Steve Chisholm Oval was in tip-top condition for Team Ablett’s first home game of the season against the Suns, and with coach Roger quietly and cheekily humming the Suns club song happily as the team organised for the game, everyone looked forward to a good contest in the beautiful sunshine.
Last year as U10 Hawkins the boys were notoriously slow starters, but with the merging of the two U10 teams Selwood and Hawkins Team Ablett have morphed into a group that has (so far!) been on from the centre-bounce. After Captain Zac Holgate led his team onto the ground, the boys quickly got out to a 21-point lead, and our defence was faultless, keeping the Suns scoreless for the first. The second quarter was more of a struggle, the Suns getting on top and kicking a goal while keeping the Cats scoreless. A half-time gee-up from Coach got the boys re-focussed, and they piled on 6-4 to 0-2 for the rest of the match.
Team Ablett had a good spread of goal-kickers in James Hughes (3), Olly, James O’Dowd, Lucius, Hudson (2) and Lewis. Final score was 9.7.61 to 1.2.8.
The boys are really starting to understand the need to maintain field spacing. While there was still a bit of congestion around the contest, and there were still a lot of mid-fielders crowding into the forward line, generally the forwards and backs kept that crucial one-to-two kick distance when it was out of their area. More pleasingly, and perhaps as a result of Coach harping on about it since round 1, the players stuck with their respective opponent, and only had to be reminded a handful of times to attend to their man. It was a strong performance from the team, with Coach Roger remarking how well the boys played, and in particular, how more of our players are playing better footy more consistently, and with more maturity.
Zac H. ably led his team from defence and relished the contest, laying tackle after tackle when the ball was down there. His efforts rightly earned him Defensive Play of the Day. Lewis Thame is starting to get busy, is listening to his coaches, and received the Team Player award for his work in the forward line. As Coach Mic said during the post-match presentation, occasionally there are moments in a game when the coaches and spectators go “woh!” for some display of brilliance or luck or both. The one in this game was James Hughes final quarter running right-foot kick from the right pocket that went through the big sticks for his third goal, a goal that Eddie Betts would’ve envied. He thoroughly deserved Best Player on the day.
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