In the last round for the minor season we came up against a much improved Central Districts team that have pushed a number of teams in the back end of the year. They’ve had a couple of good wins and we were looking forward to the challenge that was ahead. It was good conditions at the Bay, especially for the Past Players and Officials’ annual Cash Lottery day, and so we were hoping to put together another performance similar to the week before against Norwood.
First quarter started with us kicking into a strong breeze and we were unable to get our hands on the ball. Centrals made the most of their opportunities, with a couple of poor skill errors from us turning the ball over. This gave them a bit of an edge at the first break, which was disappointing.
Second quarter we had majority of the ball in our forward line, but we were unable to capitalise on our entries. We made some poor decisions going forward and again some skill errors cost us marks. We had a couple shots on goal and we went into half time down, but with belief that we were playing footy that was okay. Structurally I was pretty happy with how things were, but we were unable to put pressure on the scoreboard.
The third quarter was a close affair. Centrals kicked a couple goals against the run of play and took an advantage going into the last break. I talked to the group about being brave in the last quarter and taking the game on a bit more. We knew we were coming home with a breeze, and the game opened up a little bit. It was a seesawing affair, with a number of centre bounce goals both ways. Liam McBean stood up, Matt Snook was fantastic in the middle of the ground, and Luke Reynolds had a solid day in front of goals. Lachie Hosie also kicked three last quarter goals, which was a good reward for him for the pressure he applied throughout the game. Fortunately, we were able to sneak away with the win at the end of the last quarter, hitting the front with about a minute to go and managing to hold on. What was pleasing in that last little bit is we talked about some structural things that the boys were able to put in place for the last two to three minutes of the game.
It was an ugly way to win, but still a great way to celebrate club captain Max Proud in his 150th game. He’s been a true servant of the club and we look forward to going further in the finals. We play Sturt this week and once again we celebrate another player in Andrew Bradley who will play his 200th game. We look forward to seeing as many spectators as possible at Adelaide Oval this Sunday.
– Brett Hand, Senior Coach
Goal kickers: L. Hosie (4), L. Reynolds (4), R. Holder (2), C. Lyons, H. Stagg