Re-match ends in a draw
Scores level after a windy affair at home
The penultimate round of the season saw us face the Hawks; a finely tuned team that had rolled us the previous time that we faced them. A lot has happened since that match, and we were fully aware that a win would lock in finals. We weren’t going to let the result go the same way as last time.
Getting to the ground on Saturday morning it was clear that it was going to be a really tough game of footy. The wind was unrelenting, making the easiest of kicks terribly hard to mark at any distance.
The first quarter was quite promising. The ball practically lived in our attacking 50, but the wind made it really difficult to hit up a forward target. Swooping on the loose ball was tough, as most instances resulted in a stoppage. The ball kept on rebounding in and out of the 50 like a ping-pong ball thanks to the hard work of our midfield locking the ball in along the wall. Our ferociousness at the ball resulted in some shaken Hawks, and after another attack forward, Urqs pounced on a loose ball that dribbled through for a goal. With one minute to go in the quarter it was a blow to the Hawks, but a great way for us to start to stamp our authority on the game.
The second quarter was a complete arm wrestle. Ball winners Bridget Lane and Lauren Gibbs continued to provide run and carry as well as support to girls all over the ground. Nothing stops these two. There were some tough contests and the stoppages continued to mount; bodies hitting bodies over and over only for the ball to be trapped in for another ball-up. While we weren’t able to add to our tally of one goal, the Hawks were only able to score a solitary point. We were to go into the half-time break having kept the number one team in our division to the most minor of scores, and confidence that we might just be able to get the job done.
We were aided by the wind again in the third quarter, and had a couple of scoring shots to try and extend our lead. Ball magnet Danni continued to outsmart the opposition, taking a mark in her safe hands deep in the forward pocket. From the bench it looked like it had snuck though, but the wind had other ideas. Girls were working really hard all over the ground to make sure their opponent was given little opportunity to drive the ball forward. Hannah “Goat” Walravens recognised while running toe-to-toe with her opposition that bending down to pick up a ball might have resulted in ball up, so a deft tap forward to a running South’s player proved to be the right call, and bench let her know about it. Her small wave back our way was appreciated! When the siren sounded for 3-quarter-time, we were seven points up and our season was well-and-truly still hanging by a thread.
You could feel as if the Hawks had finally gotten over our initial intensity, and were starting to win contests all over the ground. Their defensive structure was such that the ball didn’t enter our forward 50 once in the last quarter. Our backline was really tested in the last quarter with the ball travelling forward for the Hawks more than it had all game. Kath Sobey was doing her best to kill the ball as it went back (as she does every single week). Despite our best efforts, the Hawks managed to snag their first major of the game half-way through the last. It became evident that we were going to really struggle to get the ball forward to add to our score-line due to the sheer force of the wind, and the ferocity of the game resulted in some very tired bodies from our always reliable midfield brigade.
The siren sounded with the top two sides in the division tied on 8 points. A win would have locked us into the top four but now the season ends with a bit of theatre with no team securing a finals spot. We have another MUST WIN game this weekended if we’re to play beyond this week.