Rd 2 of the season finally came around after an extended 3 week break. We certainly knew footy is a winter sport when we got to the ground. Luckily the ground was lush and green but the stewards would have graded it a Heavy 9 and by the last qtr a Heavy 10. I felt this was a danger game for us given the soft preparation we had before this match up. The instructions were simple, basic wet weather footy and apply scoreboard pressure.
Within the first few minutes we got our bearings and we were peppering the goals from set shots and snaps. While it would have been handy to kick a few early, it was wet and windy so I couldn’t be too critical of the misses. Besides I missed the easiest one of all. I thought we took the honours in the first qtr without putting scoreboard pressure on and some of our forward entries were a bit wayward, but with Bumper and Cam setting the physical intensity I knew we had come to play.
The second qtr was much the same with the ball slipping around from end to end without goals being scored. Again we had some good chances in front of goals but just couldn’t convert any of our 10 shots. I didn’t think we were working hard enough for each other and we were playing into Beaconsfield’s hands by keeping the ball in pack situations. Some readjustments at half time saw a smaller half forward line and swapping Shawry into attack gave us a different look. The backs, led by the evergreen Zeuy, were getting on top and once again we had plenty of scoring shots.
It took until the dying seconds of the 3rd term before the straight shooting Quiche Lorraine registered our first goal. The sling tackle that caused the free kick ruffled some feathers and we saw the dark side of Matty McKay come to the surface. A lot of Hampton Park and Pines bad boy action was happening in the goal square as he flew the flag for the Tigersharks. With tempers flared and an 8 point lead at the 3qtr time huddle, we knew the first 10 mins of the 4th term was vital.
In the most positive sign of the season, the boys stood up and played the best qtr of footy when it mattered most. The ball spent most of the qtr in our forward half and when it did get out the backs and wingman had set up a wall to push it straight back in. Gav scored his and the team’s second goal mid way through and a few people must have thought the game was done and relaxed. That is the only reason I can think of why Scotty Palmer was sitting down in the goal square allowing his opponent to kick a goal to immediately reply! The last 5 mins was a real arm wrestle, but our consistent performers in Cade, Zeuy, Sean Brown and Gav all were influential and we were able to repel any more threats. A goal on the siren to Bish gave us the biggest lead of the game , and we walked off wet but satisfied. A great win in tough conditions and we look forward to improving again next start, particularly in front of goal.