Round 10 saw the sun shining and a chill factor hanging in the air. I could see the girls were excited, but also a little nervous as I could hear a couple of murmurs about how dirty and rough these girls were in our last encounter. Thankfully it was another home game. There was plenty of social chatter, which was a little disruptive in the warm up process. Sometimes this is fine, but it could also mean they are not switching on and mentally not preparing for a game of AFL. Something you can get away with against lower skilled teams, but dangerous against a tough and good team like ESB.
I named Audrey as captain for the day. Unfortunately we lost the toss so our forwards headed up towards the Sydney end with us kicking against a slight breeze. From the first bounce ESB girls were serious and they were here to intimidate and win. It worked! They scored their first goal within minutes. From the centre they kept pumping the ball forward while our very strong and talented backline, were struggling to contain their opponents. ESB kicked a 2nd goal and were dominating the first part of the game. I could see our girls were trying, they were putting in the effort, but we weren’t connecting with each other like we usually do. Before the end of the quarter ESB kicked their 3rd goal and it was all about containing them until the break. Quarter time scores were Suns 0.0.0 v ESB 3.2.20.
At the break I emphasised that we need to work together, be tighter at the contest and really want the ball and use the breeze to our advantage! The girls started to get possession with Izzy making some breaks and our first goal came from her as the forward flank which grubbed along the ground then bounced over the forwards. We got the ball down forward a few more times in Caoimhe and Emelie.B, however, we weren’t able to convert into goals. But we did get back into the game and we held ESB scoreless for the term. The half time break saw Suns 1.4.10 v ESB 3.2.20.
Up against the scoring end again in the 3rd it was important for us to win this quarter to give ourselves a chance in the game. We couldn’t afford to let ESB get away further. We had to play tight in defence, attack whenever we could and keep possession as long as possible. Olivia.S was defiant at full back and was aptly supported by Eliza. The engine room in Maddy, Zali, Milly and Ella were playing tough and collecting valuable possessions. Emelie kicked a well needed goal to keep the momentum for the Suns early in the quarter. We were driving the ball forward to the non-scoring end. Zali also kicked in with a nice goal. We kept ESB scoreless for the 2nd term and we were able to get our noses in front. The scores at ¾ time were Suns 3.7.25 v ESB 3.2.20.
In the last I was feeling confident since we were leading at the final break, we had the scoring end and the girls looked determined to keep going. It went well early and Lucia chimed in with a goal 4 mins in. We were looking good, however, ESB weren’t done yet! They clawed their way back into the game and were rewarded with a goal halfway through the final term. With 5 mins to go they scored again putting the scores tied at 33 a-piece. It was a tight tussle and anyone’s game! The Suns girls had their last fight and managed to sneak one last point minutes to go giving us the win in our toughest game to-date. Final scores were Suns 4.10.34 v ESB 5.3.33.
A great win by the girls and well deserved. They had the game lost after the first, but they played determined footy taking 2 quarters to get back into the game and take the lead. They let the game go again in the last only to fight out a punch for punch blow with minutes to go and claiming final victors with the smallest of margins at the final siren. Well Done Girls! Be proud of your efforts, all of you!
Also thanks to Alex our Runner, Michael our Water Carrier and Sue the Goal Umpire.
Best players: Izzy.P, Emelie.B, Maddy, Olivia.S, Zali & Audrey
Goals: Issy.P, Emelie.B, Zali & Lucia
Next week we play Forest Lions Yellow away. This will be a top of the table clash with 1 playing 2 on the ladder. Game is at 1.35pm at Lionel Watts Reserve. Be there at 12.30pm.
Next week I will call out the permanent leadership group that will lead us through to the end of the home & away series and in to the finals. Spots up for grabs are Captain, Vice Captain and 2 Deputy Vice Captains.