As Jane Austen once wrote “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a good sherrin, must be in want of a game”. This Sunday, a warming breeze had roasted Steve Chisolm Oval dry and the top of the table Cats found a game against one of the new teams in Redlands School.
Given that we were marking the occasion of three players, LilyS, LexieP and Chops playing their 50th game for the club, slightly late recognition of Byrna and Elin hitting 75 and the debut of Caitlyn (no nickname yet), a win was expected, nay demanded.
With the Cats kicking in to the teeth of a three goal breeze and matching the opposition, who were a little light on for numbers, it was an open first quarter. Better structure than the prior week had the Cats going forward and Tipsy was the dominant player of the quarter, stationed behind the ruck, she racked up the possessions and sent the ball back in to leading players time and again. With dominant possession, it wasn’t long before the Cats started to score and Byrna opened with a conventional mark before sending it between the sticks. Jaimie toed one through from close range, before Ash crumbed her own spill and drilled a goal.
The Debutant was continually finding herself in exactly the wrong place, but found the ball nevertheless and kicked it straight to Laces, who stepped back and, calm as ever, simply kicked it through. Mark down an “assist” in the first 10 minutes of what is bound to be a long career. The quarter ended with a typical effort, Tipsy gathered the ball on half way, looked up, measured the lead of Charli, who took the mark, wheeled around to the left and kicked to Byrna who bookended the quarter with another goal. Q1 LCC 5.1.31 v Red 0.0.0.
If the Cats could do that against the wind, then how would they go with it! Well, as it turns out, not so well. The range finders were a little out and while plenty of leads were honoured, many soared over the heads and further afield. As the kicking skills have improved, we no longer need to kick every pass to max range.
Helena continued to deliver great ball out of the centre and Gracieeee avoided the problem by keeping the ball in hand, stepping inside the pack and shooting a low pass to Ash, who bagged her second, before Armo kicked a beautiful, long, straight goal. Lucy was a ball magnet for the next five minutes. Gathering the ball in the forward pocket, the ball left the boot strongly and smacked straight into the main post three quarters of the way up. The next effort was to chase the ball down against three opponents on the wing, in front of an appreciative crowd. Moments later she was going up for a speccy, surely the mark of the year, only for the ball to bounce out and hit the deck. Never mind, regather, wheel away and kick the goal straight over Dad’s head. Q2 LCC 8.7.55 v Red 0.0.0
The third quarter turned into a classical arm wrestle, the ball spending more time at the bottom of packs than sailing through the air. Midnight was busy ringing the changes as the extended bench kept the coaches busy. Gracieeee was leading into space regularly and LilyS was hard at the ball. With Redland winning more ball, Elin was finally seeing some ball at fullback and cleaning up with customary aplomb. Chops was the only one to goal with a typical darting, ducking run. Q3 LCC 9.11.65 v Red 0.0.2
The final quarter was a reasonably sedate affair. Maia was camped in the goal square on her own for long stretches, but the ball just couldn’t seem to find her. Lucy, LilyS, and Jaimie all added to their seasons total, but the highlight of the match was upon us. The Debutant, loitering in the forward pocket, took a good mark, took a couple of steps back and started looking around for options. The coaches were having none of it and the cries of “go for goal” could be heard at the Lane Cove West shops. Looking a little uncertain, but not wanting to sit on the bench next week, the Debutant took the advice, ran forward and kicked a goal from 30 metres out to uproar from the assembled parents and congratulations from the team. A goal on debut – find an agent.
As the game came to its conclusion, LexieP took her, now customary, goal just before the siren.
It might get a little more interesting next week at the highly anticipated clash of
the top of the table. Apparently there is even a pact to “not talk so much” at
training this week.
Final Score: Lane Cove Cats 14.14.98 d Redland School 0.2.2
Goals: J. Morelli (2), A. Birch (2), E. Byrne (2), L. Yates (2), C. Armstrong, C.
Davenport, G. O’Dowd, L. Sullivan, C. Zeilinga, L. Prentice
Players’ Player: E. Halloran
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