Back to front.
We always seem to play Lane Cove at Blackman Park in the wet and cold. I’m not sure if it’s the river that’s close by or just that Lane Cove is so far from home it feels alone and desolate. Even though our other team’s game was washed out today we only have 10 players so I am hoping the Cats are able to lend us a few players. And they did Phew! 13 on 13 and we are away.
It had started raining just as the game began, so the ball was very wet and hard to handle, our strategy was to try and stay in the game for as long as possible and hope Lizzy Y plays for us in the last quarter and we can make a run towards the win (I have been studying their team all week so I am very familiar with all their names). Their tall ruck Freya, basically won all the hitouts today so our best chance was to pick up the loose ball on the ground and kick it forward. Eliza and Zali fought hard for the ball in the middle and they were hard to contain. Zali has improved a lot since last time we played the Cats, I will need to remember her for the next game. I do like the Cats structure, they have two very fast girls on the wing, Grace and Lily, who provided plenty of headaches for our defence.
At Quarter time we had only let in 2 goals. My plan is coming together it was a strong start to the game. We ran with the wind in the second quarter so all of our kicks were going that much further. The Cat’s defensive line compensated really well with Sami down back stopping everything we threw at her. Zara L also tackled really well and did a great job of gathering the ball and sending it back to our midfield. Milly’s use of her body was exceptional, creating room to safely pick the ball up. Krysta used her speed to chase down loose balls down back and was ever reliable. I spied on the Cats training session on Wednesday night, and could see that they were all listening and have been practicing intently. They moved the ball well by handball and even though the ball turned into a piece of soap, we couldn’t score a goal at all. I still had my eye on Lizzy, she will have her turn playing for us and this is when we will make our move.
At half time we were still within reach, they had kicked 3 goals to our handful of behinds. I can’t believe it! Freya is playing for us this quarter. I’ll put her down back and mark Elin, that should restrict their attack. They have a new player Evie, who seems very capable. She and Maia play well together, there is a deep understanding here. They must be close friends. The force is strong between them. Suzie is dangerous in the forward line, we just can’t match her speed and agility. She is fast to grab the ball off the ground as well and create chances. I was impressed with the ‘no mercy’ attitude in their team when Elin tackled Freya to the ground. I am sure she was horizontal at one point in a show of strength, wow. Hannah was also playing strongly for the Cats, gaining in confidence every game she plays, there are no weaknesses in this team. Lexie P scored a great goal in this quarter and was rewarded for her practice in front of goals.
So we made it to three quarter time. We are 5 goals down, we have the wind and we have Lizzy. Game On! The quarter started well and the ball is spending a lot of time in our half. I can see their forwards are exhibiting the early stages of frostbite as we starve them of the ball. We scored three goals and if it wasn’t for Zoe’s attack on the ball we would have scored more. Throughout the whole game Zoe was first to grab the ball and try and move it on. I could see the Cats’ coaches started to get anxious wondering if their decisions to move the magnets in a particular way was going to come back and haunt them. The game ended quickly and we fell short today. The Cats were too strong for us, well played, well done.
On a more serious note, it was a hard game in the wind and rain today. We were probably lucky to play given there were a lot of grounds closed around Sydney. Greg and I have been focusing on similar areas for the 14’s and 16’s. That is: improving the way we move the ball by hand, starting with the ball on the ground at the stoppage and 2 or 3 quick handballs to release a player into space. I hope you can see the early signs of this today. The girls have to change their initial instinct of trying to kick the ball, to looking for a player to give off a quick handball. We saw so many great examples of this today. As the season goes on, I am hoping that this will be the cornerstone to the team’s success and their enjoyment at the end of the season.
We have a break now for the holidays next game is on 11th July. We will be training throughout the holidays, so if you are around then please come down and have a run.
Players Player: Freya
LCC 6-5-41 vs WWC 3-7-25
Goals: Maia 2, Lizzy 2*, Eliza 1, Lexie P 1
* Do we count goals for the opposition?
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