We came, we conquered!
In what is quickly becoming a highly sort after event, a group of parents and players from our club descended on a footy oval in country Victoria to battle for the Donk Shield. Pitted against the Modewarre Warriors, the game is in honour of Denis “Donk” Fitzgerald Senior, the father of the two presidents of the respective clubs.
While last year’s game was played in atrocious conditions, this year we were met with beautiful sunny skies and very little wind. In a perverse way, the boys were actually disappointed with the conditions. However this wasn’t going to diminish the excitement of travelling interstate and taking on a junior team from the sport’s heartland.
This year Modewarre was playing away, and so we found ourselves at the picturesque Barwon Heads ground. Because it only has one oval, we were forced to play the game at half time. This also meant that we played in front of a strong local ground eager to barrack on the home side.
Due to the short time-frame, the game started at a furious pace and never subsided. The combined Modewarre/Barwon Heads team dominated the first half, peppering the goals without success. Lane Cove slowly worked its way back into the game, and with a great snap from the pocket, hit the front by one point with only minutes to spare.
As the clock counted down, the home team piled on the pressure. With the ball stuck in their forward line for the final minute, we were forced to dig and scrap with all our might. But our boys & girls held firm and ran out victors by one point!
The team quickly rushed to Declan Fitzgerald and chaired him off in celebration of a great game. It didn’t take long to lift the shield in victory.
The trip wasn’t all about the Donk Shield, with players watching the end of the seniors game between Modewarre and Barwon Heads before jumping on the bus to Melbourne.
Once in Melbourne, we quickly changed and headed to Etihad Stadium to watch our namesake AFL team (Geelong) take on the Essendon Bombers. While the game ended up being a walk over by Geelong, it didn’t stop the group having a wonderful time. Renditions of of our club song were interspersed with some contemporary tunes after each goal Geelong scored.
The morning after was started at a slower pace, with breakfast at South Wharf followed by a few games of footy tennis at a nearby park. When then recalled our best parts of the weekend at a cafe in Docklands over hot chips and a few drinks, with some members to exhausted to even eat. However it wasn’t long before members started their journey home, dispersing to various parts of Melbourne or the airport.
Just like it did last year, this weekend is surely going to galvanise the group and drive them towards some further success in our local Sydney league in coming weeks.
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The Family Friendly Junior AFL Club.