Our very first taste of div 1 finals footy didn’t progress or end the way we would have liked but as I have mentioned to the boys over the last couple of weeks, it was not the result we were interested in it was what we would learn from it that will enable us to grow as footballers.
We were up against a quality team who are an established second year 16’s with the exception of a couple of players, where as we are a team of 13 first year players. They were smarter and used the ball so much better. Our day was always going to be tough. What made it tougher was the need for me to name 6 players who were forced to have to play through injury due to our lack of numbers. Even then I had decided I would sit two players on the bench knowing very well they would never see game time.
So we started the game with one real interchange player in a finals game hoping that luck would be on our side, it wasn’t. The first ten minutes of the first quarter was typical finals, tough and scrappy but then Sandgate began doing what they do best. They ran hard and used the ball expertly and really began ticking the scoreboard over and regardless of the efforts early of Ely, Dickfos, Stilgoe, Watson and Wenham, Sandgate basically did as they pleased.
Early into the second quarter our little pocket dynamo in Jackson Dickfos once again suffered for his fearless never say die commitment to a contest by keeping his head over the ball and clashing heads with a Sandgate opponent which ended his day and required a trip to hospital for scans. This meant our bench was down to zero. Early in the third quarter Hanno also suffered injury when committing the body for a smother and copping extra attention from an opponent. He also required hospitalization after coughing up blood and this meant we were down to 17 men 10 minutes into the third quarter.
I wish I could say it stopped their but 10 minutes into the last quarter Trent Ricker was suffering from a leg injury so he too was sent to the bench for no replacement. So for the last 15 minutes the 16 players left on the field battled and competed until sirens end with their major concern being that of their team mates who failed to finish the day beside them.
I was very proud of the boys who after half time continue to play the game out and compete to the best that Sandgate had allowed them to do. It is not easy to do when players who mean so much to you have fallen and are suffering. Our team was once again lead by both of our skippers in Trent and Lachy. Both had worked themselves into the ground trying to keep the boys spirits up. They were supported by Brodie, Tommy and Brando who can also say they did all they could for the majority of the game.
Due to their efforts over the last 5 -6 months our 16’s have earned the right to live another day of finals football and we will use that opportunity to once again get up, dust off and prepare to play Redlands at Tansey Park 108 Tansey Drive Tanah Merah next Sunday at 2.30pm.
Thank you to all of the supporters, friends and families that came to cheer us on today and we are sorry we were not able to give you a better display of our capabilities, but do not right us off just yet.
Thanks to Sally for the job you do and the extra you had to cope with today, you are truly a keeper. Thanks to Daryl for the important part you play in our side and a special thanks to Jerry for helping us out while I was at times distracted.