Team Hawkins returned to a parched Steve Chisholm Oval on Sunday to host the return match against Balgowlah Suns. It was a one-goal win to the Suns at their last meeting and the Cats were desperate to get back on the winners board. The coaches were also keen to get the team out of their lethargic starts, and were working the players hard on their lane-work at the warm-up to fire them up.
Captain Felix took a strong 13-man side out onto the field. Playing his first game this week was Lewis Thame. The game started well, and majority of the play was in the Cats mid and forward zones. Unfortunately we couldn’t take advantage of this on the scoreboard, managing only a single behind for the quarter, whilst a defensive lapse resulted in a goal from the Suns only forward zone entry. After a quick break and an assurance from Coach Roger that our play was solid, the boys returned to the field.
The game broke open a little in the second, with goals to Henry, Ryan and Zak to a single Suns goal. It was getting hot and the boys were coming into the breaks tired and thirsty, a good sign that they were putting the effort in. They were congratulated on their pressure, lateral movement across the ground, teamwork and tackling. The third quarter was a repeat of the first, where despite overall dominance, the Suns kicked the only goal, and we went into the final break on the narrowest of margins.
There were some nervous moments in the fourth. Jude took a good strong mark and kicked the set shot to start the quarter, but the Suns quickly kicked the next. Tommy and first-gamer Lewis kicked behinds to keep the Cats ahead, and then Zak finished off a nice individual effort to take the margin out to ten points. Once again the Suns kicked a responding goal. But the Cats dug in and defended the slim lead till the final siren. Felix lead his team off and into a rousing Team song.
This was Team Hawkins best game of the year so far. The boys were engaged from the centre bounce to the final siren, and it was incredibly pleasing for parents and coaches to see the teamwork and skills that were on display after a very lean couple of months. Jude played a strong defensive game on a very physical opponent, and was awarded the Defensive Play of the day for his midfield work in the third. Harvey is a solid contributor week-in, week-out, and this week his hard tackling work was singled out by the coach with his Team Player award. Jude also received the Coach’s Hot Chocolate for his good play throughout.
Team Hawkins next game is on Sunday 28 July against Forest Lions at Mike Pawley Oval Curl Curl.
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