Match Report: 19th July 2020
It was a sunny welcome back to football on Sunday morning for the U9 Blicavs team at Steve Chisholm Oval and it was an extremely pleasing sight seeing the squad of players warming up with Drew after arriving early. That just demonstrated the enthusiasm of the boys to dust off the Co-VID isolation suits and face masks and don their Cats jumpers to get back to footy! All of the parents were equally keen to be watching from the sidelines (one per player) as they reacquainted with each other and the coffee vendor pre-game, while maintaining appropriate social distancing of course!
I am not sure if it was hand sanitizer or dew on the oval when the umpire addressed the boys pre-game. Whatever it was it did not affect the Cats, the lads managing beautifully in the conditions with slick skills and clean ball handling.
Every onlooker to a game takes something different away, whether it’s the spectacle or an individual performance or a key moment. What I saw repeatedly was our boys winning a contested ball because they kept their feet allowing for smooth use of the ball. Also, the boys were able to move the ball well by hand between themselves in tight situations because they were aware of where their team mates were (communication). There were other things like the run to support team mates, most of the time there was an extra Cats player near the play supporting to provide an extra option (that’s team play supporting the ball carrier, not always rewarded but so admired by team mates) and the ability to trap the ball inside the forward third through pressure. And there was no greater example of this than Sammy Nugent who laid a spectacular tackle on a young Lion to win a free kick in front of goal but on the sharpest of sharp angles. Sammy converted truly, with protractor, great poise and focus. Not to rest on his laurels Sammy also took a courageous mark amongst opposition traffic to thwart a Lions attack. Drew and I were told by Sam’s mum post game that Sammy will get bragging rights at the dinner table that night over big brother (LCC U12’s) who took considerably longer to kick his first in Cats colours. You deserve an extra brussel sprout Sam, well done!
When I talk about keeping your feet and moving smoothly the name Jack Phillips (4 goals) comes to mind. His mother must have washed his footy gear with Teflon because no one could catch him on Sunday. Possibly the only thing stopping Jack was leaving the compass at home, could have bagged 7 if he kicked straight! Jack’s partner in crime was Jake Spiden who made sure Jack received it lace out, medium rare, pepper sauce….It was fine dining table service! Jake S also did the heavy lifting in the centre square, winning the hard ball and making other team mates look good by getting them the ball in space. Jake S deserved a goal but finished with 3 mouthguards instead.
Ed Callaghan’s game got better the longer the game went. His long range snap at the goals for full points was a beauty and gave him the confidence he needed to make sure he was amongst the play for the rest of the game.
Jordan Spinks (3 goals) was hungry for the ball all day and showed he was not suffering any ill-effects from not having an orange at half time. Jordy is always up for a contest. He put in for four quarters and was paid the rewards in front of goal for his efforts, well done Jordy. Jake Mears (3 goals) gave us added pressure around the ball at ground level and kicked a bag of goals. There is going to be plenty for Cats fans to look forward to this season from Jake M.
Marcus Kiley, Billy Kerrison and Ethan Chamberlain were stoic in defense early, working well together to repel some early attacks from the Lions brigade. Marcus shepherded and did the one-percenters, laid a great tackle, that went unrewarded by the umpire but helped set up yet another goal to the team from his tight pressure play. Billy, as well as kicking a few goals later in the game (3), was the source of many a forward thrust with his accurate long kicking and team play. On one memorable occasion he did the team thing and kicked it accurately to Ethan in the pocket rather than blazing away himself. Finally Ethan, “the running-man”. It would have been difficult for mum and dad to have kept Ethan in isolation for so many weeks. He was literally leaping out of his skin to play on Sunday and leap he did….into action! For me, Ethan summed up the whole game for his team, showing unbounded enthusiasm for the game, he ran, created and got involved in the play where he could and supported his team mates with good voice and great skill. So enthusiastic was Ethan that he forgot how many bounces are allowed, the umpire reminding two is one too many. I think if the umpire let him Ethan possibly would have had a few more too!
Looking forward to seeing you all under lights on Friday evening at Balgowlah Oval, the home of the Balgowlah Suns at 6pm. Drew has dispatched a reminder to all team member’s parents and I hope to see you all there for round 2.
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