kick some easy goals against the run of play and win 8.4.52 to 5.9.39.
It wasn’t hard to work out why their forward line was so open – most of their players were in our forward line where they regularly had three or four men in the goal square taking goal saving marks.
For the second time this season we opened with a scoreless first quarter only to outscore our opponent in the next three but lose narrowly. After quarter time on Saturday, we scored 5.9.39 to 5.3.33. There’s a pretty simple message there – we’re just as good as these other teams, but we need to play FOUR quarters. We especially need to get off to a good start.
This game can be the turning point of the season. It was the day our passing by hand and foot, our leading and especially our overhead marking all suddenly clicked. Combine that with the tackling, shepherding, pressure and endeavour we already had, we’re just about the complete package. We just need one more ingredient – A GOOD START!
Moore Park 8.4.52
Thea 2, Sam 1, James A 1, James G 1