I love the drive out to Middle Head, with views of the harbour on both sides of the car.. It really is a pleasure. I am sure all of the girls were also enjoying the view and warm weather as we again started the game slowly. Willoughby only had 10 players ( we lent them 4) so there was also a lot of Lane Cove running around. Its a clear sign of the fair team culture we have at the Cats. Our priority is participation!
Willoughby kicked an early goal and won the next tap from the centre and play headed into our defense again. There was plenty of pressure on our back 5, but they fought hard and eventually won the ball back. It was at this time something happened. It wasn’t a bolt of lightning or a call from the coaches, it may have been related to Runner Neil’s inspirational message to the girls in defence, but I think it was Freya who decided single handedly that the game was going to be played on our terms. She seemed determined to change the direction of this game. The best bit here is everyone else followed. We all lifted, I am sure even the parents could feel the change from the sideline. Between this point and half time the team kicked 10 goals, all unanswered in what was a magnificent display of the areas we have been working on at training.
The team had good structure we moved the ball out wide and we always looked to find a team mate in a better position, Maia who was playing on the wing kicked our first two goals. To be honest I think she was just showing off in front of the first gamer Evie (a friend from school). Maia had said before the game that kicking goals today was really top of mind, wow she was serious. Evie had a fast introduction to the speed of AFL, and had some important touches during the game, she will be a great asset to the team in coming weeks.
We also saw more movement by handballs. Two or three quick handballs releases a player into space and this moves the team forward. Siena was running at her very best and Grace was finding plenty of room to move as well. The kicks into the forward line were either being sent straight through the sticks or the forwards found a team mate in space who kicked a goal. Elin had plenty of assists with some great handballs, and Lexie P kicked a couple of great goals. Lily J had her best game of the season, the ball seemed to follow her around the ground and she was quick to get the ball away. Suzie, came to the game not feeling 100%, but you wouldn’t have noticed as she darted around the forward line kicking a goal and setting up plenty.
Our tackling pressure was also the best its been. If it moved Eliza grabbed it and held on tight and Zoe was again ferocious in the tackles she laid. In defense Sammy and Milly were ever reliable in seeing off the initial pressure Willoughby applied and then dominated the second quarter. Zara L was also great in the midfield, picking up lots of loose balls and getting a quick disposal away.
Charley arrived just before the second quarter ended this gave the team one rotation on the sidelines. Charley adds plenty of speed to the team and adapts well to playing with the different shape ball! In the third quarter we moved Lexie W into the ruck and gave Freya a break. Lexie and Freya will most likely rotate this role as the season progresses and have both quickly become great at getting the first tap away. in addition Lexie W has a large kick which we were pleased to see on a couple of occasions. This is certainly a strength we can use more.
In the second half we did lose some structure. I have to admit its hard when 4 players are playing for the opposition and we are rotating the positions on the field around so much. I wanted to highlight three players for their extra efforts today. Lizzie, is becoming our inspirational leader of the team, both on and off the field. On the field she reads the play well and is fast to get involved in the play when required. Off the field, one day we are all going to get a Slurpee, but the intention to motivate her fellow team mates is well grounded and helps lift everyone. Krysta played a lot in defense today sometimes at full back. This is not easy when there is only grass between you and the goals. She never takes a step back and is always looking to be the first to the ball. Zaa M scored a great goal in the last quarter. She broke through two tackles in typical Zaa fashion and carefully slotted the goal. Well done girls and to the whole team on a great win today!
No game this coming weekend, but we have a big game on the 20th June. All of our girls teams will be playing at Blackman. A celebration of sorts will certainly be organised.
Lane Cove Cats 13-8-86 vs WCC 4-7-31
Players Player: Zaa M
Goal Scorers Maia 2, Susy 1, Eliza 2, Zara M 2, Grace 1, Lexie P 2, Lizzie 3
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