Match Report R2: LCC U10YG Evans vs Willoughby Wildcats U10YG Sunday 25th April

Written by Lane Cove Cats

26 April 2021

Team Evans played their second home game in a row on their home deck, this time against the Willoughby Wildcats. By 9am the bottom oval was warming up, and parents were fighting each other to get a spot in the sun. By the end of the game, they were hunting for the shade! Coach Mic asked the players to focus this week on something we’d covered at training on Wednesday night, marking an opponent. Being Anzac Day (and though we hesitate to draw parallels between warfare and sport), we talked about one aspect of the Anzac Spirit, helping your mates out. Collette, captaining for the game, also urged her team to work together, before heading out onto the pitch.

Team Evans welcomed Isabella Watters to the team for her first junior game since Auskick. It is great to have you in the team Bella.

While The Cats were down on personnel and had eight players to take the field, Willoughby only had seven, which meant we played with only two in both forward and defensive zones, and three in the centre. Aside from making stoppages in the back or front very difficult for all, it also meant that if an over-eager child wandered into the contest from the midfield, the number disparity materially affected the play. It also was a new experience for the girls, who to this point in their footy life, had never spent time on the bench!

From the centre-bounce it was a tight tussle. The first quarter the Cats dominated play, the ball being mainly forward of centre. In the second things evened out a little and stayed that way till into the third. From about the middle of the third to the end of the game however, it was played mostly in the Cats defensive zone. And with fatigue in the fourth, the floodgates opened, and we had a number of goals scored against us.

Team Evans only goal came in the first, where Collette was tackled, dispossessed, regathered and kicked to have the ball fall short of the goal, backed herself up, regathered and kicked truly from point-blank. It was a great individual effort.

With two of our veterans away, it was always going to be a tough morning for Team Evans, fielding a small and young team. Still it was a great opportunity for those younger and newer players to get their hands on the ball. Captain Collette, addressing the team after the game, (and with my paraphrasing) emphasized that you always learn from a loss, and ultimately, become better players and a better team. While it was a difficult game due to the changes in personnel and reduced numbers, the coaches thought the girls played as well as they could have under the circumstances. We can definitely improve our field positioning and movement across the field, and (zone restrictions aside) ensure we’re not too far away from the person kicking the ball. Our kicking and handballing will improve through the season, and we look forward to meeting the Wildcats again in round 6.

Lulu played (another) exceptional game and was unlucky to miss out this week, the voting process perhaps being skewed by nepotism! Eva and Robyn also played very well; Eva in particular became our utility when interchange and zone rotation made our side unbalanced. The Tayla Harris Courage Award was given to Isobel for her never-give up approach to the game. Her determination and courage when running with the ball, sometimes with one or two opposition hanging off her, impressed parents, teammates and opponents alike. Collette was awarded the Darcy Vescio Player of the Day. She did everything the coaches asked for and more, kicked our only goal, and led by example.

Team Evans travels up to St Ives Village Green to meet the Saints next Sunday morning. We hope to be able to field our largest team yet and get back into the winner’s circle.

Go Cats!!

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