Team Blicavs made a formidable return to the Lionel Watts Reserve, home of the Forest Lions. Clearly the recent wet weather (as opposed to drought pre-COVID) has helped the surface with an almost green top offered to the players. COVID had not affected the wild winds of the Frenchs Forest plateau which were favouring the southern end, making scoring to the northern end difficult. The team kicking to the northern end in the last quarter with tired legs would clearly have difficulty stemming a potential avalanche of scoring opportunities the other way. LCC Team Blicavs being this team clearly needed to contain the rampaging Lion’s in the last if they were to finish the game ahead.
Early on, the wide expanses of Lionel Watts Reserve were well exploited by Team Blicavs, however the young Lions were well up to the challenge. While our boys did the most damage on the score board, due to some fantastic team play and accurate running goals, we did not have the game on our terms and the Lions were very much in the contest all day. If it wasn’t for a three goal burst in the third quarter, and some amazing defensive work in the last half, the result could have been very different.
Given there was a small army of young Lions players, we agreed to field 12 players and needed to draw on the ranks of Team Dangerfield and the gene-pool from the Kerrison Family to manage the numbers. Will McKennay and Harry Kerrison were fantastic to have leant a hand and stood up to the barrage from the Lions, contributing handy cameo’s during the exchanges. Thank you Will and Harry.
Team Blicavs battled hard in the contest all day, persisted with our game plan of team play and ended the day in front. If the week previous was the most physical, this week would have to have been the game that the boys showed the most persistence. Persistence to stick with the game plan. It was not always pretty but the basics when strung together got the job done. During the week we practiced more use of handball and more engagement of your team mates in the play and there were plenty of memorable moments where this became apparent. None more so than when Marcus, with his back to the goals (on the 50m arc Jono….), while toiling in and amongst the pack of hungry Lions, squeezed a slick handpass out to Jordy, with clean hands, who was running through traffic and then snapped a magnificent kick across his body for full points. But not to be outdone in the third quarter, Billy with ball in hand around the half forward line spotted his younger brother Harry leading in front of goals. Billy had the presence of mind to lower his eyes and selflessly hit his brother on the chest, lace out with a crisp pass, just like in the backyard at Sunnyside! There was no clothes line in the way and Harry was able to finish off for full points. I think mum Ashley thought mother’s day had come a week early! When the game is tight, we need to celebrate this type of team play that results in full points being scored and so for that Marcus, Jordy, Bill and Harry, you boys get the chocolates this week for the memorable moments!
Asher too chimed in with some great play. This was Ashers best game by far for Team Blicavs. With the game on a knife edge Asher stood up in the middle of the ground and made the second quarter his own. With our forwards working into a stiff breeze, Asher made sure the opposition defenders clearances were returned with interest when kicked out of their defensive half. His long kicks, deft handballs and marking around the middle were a highlight. If the ball was going through the middle in the second quarter, it had Asher’s name on it! Postage stamp marked return to sender, pumped back for more chances to his team mates in the forward line.
Marcus was most comfortable when in and amongst it, with contested possessions happy tackling the opposition like punching bags and deft handballs to advantage while Benji was a presence up forward and repelling attacks from the defensive half and as ever committed to the contested ball. Sammy was ferocious in attack often taking on multiple players to keep the ball in his area. Sammy was happy in the contest and vigorous in his attempts to keep the ball in attack while stationed there, well done Sammy!
Jordy was effortless in his pursuit of the ball, his “second-efforts” when the ball was in dispute were excellent as was his passing and his communication with his team mates. Ed also played with determination and was committed to the contest, excellent with his run and carry, particularly in the last quarter when everyone had just about run out of legs and gone home, Ed still had the tenacity to conjure up evasive maneuvers, sidesteps and dashes into the breeze. Ed competed all day and played a great team game.
Jake is the model of consistency. He is Mr Dependable to his team mates, always ready to do the hard one percenters that go unrewarded like taking contested mark after mark, tackle or be the work horse in the middle. His attacking mindset payed dividends also being the last man on a chain of solid team play converting truly against the run of play and against the breeze to make sure his team maintained the ascendancy. The fan club he order from out of town that was in attendance were in admiration all afternoon while Jake demonstrated his prowess.
Ethan, our captain for the day, was ever-ready to attack the ball and the opposition throughout the day. Ethan was prepared to back himself into the contest and played with his trademark intensity and vigor. Levi too was formidable with his outside run and attack on the ball. He found space, created and moved the ball on to his team mates advantage. He too converted a remarkable goal on the run, but from a sharp angle only measurable by protractor. Possibly close to goal of the day if not at least bragging rights to claim it!
Finally to Teflon Jack. The opposition coach, Scott told me during the game that Jack was a bit Dusty today. And I agreed with him that Jack was a bit Dusty because he had been sick during the week! Scott said no, I mean he is a bit like Dusty Martin, all those don’t argues, he has a certain way about him, running through players, evading tackles. The side step. I said yes the likeness has been noted previously…. Our Jack certainly made an impression, whether Dusty or Dusty-esque, he was there to play football, albeit with a few Lions hanging on to him. This week was perhaps not his best effort. He was not alone. The Lions didn’t let us have the game on our terms. Maybe Jack can blame the Greek Easter Celebrations? Maybe the Oozo? Maybe the cough medicine? Maybe its Ya-Ya’s Bougatsa? Maybe we can blame the fact Jack now has some notoriety and his slick moves are being shut down by the opposition, who really knows. As fierce as Jack was during the game, maybe it was just the fact the game was on at lunchtime and the sausage sizzle was so so far away and it troubled him greatly all game?
Well done Team Blicavs, another entertaining and enthralling game to watch!
Its back at training for Thursday evening at Blackman Park 5pm. See you all there!
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