Seniors Summary: Round 9
Coming off two good wins, the Redcliffe Tigers Senior side were within their rights to take a genuine belief over to Ipswich in their quest for an away victory last Saturday. Both sides were evenly placed on the ladder and have always provided close, hard-fought contests. Unfortunately, following on from less than ideal numbers at training during the week, the late withdrawal of one Tiger player contributed to the visitors having a shaky start as the side was shuffled around.
The first term began in earnest with the Eagles out of the blocks early and controlling possession with a short kicking game. This was very effective on the large field as space was always going to be available. Redcliffe's endeavour could not be questioned, however on too many occasions their efforts were misguided as they lost their accountability in the attempt to win the ball in large numbers. The now settled midfield were right on top with ruckman Brett Somers continuing his stellar work with the taps and classy onballer James Niven displaying sublime skills as he began to rack up the clearances. With play breaking down numerous times up forward and good ball use by the home side, the black and gold backline were regulary tested but repelled the majority of inside 50's through the spoiling of Gary Spencer, Jason Goodenough and Scott Davis, and the contested marking of skipper Steve Jenkins.
The focus throughout the second term was a huge lift in accountability and whilst the visitors did manage to tighten the reins on their opponents, were unable to gain any ground. Adding to the Tigers' woes was the leg injury to contested-ball winner Richard Kernick, which combined with our lack of scoreboard pressure, was going to make the third quarter a difficult challenge.
Coach Kouvaras' halftime address again focused on accountability and ball use, but above all pride. The response however did not reflect the positive words as the Eagles continued to put goals on the board until halfway through the term, when the Tigers, sparked by some one-on-one victories, the blanket role of Tim Backhouse on the opposition captain and the introduction of Jason Goodenough's marking power into the forward line had finally flicked the switch. Niven continued his impeccable performance, Scott Ward brought the runners into the game with intelligent handball and suddenly the Redcliffe boys were within 10 points!
Missed opportunities early in the last quarter saw a reverse in the body language from both sides and the visitors could not answer some game-breaking goals late in the match, seeing the Eagles hold on for a tough 4 goal victory. After a slow and disrupted start, Redcliffe had really struggled to get going, but through sheer willingness do something, anything, for their teammates several players almost brought the Tigers an important victory. One of those players is former Premiership Captain, and great mate, Josh Bond. As always, his work-rate for his club was top-class and I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on his new job, well done Bondy!
Last but not least, this week's "Joe's Mobile Mechanical" most courageous player had several nominees. Steve Jenkins for backing into several marking contests, Jason Burgoyne for receiving a couple of hospital passes but keeping his eyes on the pill and Richard Kernick for keeping his head over it and wearing a dangerous head high hit. However it goes to James Niven for throwing himself into plenty of contests and wearing many high shots whilst earning a clear Best on Ground performance. See you all at training this week...