Team Ablett played its final game of the home-and-away season at a packed Steve Chisholm Oval today against an under-strength and bottom-of-the-table Leichhardt Cygnets. It was going to be tough for the boys to remain focussed and competitive, as we rotated four boys per quarter to the opposition, and they were being once again trialled through their non-preferred positions. Noah was selected Captain for the game, and he led them out onto the field, prior to taking position in the ruck.
In what has become the mark of the team this season, they jumped out of the blocks early, scoring 6-5-41 to 0 in the first quarter. In their eagerness to all kick goals though, the forward line was getting too crowded and needed addressing. In an unusual quarter break, Coach Roger held the address on-field near the goal square, and had the forwards and mids actually stand in the correct positions for a stoppage. We had discussed this setup at training, but the finer points needed to be physically illustrated at game time. With the moving feast that was the Ablett line-up during the game, it was difficult to see that this was actually carried out, but regardless, the boys know what should happen, and can be quickly reminded to set up this way.
Things evened up in the second and third, as stronger players rotated through Leichhardt, and the boys had to be reminded that they are allowed to tackle their own men if they are playing for the other side! With James Ross departing at the half-time break (rumours of a fashion shoot amongst the boys), we were playing with one short, and four men with the other team. But Team Ablett soldiered on winning all quarters convincingly. Parents (and some coaches) can be forgiven for cheering for their children when playing for the Cygnets!
Final score 16-19-115 to 4-3-27. Goal scorers were Harry Arnold, Zak Evans (2), Zac Holgate, Olly, Dylan O’Dowd (2), Lucius (2) and Hudson (6). Yes that’s not a misprint, six goals to Hudson this week. If there were a Coleman Medal for U11 Div 2, and without knowing other team’s goal tallies, Hudson would likely be declared winner with 25 goals for the season. Hudson himself would claim 27, one extra for an earlier round where he claimed one more than was reported, and one extra today for the Cygnets. Well done, Hudson!
With so many changes, and such an even contribution across the board, it was difficult to pick out standouts. Olly played mostly in defence, was rotated though the midfield, and still managed to kick a goal, and so was awarded Defensive Player. Zak Evans continues to impress, he is the most likely to demonstrate to the coach that he has learnt a particular aspect of drill, and was awarded Team Player. Xavier was awarded Play of the Day for his impressive ruck work in the fourth.
Team Ablett has finished the home-and-away season undefeated and on top of the ladder. They have demonstrated a maturity and skill throughout the season that has been a pleasure to watch and exciting to be a part of. In particular this year with the limited opportunities for watching live footy, it is an absolute joy to be able to watch live football of the standard that this team produces.
Next Sunday is the semi-final, which Lane Cove Cats will host at Steve Chisholm Oval against the Willoughby Wildcats at 10am. We’re hoping for a big turnout of supporters for this clash. Go Cats!
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