Team Ablett travelled to ELS Hall on a beautiful sunny day for a long-awaited first game of the season against The Wildcats. With Coach Roger and Manager Michiel sunning themselves in tropical Queensland (or somewhere?), the B-Team swung into action and Coach Mic was ably assisted by stand-in Manager Tim Holgate and runner Chris Arnold. Thanks guys!
Coach Mic, already hoarse from shouting the previous evening at the SCG, emphasized the game points of surging the ball forward, keeping up the on-field chatter, and helping out your teammates. This was followed by a quick but effective Captain’s speech by Harry Arnold, before he led his team onto the field. He wasted no time demonstrating he intended to lead from the front, within minutes he had received the ball off half-back, sprinted through centre with two bounces and evaded multiple tacklers, passed off to the forwards and then followed up by receiving and scoring the Cats first major.
The Cats were never behind from that point, and held the Wildcats scoreless in the first and third, while piling on five further goals to Jude Lumley, James O’Dowd with two, Olly Meichen and James Hughes on debut. The final score was (Wildcats) 2-5-17 to 6-6-42. Other highlights included:
– Aaron Ball getting crunched numerous times and looked like he was taking it on behalf of his team. He didn’t stop though.
– Olly Meichen being let off the leash (aka being moved forward) in the 3rd.
– Zac Holgate in the backs and Jude in the forwards ordering around their troops like parade-ground sergeants.
– Some desperate goal line touches saved the score from being closer.
And in particular:
– Dylan O’Dowd continually standing under marks and tackling in the back line and kicks forward. His game-long efforts in defense earned his Best Defensive Play award, and this despite his continued attempts to convince coach to put him on-ball. Perhaps next week, Dylan.
– Xavier Coker (aka “Big Xav”) worked tirelessly in the ruck on his own, made every contest, and deservedly won Play of the Day.
– Harry Arnold simply wasn’t bettered on the day, and won Best Player.
Even the best teams need to continually improve and Thursday night Team Ablett will work on making space for our forwards, work on keeping touch with our opponents, and discuss listening to our on-field leaders. We hope the superb play continues, and look forward to facing the Leichhardt Cygnets at Glover St Oval, at midday next Sunday.
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