In conditions that varied between perfect and idyllic, LCC U10YG Evans played a pre-season friendly against Northwest Lightning at Ern Holmes Oval. Club President Daniel Hynes got out early to do a recce of the field for the Team, very early in fact, and was quick to deny a daylight savings-related issue. We only had five players from our team list, being in the middle of school holidays, but our numbers were boosted from both within the club and from Northwest Lightning, so we played eleven-a-side.
The game focus was on cross-field lateral movement with the ball, kicking as a first option, and just enjoying our first game. Coach Mic welcomed the loan players, asking them not to hold back against their former teammates, a message which they evidently took whole-heartedly. Eva captained today and her pre-game address to her team was inspirational and encouraging, and she reinforced the coaching points superbly.
It certainly was inspiring for Team Evans, who got out of the blocks early, and it was not long before every single forward, including the Northwest loan players, had scored majors. Collette was able to get out the back of the contest twice and convert successfully. With our players rotating forward each quarter, all players had a chance to score: Verity’s notable goal in the second was off a superb kick, and Eva got free from the pack and confidently kicked a perfect… behind. Team Evans was well ahead going into the long break.
For the third, Coach Mic subbed himself out for the quarter for Coach Kelly, a new set of loan players came across, and play became a little more even. Our ability to score was not hampered though, Mila dominating the scoreboard and Robyn put one through before coming off with a sore ankle after twisting nastily. She returned for the fourth, where the opposition coach put his strongest team in, and the quarter was played predominantly in The Cats backline. Mila dominated again, laying tackle after tackle on a skilful opponent, and limited the amount that Lightning could pull back from the deficit.
Our focus at training will be on setup at ruck contests and marking opponents. At times during the game a stoppage would have all our players forward of the ruck, which left us vulnerable to an opposition clearance. This is picking nits though, overall it was a superb start to the season. All players got plenty of touches, and the rotation (even in the coaches) allowed everyone to experience all aspects of the game.
Thanks to our loan players, both from within the club and also from Lightning. It allowed for a much more balanced game. Thanks also to Pennant Hills/Northwest, the day and ground were superb, and the people there are lovely.
The Tayla Harris Courage Award went to Robyn, for returning to the field in the 4th after going down with a hurt ankle in the 3rd. The Darcy Vescio Award for Player of the Day was awarded to Mila, who was at it all afternoon, kicking goals and clearing stoppages, but particularly showing her grit and determination in the 4th playing in defence.
Team Evans look forward to playing our first home-and-away game of the season on the artificial turf of Blackman #1 Sunday morning at 9am against the Balgowlah Suns. It should be a cracker.
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