What a big week it’s been in football. Blackman Park was the stage and the prime time slot was owned by the top of the table Manly Bombers taking on the legends from Lane Cove.
The easy option was to think Manly. They’re undefeated and never been challenged over four quarters all year but someone forgot to tell the boys in the hoops.
The pre game was going well and the energy went to another level when Luke came marching over, complete with his sling to cheer on his mates. Nothing better than knowing your mates have your back. Add to that a commitment from the captain of the day, Hamish to perform the worm should we win, and the astrologists amongst us, could feel the stars were aligning.
Bang – the first quarter started and the Cats were purring. The intensity rivalled that of handing out lolly bags at a five year old’s birthday. Anish provided the contest in the middle and the midfield brigade of Captain Hamish, Charlie, Jake and Oscar had learnt from a prior “battle of the surfboard” clash this year and they were manning up in the middle and also finding plenty of their own footy. Much to the dismay of the Bomber faithful (maybe they’ve moved up from Windy Hill given the past few decades 😜), the Cats kicked the first two majors and went to the break a point in front.
We started the second term well with Teflon Jack causing some grief up forward and our defenders resolute as always however we let our defensive pressure slip late in the quarter. It must be said, one of the Manly bombers turned in a 5min patch that Chris Judd would be proud of, that put the Bombers in front at the main break.
This was the great turning point of the game and a moment many will remember in the scriptures of Sydney footy. The boys could have thrown the towel in and spat the dummy or they could roll their sleeves up and take on the challenge. As the parents watched anxiously, the Cats answered the callings of their inner Slim Shady and “stood up”.
The third quarter was an arm wrestle. A little like “The Rock vs John Cena”, we just couldn’t pick how it would end. Our defenders were tough, rugged and disciplined. Charlie Moten, Damon, Henry and Jack P (for part) did what they do best. This game was played differently too as there were lots more one on one battles as the ball movement was quicker than normal. As we have mentioned prior, our defenders thrive on the contest and we are lucky to have a defensive unit like them. One thing that changed in the term was our forward structure. Jesse’s discipline to remain the deepest target and his (and Jordie’s in particular) pressure proved vital. This meant that the ball came in longer, faster and straighter which brought our half forwards into the game more. Jagger, Ed C, Jordie, Jack C and Ethan started running amuck and the crowd could sense that this would have a Broadway style finish. And a leading actor nominee goes to ….. Hugo. We asked him to play a selfless role in the midfield, manning up on one of their leading players. He did this, loved it and it changed the game.
The fourth quarter was a classic. Fast ball movement and down the middle was the recipe for this Lane Cove degustation. As the astrologists winked, the cats momentum was evident for all to see and the coaching staff knew it. After a really strong performance at CHB, Billy went forward. Now or never cried every other team in the comp!
With our backbone constantly repelling Manly forward entries, the pressure seemed to make our boys even more courageous. A Charlie C switch to Jake in the middle, who hand-balled to Billy and a long bomb up forward, meant another goal and we have a four point game.
A courageous Ed C was carried off the ground after a significant head knock with 2 mins to go (he is ok now). The ball then went between half forward lines for a minute before Ethan and Charlie kicked it long. Jesse provided the contest and with the ball on the ground, in swooped Jake who picked up the footy, dodged around the outnumbered Bomber defender and snapped a ……… GOAL.
Cats in front.
Parent going nuts
Stacks on Jake
WAIT there are still 48 secs left.
What a game. Hands down the best standard of footy we have seen, and played, all year. Be excited about the result boys but be more proud of your effort. Bring this work ethic and commitment every week to every game and we will realize the potential of this group.
Let’s back it up this week.
PS – the worm looked pretty impressive too!
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