Round seven saw the Cockatoos facing off against the Forest Lions, on our home deck at Blackman Park. Our focus was to continue our good form from our dominant performance last week against the Mosman Swans, and to be in the game from the first bounce. In the past we have had to play catch up with quiet first quarters.
Fortunately our boys were on song from the starting siren, and the ball was soon in our forward zone. Our starting mid-field of Jonti, Ryan and Jack worked brilliantly together, and we saw some great handballs, kicks and tackles. Oscar was simply sensational in the forward zone, scoring 3 goals in the opening quarter. Fortunately he was playing in front of the BBQ, where his dad, team Manager Andrew, was flipping bacon and frying eggs. The hungry hords lining up for bacon and egg rolls, were no match for Oscar’s hunger for goals! Jerry also kicked a goal and got plenty of the ball playing forward. His work on the ball was on display throughout the match no matter where he was playing. Despite our strong defence, Forest were able to kick 3 goals in the first quarter making it a tight game.
The second quarter was a bit more of an arm wrestle, with both teams struggling to add to their goal tally. Jonti did not start the second quarter, after spraining his fingers attempting a contested mark in the first. Hamish, Ivan and Ben worked hard to get the ball forward, while Jerry, Oscar and Jude kept our back-line tight, restricting the Lion’s ability to score.
Jonti was able to return to the field in the third quarter thanks to some excellent first aid from Ming, who bandaged up the damaged fingers. Jonti demonstrated his importance to the team by kicking two big third quarter goals, the second was kicked right on the siren, which he curled in from the forward pocket boundary line resulting in a goal that would have done Eddie Betts proud. Ivan also kicked a great goal, with our forwards getting enormous assistance from our midfielders. Jerry and Ben were relentless getting the ball forward, and Hamish was even better, with strong accurate kicking, and constant pressure being applied. Our backs in Oscar, Ryan and Jack kept the lively Lion’s attack in check, and limited them to just the one goal for the quarter despite some excellent service from the Lion’s midfield.
In the fourth quarter Hamish put the final touches on what was a very impressive game by kicking two goals, the second of which came from a perfect pinpoint pass from Oscar in the mid-field. Ben came oh-so-close to his first goal after fighting for the ball in the forward pocket, and barging his way through traffic to right in front of goal. But for a miscue off the boot his effort would have been a strong contender for best goal for the game. Our mid-fielders in Ryan, Oscar and Aza kept feeding the ball forward, with Ryan in particular a constant threat, both in the air and on the ground. Our back-line, made up of the three J’s, Jonti, Jack and Jude, kept their forwards honest, making scoring really difficult for the Lions. This was a strong finish to an exceptional game from the Cockatoos, and continues their good form. If they bring this form into next week, then it could be a tough day for the Manly Phantoms, our opposition next Sunday.
A big thank you to Hamish, Aza, and Ivan, who each spent a quarter playing for the Lions, and did our club proud. They showed great sportsmanship, played hard, and were big contributors to the Lions when donning the opposition jersey. Also a big thank you to Andrew, Liz and Margie who did a great job on the BBQ, so good in fact that they sold out of food!
After a great all round display (for both teams) Hamish won this weeks coaches award, a thoroughly deserved award after an excellent match.
Next week we find ourselves back at Frank Gray Reserve, this time against the Manly Phantoms, before a week off for the long week end. Have a great week until then!
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