Team Hawkins played against their old foes from last year’s Gala – the Manly Mustangs. The Cats were low on numbers, and received three loan players from Manly to make up to 12 a side.
It was obvious from the centre-bounce that the Mustangs had not forgotten Hawkins. They came out to play hard, and for at least the first quarter Hawkins stayed with them, with the ball spending equal amounts of time in either teams attacking zones. The siren sounded for quarter-time with the score at one goal apiece. The second was a different matter, and Manly dominated, piling on a string a goals. The Cats came into half-time break slowly with their heads down, and Coach Roger pepped them up with some encouragement and pointers.
The game ground on from that point, as Manly’s pressure only relented slightly, and while the Cat’s defence was reasonably solid, it was unlikely the Hawkins attack would have made up the deficit.
The focus at training this week will likely be on marking your opponent, particularly in ball-ups. The boys will also need to learn to occupy the field better, at times they were either badly out of position, or clustered too close to allow any chance of breaking out from a contest – this though will get better with experience. We’ll also hope to improve our on-field communication and clearing the ball from defence; the latter is difficult for senior teams let alone for 10 year olds.
It was a disappointing morning, but the boys were reminded that “it’s only a footy game”, and that they gain as much experience from a loss as a win.
It was certainly not all doom and gloom though. Generally the skills are quite good and with the exception of the second quarter, the Cats were able to limit a strong opposition. Zak Evans was tireless in attacking the ball and was the standout player. He received both the Best Team Player and the Coach’s Hot Chocolate award. Angus Moten was unruffled throughout and when placed in the defensive zone saved a certain goal, and was awarded Best Defensive Play. Special mention also to Noah Tops who played with his right arm injured, having come off his skateboard the previous day. He insisted on playing (despite his father’s misgivings), and as usual was a solid contributor.
The boys are looking forward to Mosman Swans at Allan Border Oval next Sunday.
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