With only a 6 team Division the return match against St Ives came around quickly. Our squad was reduced to 15 and we welcomed Elliot Pimpini up from
the U11 to help give us an interchange player. It was an all Pimpini affair with Kristin Pimpini taking on the runner’s duties, thanks Kristin. The interrupted training during the week gave the squad a chance to participate in some football education. It also established the style of play we wanted to adopt coming into the game. We were focused on making better decisions with the ball and the first step was to ensure we took advantage of every mark or free kick, thereby using the ball with no pressure. The boys were exceptional at this throughout the game, perfectly executing our “push back”.
Our side continues to take shape and our start was very good, racing to a 3 goals to 1 lead. We moved the ball better through the open space of our home deck and took advantage with some long-range goals in running play. Throughout the game we had many forward entries, but we often gave up front spot too easily or did not scramble to create a contest against our opponents.
On the play away, we left too much to our defence; to stop St Ives advances on goal. It is imperative that this is when Team Defence requires the most concentration and highest work rate to beat your opponent back and help our defence. We must value this part of the game and become more instinctive. Our Captain for the day Jude Lumley moved well up forward, giving us a mobile target. He was well supported by Zac Holgate who finished off his good work with 3 goals. Angus Moten shifted into the ruck and won some contested ball. Harvey King and Shane Zhang both attacked the ball the best they have this season, it made such a difference to their confidence. Harry Latus has become a regular in our better players and he again took on the opposition and gave us the dash out of the backline. The inclusion of Elliot Pimpini proved that he was capable of mixing it with the older age boys. He attacked the ball and gave our supporting runners possession on the outside – well done!
With our numbers down, one of the directions given to the players was to lift their work rate by 5-10% and Harry Arnold did this from start to finish. He was exceptional getting up the ground to defend our entries, kick some goals and work just as hard to run back and give support to the defence. Well-played Harry.
The shuffling magnets continued as I progress my thoughts on the boys best positions. Sometimes in the game this can halt our momentum or build it, however the boys just got on and did their bit winning the game with a very even team performance. The highlight was definitely our final goal, which began from a switch kick off the half back flank. Started by Angus, we moved the ball with 5 consecutive marks to Harvey, Lewis, Zac, Aaron and Jude.
Goal kickers: Zac Holgate 3, Harry Arnold 2, Jude Lumley 1, Oliver Meichan 1, Lucius Pimpini 1
Final Scores: Lane Cove Cats 8.9.57 defeated St Ives 3.4.22
Outstanding Effort and Influence on the Game Award: Zac Holgate
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