We ventured to Baulkam Hills to take on the Hawks with a depleted team of only nine this week. However we did welcome our newest recruit, Xavier Masztak, who put in a magnificent effort in his first even game of AFL.
With the Hawks happy to lend us some players, we were able to get an official game under way. Not having some key team mates was also going to be a disruption and it took some time for the boys to find their feed. However, the Hawks hit the ground running and quickly establish a strong lead. By three-quarter time, they had kept us scoreless and the lead hit 60 points.
However in Junior AFL games in Sydney they have the 10 goal rule, which asks that when the lead hits this level that the coaches adjust team so that the skill levels of the two teams are evened out. This could mean taking players off, or even playing them in completely different positions. The Baulkham Hills Hawks went even better, giving us their best three players.
Even so, it would have been easy to give up or just get dirty about it. Instead, not only did they show some character but they grabbed it with both hands and made the most of it! We started finding the ball and making repeated entries into our forward line. We then rattled off seven straight goals to end up losing by only 10 points! While we had one of the Hawk’s major goal scorers play for us in that quarter, most of the goals were kick by our boys and some of them were pretty spectacular. Samuel Hynes and Patrick Byrne both kicked some great snap goals. Even Alex Strassberg, the mainstay of our back line got into the action, kicking a great long goal. He’s quickly living up to the reputation of our team’s name (Harry Taylor, who is a great defender for Geelong, but also sneaks up forward to regularly kick goals).
However, that last quarter effort underscored the effort shown by Toby Zerna. Faced with the opposition regularly outnumbering him, he showed great effort and skill to repel many scoring attempts. I’m sure the margin would have been much greater without him.
The game was played with a great spirit, helped by Baulkham Hills efforts to even up the contest. In the end, players of both sides left the field feeling good about themselves and the game. Well done to all those involved.
Under 11 Coach
Best team player: Toby Zerna
Beat mark: Samuel Hynes
Best kick: Alex Strassberg
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