19.8mm of rain was recorded at Mona Vale on Sunday and it is fair to say that almost all of it fell between 8am and 9am as the Cats took on the Pittwater Tigers at Narrabeen. Inevitably, in so wet a game, a low scoring and defensive game was expected, but to the delight of the crowd assembled under umbrellas, the result was an evenly matched and close game, showing off a surprising level of skill.
The game started well for the Cats, with close marking and attention to the ball resulting in good field position. Avishi toed through a goal in heavy traffic and the Cats held a well deserved lead at quarter time, 1-1-7 to no score. Jaimie took on the rucking duties along with a fair amount of the roving and a good share of the tackling, but really there were simply no weak links in the team with a great contribution across the board. Avishi found some clear air to score again, but two goals from the Tigers left the Cats with a small lead at half time, 2-3-15 to 2-0-12. Emma’s kick sailed through the goals only seconds after the siren sounded and didn’t count.
At half time, Coach Rohan declared the worst of the rain over, which of course precipitated the heaviest downpour of the day. With only a single point scored in the third quarter, Charlie at fullback performed outstandingly on an opponent twice her size and Armo attacked the ball relentlessly and cleared the ball beautifully. Lexie and Charlotte had one of their strongest performances of the year, both handling the slippery ball and injecting themselves into the play. Three quarter time, 2-4-16 to 2-0-12.
At the three quarter break, Coach Jemma emphasised that effort would win the day and with those words ringing in their ears, the team played strongly and for the first ten minutes of the final quarter held possession across the forward line. Three behinds for the Cats pushed the lead out beyond a goal, before Elin picked up the ball in the forward pocket, went around her defender and lined up a kick into an empty goal square. The ball sailed truly, landed right in the middle of the goal square and took a sharp right hand turn and missed everything.
The ball then shifted to the other end and for the last five minutes was locked into the Tigers forward line. A behind, brought the difference back to a goal and in the ensuing ruck the goal ball was punched low toward the goal. Charlotte clearly got a hand on the ball, but the crowd couldn’t tell where in relation to the line; the goal umpire dropped both hands and the scores were tied. From the centre bounce, the ball again went towards the Tigers goal and with a heartbreaking kick from a Tiger’s forward, the Cats, who hadn’t been headed for 59 ½ minutes of the game, fell behind.
Despite a disappointing result, the team can be very proud of the way and the spirit in which they played in very challenging conditions. Amber played strongly at the ball and Eloise and Lily ran themselves ragged as usual. Another close result in what has been a season of close results.
Final scores – Pittwater 4-1-25 d Lane Cove Cats 2-7-19. Goal Scorers – Katamaneni (2). Player’s Player – Armstrong.
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