Game 1 Against the Albury Murray Crays
Morning fellow AFL Masters,
As you all probably know by now, we had a game yesterday against the visiting Albury team, The Murray Crays, at Eastlakes Oval in Kingston.
To say that Canberra turned on its best football weather would be an understatement, and as Jock said, he hasn’t seen the oval in Kingston have as much grass on it since he was a 12-year-old!
With roughly 30 blokes turning up for a run, yes that’s a 12-man bench, the Cockies had plenty of enthusiasm to start the game. Thanks to Nate for running the bench and keeping the rotations going throughout the day.
The game got underway on time, with Tuanny taking control of the game with the whistle (thanks mate), and the ACT Cockies definitely taking control of the game from the outset. The Crays were feeling lethargic after their bus trip to get to Kingston, and the Cockies made most of their rebound football coming out of defence.
The first two quarters saw the Cockies open up a handy lead. Jock provided plenty of hard-fought ruck work to combat his Irish opposition, and with Pearl and Gezza providing plenty of hard defensive rebounding footy, we were able to stick to the game plan of kicking it wide out of defence and get plenty of forward 50 entries. Unfortunately, our pressure around the contest at ground level didn’t see us capitalise on the score board as hard as we could’ve and as a result the game was closer than it should’ve been at half time.
Notable contributors in the first two quarters were Moose with his hard running and precise ball movements, Sticks and Manny with plenty of hard ball gets, Locko with his strong leads out of the forward line and Mal with his constant communication out of the back half. The whole back six were notable in the first half as they were more our first line of attack rather that our first line of defence.
At the half time break, The Murray Crays borrowed a couple of players to boost their dwindling stocks and our Prez (Gaters) and Mr 77% (Pete Taylor) put their hands up. Unfortunately, they both continued the trend of ACT Cockies players having a run for the opposition and having a blinder playing against their team mates.
For some reason, in the 3rd quarter, everyone went away from the game plan and started trying to go through the centre instead of going wide and all of a sudden, the wheels fell off the team. Giving due where it is deserved, the Murray Crays lifted their intensity and started getting a lot more ball out of the centre and despite having a large bench to call from, fatigue started to impact the Cockies. Suddenly, the ball was coming out of our forward line to easily and the transition that we had in the first half, the Crays had in the third and they were able to put on four unanswered goals to get themselves back into the game.
As a result, ¾ time could come around quick enough for the Cockies in order to regroup. Having given up to players to the Crays, and having one or two injuries throughout the game, the bench did become just a bit more manageable and with the team re-balanced, the Cockies were able to steady the ship in the last quarter, although to the Crays credit, they kept on coming at us until the end. Some of the run out of the back half started to reappear, the ball stayed in the forward line once it was in and between Shorty and Fred, we were able to put some respectability back on the scoreboard.
It was a hard-fought game throughout the four quarters, with Francois Patron (Pearl) having a pearler of a game and getting the BOG for the Cockies.
While it was a good team contribution, it was good to have Manny and Sticks back on the ground to provide plenty of run and contested football, Moose was in everything, Adam provided plenty of intensity and got plenty of the ball, the ruck combination of Jock and Sheano were competitive all day against younger opposition, the back six of Mal, Gezza, Luke, Benny Harps and Marbles (just to name a few who played back) were the reason we were able to get the win on the day.
In the forward line both Braden and Fred continued to provide strong targets, Robbie was as competitive as always and Tommy continued to find plenty of the football.
Worthy of a mention is also the two blokes who had a run for the Crays, both played well for us but even better for them. Bastards!
Overall the day was a success, and it was made even more special with Pete and Paula putting on a fantastic spread of Hot Dogs, Burgers and Salad. Thanks for that Taylors’. Marbles Bar was busy as always and a good showing of folks back at the Eastlakes Club will hopefully help the club maintain a strong relationship going forward.
Don’t forget that we have another game next Sunday (05 May) against the ADFA team at RMC, so get your nominations in on Team App to let us know your availability. Conversely you can e-mail me or text (0425863440) your availability so that we can plan on taking on another strong contender next week.