And so it was, the final few games of an incredible season for the under 10 Reds, at Allan Border Oval in Mosman. Border was an absolute terrier and a classbatsmen and that’s what today needed – the Mongrel spirit with a sprinkling of class in the key moments, which the boys delivered in spades.
After winning 4/4 in the gala day last week, they needed to win 3/3 yesterday for the trophy, quite the test after a long season. Worth mentioning there was also the potential for an all Suns preliminary final as the Blues also stormed into the gala finals last week, also going 4/4. Love it!
As it did last week, the wind was a huge factor in the games so making the most of it when kicking that way would be crucial. Alex, Trent and Andrew primed the boys for the final push, and we were away, 10 minute halves, knock out – all on the line.
Quarter-final v Bombers
What a start! The boys were phenomenal as Noah and Max set the day away with two great goals in the first half, the Bombers had no reply as we went in 12-0 up (against the wind) at HT. The second half was more of the same as we dominated midfield (10 handballs in a short game is great to see), and Noah bagged two more for yet another hat-trick and Max another. The Bombers got a consolation but it was all about the Reds as it finished a comfortable 34-6.
Semi-final v Blues
Deservedly, the Balgowlah Blues eased past the Swans to set up an all Balgowlah preliminary final, tense!
Brutal! What a derby this was. Both Suns teams going toe to toe in a physical battle that also had plenty of skill – which is a great sign for the club moving forward, two excellent sides matching each other. The Reds had 8 inside 50’s, the Blues had 6, which showed how tight it was.
It was the Blues who deservedly went in front, after some great work in the midfield, but the Reds came roaring back, with Noah (again!), Max and Eli all kicking goals, with one eye of the needle drop punt assist from Archie well worth a mention. 19-7 at half time, great game. The second half was all Blues, with the Reds having to put on a defensive show, with Henry and Fin herculean in the back line. Bodies went on the line as the Blues continued to press, and they were unlucky not to convert a couple of chances, resulting in two behinds rather than maximums. It was a real arm wrestle, but time wasn’t on the Blues side as it ended 21-9 to the Reds – would have loved to have seen these two sides play a full game. Well done Suns!
Grand final v St Ives
This was also a brutal affair, some real physical stuff across the park, including an unfortunate concussion for one of the St Ives boys (he went to hospital and is fine and coming out today we hear). Credit to St Ives who were on us from the opening bounce – they were strong and clinical with the boot, racing into an early lead kicking with the wind. We never quite recovered from there as the Saints stayed in front throughout the match, kicking 4 good goals to our 1. The game finished 25-8, the better side won.
No disgrace from the Reds however, as they have been magnificent all year – the whole squad have improved, no doubt about that. Huge thank you to Alex, Trent and Andrew for their coaching – you guys are immense, and also to Anna and Bri for the management – smooth. Final nod to the parents for a) supporting all year and b) listening to my ramblings after each game.
Some stats to finish off! – Paul has done an incredible job on these all year – thank you PJ!
Played 21*, won 20
Win ratio 95%
Points scored 819, points conceded 185
Average game score: 39-8
120 goals, 99 behinds
Average goals per game 5.7
Noah – 35 goals! (29% of total goals), including 8 hat-tricks!
Includes the 7 shortened finals games