Our first game against Mornington Pen was a game of inches – in the end we only won by a couple of kings thanks to the brilliant one-two combo of Bowie and Chief after the siren. Well-practiced over beers the night before no doubt. After a slow start in the first half, the Cockies started to put some combos together in the second, again led by the Centre combo of Lockers, Tuany Shorty, et all. The back line was solid all day led by Jeffro with great support from Mal, Benny and Bowie. Some brilliant marking up front saw Shorty take the mark of the comp and Gaz continued his great form from day one through providing that vital link between the forward and backlines. The play of the day was absolutely Bowie’s run in the last seconds of the game off Manny with a beautifully weighted kick to Chief who kicked straight to win the game for us. Great play.
Well, like Australia's housing bubble, our form had to bust sometime - and boy did it – summed up by poor Jeffro bring cleaned bowled by the footy on the very last line of defence. The second game on day two against Frankston demonstrated the importance of getting the basics right – control of the ball, clean disposal and being accountable for your opposite player. All the team battled hard throughout the match but being slow to man up after a turn-over cost us dearly. Still, the backline proved its mettle again with tough performances from Jeffro (again), Bennie, Mal and Sticks, all valiant. Adam took a great mark on the wing playing on one leg (and a hardy jab in the ribs) and Tuany still ran rings around the opposition – quite literally as his hammy was very dicey to say the least. In all, great heart, but the small things cost us.
Our final game against the South Coast Buccaneers was, unfortunately, more of the same - not getting back to our opposition and making them strive for every possession. However, there was certainly more heart in this game and in the end, we lost only by a narrow margin, perhaps let down by our inaccurate kicking for goal. The usual suspects stood up – Tuany, Shorty, Manny - with great support from Rob up front who took a couple of very strong marks. We'd be remiss not to mention the outstanding contribution made from Stainers throughout the day and by the last count Jeffro was playing his one hundredth game for the day as the lights were turned off and everybody was leaving.
So, in the end, the Club had a successful Carnival winning three of five matches. Well done to all involved and for Jock running over 8 kms for the day, or was it 8000? Hard to tell.