A warm but overcast day greeted the team as they arrived at the Snake Pit for the first home game of the season.
With Therry Penola sitting on top of the ladder, and CFCW sitting in second position, top billings were up for grabs, and stakes and pressure were high.
A scrappy first quarter saw Therry Penola eek out a 5 point lead with a handy first goal opening up a gap.
With the sun emerging and the sky clearing, the temperature rose steadily to a warm 24 degrees, pushing the fitness of the players during the second quarter. Rising to the challenge, the Snakes hit back, booting 4 in the second quarter (including a particularly freaky goal by Simon) to Therry Penola’s 3 goals, to take the squad into half time with a 2 point lead.
The third quarter proved to be a similarly tough affair, with CFCW peppering the goals with shots, but only coming away with 4 points and no majors. Therry Penola had more luck, slotting a goal and a point, to lead at 3 quarter time by a point.
With the game on the line, CFCW intensified their efforts in the fourth, working tirelessly to drive the ball into their offensive half, kicking a further 5 points but unfortunately no goals to that point. The play was intense and scrappy, with congestion quickly engulfing the ball wherever it landed.
With ten minutes to go, Therry Penola lifted their efforts and started pushing hard into their forward line repeatedly. Strong defensive efforts by the CFCW defence, including some particularly great tackling by P. Watson, proved invaluable, with the home team managing to concede only a single point to Therry Penola.
With the match on the line, and less than 5 minutes to go, the Cobra’s surged, with run from Daw and Payne off the flanks proving to be invaluable and unstoppable, Henschke took possession and snapped a trademark goal to push CFCW in front by 9 points.
With the siren sounding shortly after, the tension still lingered from such a hard fought game against strong quality opposition.
The whole team is to be commended on a very strong effort across the board.
Warm congratulations are extended to the debutant A. Power.
Our on ball brigade worked together and hard to ensure this with Vice Captain Sharpey and Choc winning as much inside ball as possible.
Unfortunately in the second half we played catch up footy.
A few nice passages of play should us that we are very capable but again it requires a four quarter effort.
Mentions to Tyler Wooster and Tom Murphy for two goals each.
Bests: Stogdale, Sharpe, Careri, Hodgson, Collins
Sean Woody Woodward
Going into the round three clash against the Falcons saw the cobras on the road for the first time in 2018. With plenty of out, J.D, Hains, Skate, Eccleston, Deane, Walmsley and Rowe led to some handy inclusions. Joss, Joseph and Wilson came back in and D.Walden, Mreulje and N.Szabo for the their first senior inclusion this year. A special moment for young Anthony Martenstyn making his senior debut for the Cobras.
All changes aside, a tough midfield battle would be on our hands this week. The Falcons play a good mid setup and are strong in tight. Backing our system all over the ground would be the way to combat their play.
As expected they came out hard and although play was pretty even across the ground one could tell this would be no push over. A 14 point deficit was the damage at the first change and we had to get things moving to stay in the hunt.
Good passages of cobra footy in the second lead to a five goal to four quarter, with the mids doing a great job for the most and Hawke and E. Lowden slugging it out against a very good opposition ruckman. The Ghost was moved onto their full forward full time as he was providing a height headache for a matchup. More run and carry was required if the worm was to turn in favour of the snakes. Back to 10 points down at the half.
The arm wrestle continued in the third but flexibility of on ground moves and some structural change meant we were able to score somewhat more freely. Great drive off half back and Murphy and Wheeler letting loose through the middle gave a 10 point margin our way thanks to a four goal to one stanza.
Fatigue was setting in on a warm April afternoon, getting a rest was crucial for the players if peak performance was to continue. With neither side being able to slot a major in the last you could tell it was a physically taxing afternoon. We were able to hold strong and with great slow play, ball control and some wise heads leading the way the cobras were able to boost the 2018 account to 3-0.
Playing our system for four quarters and being switched on from the first bounce is what we will strive for in the rest of our fixtures this season. It was great team performance with outstanding contributions from A. Wheeler, T. Lowden, M, Astbury and S. Murphy. The boys need to recover well and it back to “The Pit” to take on La Trobe next week.