An icy wind and semi blue skies greeted us down at The Snakepit for our final home game of the year against the club whom we’d claimed our very first victory against earlier in the year.
A torrid first quarter resulted in only minor scores being kicked by both sides as the strong left to right wind played havoc with both sides ability to capitalise on goal scoring opportunities. Fitzroy’s physicality was a bit of a worry for our girls for a while, with a lot of niggle going on in the forward line both on and off the ball. Our forwards still managed to find a way to the ball though but unfortunately just couldn’t find a way to counter the wind.
Our second quarter saw a big lift from our forwards with Tara Hall showing us her jets and her angry side and our mids finding a way around the bullocking Fitzroy defence to score 2.1 as our rock solid defence held Fitzroy to only 1 point for the quarter. Fitzroy tried desperately to bully our forwards and drag our defenders out of the defensive 50m arc but our girls, marshalled by Zoe Reape at full back and disciplined as ever, stood their ground and backed each other up to continue to hold the opposition goal-less in the second quarter.
The long break saw us make a few changes due to some minor injury concerns and a ‘pinchy’ Fitzroy full back and despite not condoning fighting on the field, we felt the need to address the fact that we, as coaches don’t have an issue with ‘pushing back’ if you’re being targeted. We don’t want our players or our club to be seen as easy targets for on field bullies.
Going in to the third quarter our girls were smarter, faster and kicked away from Fitzroy easily, Evie Hall’s ruck work paving the way for some easy break away runs. 2 more goals and a few more missed opportunities due to not accounting for the arctic wind and once again our backline’s desperation and total focus kept repelling Fitzroy’s numerous attacks. The 1, 2 running combination of Lauren Daw and Rita Azzopardi that was sorely missed last week was a feature in this quarter, Fitzroy simply could not keep up with the smart run of these two, nor could they counter the smarts of inside mid Mary Spillane whose toughness at stoppages won us so much of the ball.
With one more quarter to go, the message at three quarter time was not to let up on the pressure and not to stray from defensive rules. The girls were pumped, wanting to be back on the winners list and the feeling was really positive going back out for the last quarter. Much like the first quarter though, the last proved to be pretty tight and tough with neither side managing a major score. A few battered and bruised Canterbury Cobras came off The Snakepit for the last time this season but most notably it was a two-fold victory for our girls as we got our 5th win for the season and we welcomed back Jess Close after 12 weeks of injury rehab for her first win of the year!
Good, disciplined, solid team win for the Lady Snakes against a very physical Fitzroy outfit.
Round 13 against Westbourne played over the bridge and far away at Westbourne Grammar School, we were going to be in for a fight as Westbourne are always hard to beat at home. The conditions today were very windy and looked like the major scoring would be only be at one end of the ground. After last week’s performance we were looking at redeeming ourselves today.
The first quarter we were kicking against a five goals breeze and our plan were to slow the play down and play position footy, wait for the opportunities to come and if we don’t have anyone to kick too ,then the boundary line was our next best option, then reset. During First quarter our backs executed the plan to a T, which was Led by Sean Hanahran (the general) down back, who controlled and directed all the plays, Woodsy was also playing his role stopping a lot of Westbourne’s forward entries and T.Crawford was running well off half back. Our attack on the footy was good along with DI D2 pressure. This quarter was one of the best quarters the reserves had played as a team this year. The margin at quarter time was 7 points.
The second quarter we had the wind, but we had to ensure that we make it happen with an open forward line ,moving the ball quickly to our forward’s Prices and Woodsy and ensuring our crumbers work hard to create opportunities. As usual not all goes to plan, Pricey kick our first goal for the term but Westbourne kicked the next two and had a 15 point lead. Our effort and intent around the ground was very good. A fight began on the other side of the ground and Cobra players did fly the flag for each other, but we should never go over the line with our aggression, better used in attacking the footy and beating your opponent. Woody lurking kicks a late goal just before half time and again there’s more argy bargy at the half time break. Cobra’s down by 5 points. Our endeavour and attack on the footy couldn’t be question, but our disposal was letting us down at times.
At half time we spoke about playing the third the same as the first and execute the same plan. Our play in this quarter was a little loose, we didn’t man up as well as we could have and this gave Westbourne opportunities to score more freely, which resulted in a 4 goal to our two points for the quarter. Cobra’s down by 29 points at ¾ time.
Having the wind in the last, we were definitely in with a chance, but we would need to play at our very best. We won the centre clearance through Gus tapping the ball to our advantage with Hainsy charging through and kicking the ball long into our forward 50 and Woodsy with great awareness scores our first for the term, short time later with an assist from Mangoes, Pricey kicks our second and we are only 15 points down. With another clearance and a long kick Chuck Reid marks and plays on in the goal square, handballing to Woody who scores the goal, ten points down with ten minutes left on the clock, game on. Westbourne lifted and with hard running manage to scores two goals against the wind, which was basically something we couldn’t do and we were now down by 23 points. Pricey kicked his 2nd for the term and third for the game to bring back the final margin to 17 points by game’s end.
Boys our endeavour and attack on the footy today was great and the way we played throughout made me so proud. Great effort and even though we didn’t get the points today we can go away with a lot of positives and if we play at the same level next week than I believe we can get a win on the board.
See you all at training during the week.
Go Cobras !!!
Best Players: J. Blakemore, A. Carapetis, A. Wheeler, G. Driscoll, G. Ratnakumar, R. Walmsley
On the windiest day I can recall for a game of footy, we headed out west to Tarneit to square off with our old foe in Westbourne Grammarians in the old 8-point game heading into the business end of the year. With 5 of our top players out, we still felt we had options on the whiteboard to come up with a winning formula with the inclusions of Carapetis & Fitzgerald, and some youngsters earning promotion.
We prepared well, got out the mat, and went over our structures on how to shut Westbourne down and set up ourselves across the ground. The first term had us kick into the breeze toward the city end, and after a quick Westbourne goal within 30secs, we managed to draw level for the rest of the quarter and kick a game high 3.3 into it and go to the first change 11pts down. With the wind behind our backs in the second, we really started to crank it up, as our mids of Wombat, Blakemore, Wheeler, Mreulje, Carapetis & Driscoll gave us good drive through the guts.
Our small forwards of Coghlan-West, Gumby & Lukey Venditti were looking dangerous, as we peppered the goals with 10 scoring shots to 2 but couldn’t convert accurately to have us only up by 1pt at the main break. This should have been 2-3 goals, and with Westbourne coming out hard after the break, we were second to the footy for the first 10mins of the third and the game was starting to slip away from our grasp. With the wind picking up to unplayable proportions toward the city end, normally good kicks of the footy were fresh airing the ball as the wind would blow the ball away from their hands between hand and foot, something I have never seen in my 30 years of footy involvement.
With the score out to 23pts early in the last, we managed to get the pressure back on the ball, and surged home to have us only 6pts down with around 5minutes to go on Grizzle’s watch. But unfortunately a shot on goal from close range missed to the right, and we simply ran out of time to kick another goal and grab the win. Westbourne flooded all 18 players into their back half of the ground, and with their ruckmen playing a kick behind in the hole, took numerous contested marks repelling all of our desperate thrusts forward. Best players for the day were Blakemore, Wombat, Carapetis, Wheeler, Driscoll & Gumby.
We now come up against Swinburne in a must win game at the Pit next Saturday to decide our fate for 2017. I believe we are the best team in the comp when firing, and are too good to not make finals this year.
We can do this boys, I believe in you………Doaky……