Match Report R3: LCC U14YG vs Willoughby MOSMAN U14YG red Sunday 2nd May 2021

Written by Lane Cove Cats

3 May 2021

“Sometimes a loss is nearly as good as a win. ” – random reflection

Today we had 5 girls who hadn’t played an official game with the Cats. Charley and Suzie are more used to the round ball game, but today tried a different challenge. We also had Zara L(yes we have 2 x Zara’s now), Lily and Zoe who made great debuts for the club. So now they’ve experienced a ball that bounces all over the place. One that you can try to pick up and when you do eventually tame it, you can get rid of by punching or kicking. Welcome to the AFL and the Cats girls!

Sienna was the captain today and led the team onto the ground to the cheer of a great local crowd. The game started well and was tight around the contest. We had kicked a goal each when Sami went down with an ankle injury. Sami is becoming a key part of our backline so this was sure to leave a hole. A mad changing of names on the board followed. It was 1-1-7 to 1-1-7 at quarter time. Maia had some really important touches in this quarter, we started her in the middle and she provided lots of pressure on their players. Lily J also started on the wing and is a great runner of the ball, had a few touches and will step up as she plays more games.

In the second quarter we were running into the scoring end of Blackman Park (towards the dog park) and Elin kicked our second goal after some great work with the forwards. Our forward line has been playing well this year. Lexie P kicked 4 last week and the first today and always seems dangerous in front of goals. Elin has taken to the half forward role really well, taking plenty of marks and providing lots of options. Hannah was also busy in the forward line with electrifying pace. Score at half time: LCC 2-1-13 to WM 1-1-7.

In general we have given everyone an opportunity to play different positions during the first 2 games, looking for different combinations and areas where the girls’ talents can best be used. It’s fair to say in the 3rd quarter we didn’t quite get this right. Willoughby kicked 4 goals and 3 behinds to lead the game at 3 quarter time: LCC 2-1-13 to WM 5-4-34. The effort from the Cats was certainly there in the 3rd quarter. Zali was running hard for the ball and Freya continued to win the ruck contests. We just struggled to clear the ball out of the dog park end of the ground.

At three quarter time we had one focus for the last quarter. Tackle. If it moved, tackle it. If we tackled in the last quarter we would win the ball and the scoring would come. We strengthened our back line with Lizzie (nothing gets past me) at half back and Milly (the rock) at full back. This is Milly’s first season and she is fast becoming a valuable member of the team. We also had Zali and Grace on half back, who provided the speed to run the ball when needed. We wanted to make sure that if anything came down this end of the field, the ball would just bounce back. The girls played superb footy and kept Willoughby scoreless in the last quarter. They played as a team and repelled every effort Willoughby made. Not enough is made of the back line in games, mostly because they don’t often have the glamour of scoring goals. Very rarely are they celebrated for stopping opposition goals. Well done girls.

We spent the last quarter camped down in our forward 50. Eliza was amazing all game and brought a smile to my face with a huge tackle, free kick and slotting of the goal. All of the girls played with high effort, Zara L fought hard for the ball in the middle. Suzie and Charley kept up a high level of pressure and Sienna started getting some great touches of the ball. Krysta was also trying hard to apply pressure through some great tackles and wins off the ground. We kicked 4 more behinds, with one hitting the post. It was a great end to the game.

Freya was amazing in the ruck contests today and played the whole game in that position. Next week we are hoping to have Lexie W back in the team. She has been out for over a year with a serious knee injury so I am excited to see these two playing tandem in most games.

Players’ player: Eliza

Final Score: LCC 3-5-23 WM 5-4-34

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