Sunday saw our boys take on the Balgowlah Suns down at Blackman Park. Despite the Bureau of Meteorology promising a deluge, the game was played under cloudy but dry conditions.
Balgowlah is a very good team and were eager from the outset to demonstrate that. Unfortunately, again we got off to a slow start. There were some exceptions to this, Ryan, our Captain was fierce from the outset, and Aza competed hard whenever the ball was nearby. Notwithstanding this Balgowlah was able to regularly hit their targets and impact the scoreboard.
Fortunately, as each quarter went by our intensity lifted, and so did our competitiveness. Our boys began to put in to practise the simple but important skill, “see ball, get ball”. This was done in every zone, and you could see that each time our Cockatoos got the ball, their confidence grew. Jerry used his speed to get himself from contest to contest, regularly winning the ball, and running away from the opposition. Equally effective at this was Ollie, who really inserted himself into the game. Ivan has never been afraid to get stuck in, and he added to his competiveness on the ground by taking a couple of great marks. Jack tackled hard and got his hands on the ball whenever it was close.
As the game went on Hamish inserted himself more and more into the game. Hamish is a very skilled player, and took some great marks, and used the ball by foot really well. Equally Oscar started to assert himself by laying some great tackles and getting the ball out of the contest.
By the last quarter we had large portions of the game with the ball anchored in our forward zone. Ryan had three consecutive shots on goal after three brilliant marks (two of them from the oppositions kick out), and perhaps would have had more luck had his overeager coach not encouraged him to play on, and run towards the goal, rather than take the set shot.
Special mention has to go again to Aza. He got himself to every contest he could. He tackled hard when he didn’t have the ball, and when the ball was on the ground, he used his body to get the ball at his feet, and fought hard to get the ball free to a team mate. It was a huge effort and I loved his work. Equally Ryan only got fiercer as the game wore on. He tackled with such intensity that the opposition must have dreaded his approach. Ben fought hard to get the ball all game, and was rewarded in the final quarter when he won the contest for the ball right in front of goal, won a free kick after being tackled high, and nailed the kick for his first goal of the year! Great effort by Ben. His goal and the way he went about the game all match meant he was the deserved winner of the coach’s award this week!
Next week we take on Leichhardt Cygnets at the Glover Street Oval, which because of the school holidays, will be our last game until 21 July 2019. Hopefully the Cockatoos will go into the break with a big win, playing hard from the very first bounce!
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