Match Reports ~ Round 1
Men’s Division 1
Footys back! And how good is that. The season started at olds park against the Nor West Jets and with a strong squad in there was plenty of belief.
The game started well with the ball camped in our forward line for much of the first quarter. We did fail to capitalise on this dominance however and went in with scores just about level at the first break.
The second quarter was a bit different with the dragons getting on top all across the ground, dominating from Faulkner at fullback all the way to Gasovski at full forward. A couple of Dave Williams goals saw the dragons have a handy buffer at the main break.
A fairly even third quarter with the Jets getting on top towards the end. However, a late Ben Sharp goal was a major moment in the game and gave the dragons a real boost going into the final change.
The last quarter was a fairly even battle once more but the Dragons ran away winners, showing their class and deserving their 7 goal victory.
Felt great to be back and felt even better to be singing the song again.
Women’s Division 2
First game of the season nerves for many of us as were running out onto Old’s Park on Saturday morning. Moving up to division two after our premiership win last season, we knew we would be in for some tough competition.
Maddi Hatswell started us off in the first quarter with a cracking goal from way out and was a key player throughout the entire game getting plenty of clearances.
Jemma Gallehawk, Lily Braidner and Rhiannon Burns made some crucial tackles and presented our forwards with some perfect kicks. Emma Ross also had an outstanding game taking some crazy marks in our backline leaving us all in awe.
We let Inner West slip away from us in the 2nd and 3rd quarter but we came back firing in the 4th and showed them we weren’t giving up. Louise Hoban and Jess Bevan slotted 2 goals for the Dragons leaving us only 8 points down with 5 minutes to go. Time slipped away from us & we didn’t get the win but we sure had fun and left the field on a high knowing we gave it our all in that final quarter.
We will be taking that intensity from the 4th quarter into this week’s game against Western Magic.
Women’s Division 3
After a triumphant season last year, we wanted to start the season off with a bang...AND WE SURE DID!!
A lot of nerves with a number of girls playing their first game, didn’t stop the goals from flowing in the first quarter. With the guidance of Louise Grady up the front directing traffic, allowed Kayde to have a man of the match performance slotting in numerous goals.
Come 3 quarter time the opposition were squashed by the efficiency of the back 5 clearances. This was lead by our team captain Sammi who lead a panic free defence to keep the ball out!
Big shout out to the number of girls playing their first game of Dragons football. Special mention to Alyssa running the ball with one hand palming off defenders while Keira had an amazing game in half forward kicking and setting up a number of goals.
Bring on next week, I can only see positive results for this team!
After two good performances in practice matches stretching between March and July, new Coach Tony Quinn finally got to send a team out for premiership points against Camden at Olds Park for Round One. Having gathered some real momentum prior to the COVID-19 disruption, the job of getting the team up and ready for such a unique season was something no Coach has ever had to deal with, however with a solid lead in month, and the availability of a talented mix of experience and youth with plenty of club depth, the Dragons went into this game confident of a good showing.
The first quarter started well for the Dragons, with Ben Hodgson kicking the season opener in the third minute of play. St George spent most of the quarter in our forward half and largely controlled the play with some good clearance work out of the middle and plenty of defensive tackle pressure when the ball was in Camden’s possession. Dylan Sanderson and Captain Ben Jones chipped in with a goal each, later in the quarter, whilst our defence kept Camden to a miserly two points by the quarters end.
Blowing off some of the first game nerves and rust, the second quarter again belonged to St George. Ethan Maher had two goals within the first ten minutes with Tim Coenen chipping in for another a few minutes later. The back line stepped up again with Dom Michalak repeatedly hurting the Camden forward line with his pressure and determination at the contest. Another goal to Paddy Tegg later in the quarter saw the Dragons lead at half time, by 42 points whilst still denying Camden a goal.
At half time a fairly pleased coach Quinn advised the boys to keep up the pressure and numbers around the ball but reminded them to enjoy their footy over the second half.
The third quarter was a bit harder for both teams with some first game fatigue setting in. The first fifteen minutes of the quarter was pretty even until Coenen grabbed another goal at the fifteen-minute mark. Camden kicked their first goal of the game a short time later but goals to Will Mudge and Matt Saunders and another to Maher, buried any confidence Camden was trying to muster. A St George turnover very late in the quarter gave Camden their second goal of the game, but by three quarter time the Dragons were up by 56 points.
Going into the final quarter St George had an unassailable lead but did not take their foot off the pedal by any means. Whilst both teams were clearly slowing down, our defenders stood tall and remained committed to the team’s job. Whilst Camden grabbed two more goals, St George kicked further in front with Maher grabbing his fourth goal of the day and Sanderson, having presented well all day, grabbing his second.
St Georges defensive work across the whole game, especially in the first half was pleasing, with Michalak and Coenen really flaunting their defensive expertise all around the backline and into the midfield. Steve Nabaki was a consistent, strong presence in the ruck, with Jacob Dol providing plenty of drive out of the middle. Tim Tegg also stood out with his pace and drive around the contest. All in all a pleasing first up effort for the team, however a big match next week against Sydney Uni will likely provide a very different challenge.
St George – Q1. 3.3.21 Q2. 7.4.46 Q3. 11.7.73 Q4. 13.13.91
Camden – Q1. 0.2.2 Q2. 0.4.4 Q3. 2.5.17 Q4. 4.8.32
Goalkickers – Maher 4, Sanderson 2, Coenen 2, P.Tegg 1, Mudge 1, Hodgson 1, Jones 1, Saunders 1
Best Players - Jones, Coenen, Michalak, T.Tegg, Dol, Nabaki
Continuing on from last season's grand final win, the team won the match convincingly. All quarters were similar with the team's total domination of the opposition.
Our backs with defence kept every raid at bay. To limit the Cats to I goal is testament to their committment.
Our Forwards constantly peppered their goal. Highlights were Declan Donohue's fantastic score of 9 goals. He was more than ably supported by Nick Ryan with 5 goals. Both players won strong contested marks to achieve their success combined with their accurate kicking.
Our midfield, rucks & rovers were terrific. Winning the ball through the centre was constant. Coach Steve Wilsen's tactics in the main carried out not to mention his own strong playing performance. Our captain, Daniel Napper, who had to leave the field late in the game with an ankle injury, lead strongly from the front.
Despite the opposition employing some unsettling tactics, the players managed to overcome these. Whilst still advancing on the scoreboard, our pressure in the second quarter was not maintained. 'The opposition made us play their type of game venturing more to the flanks. We played better in the third quarter although our play was more rushed that was necessary. The fourth quarter saw a return or that dragon fire where some scintillating passing, leading, marking & scoring won the applause of the spectators.
Every player satisfactorily played their role but the performances by Steve Wilsen, Bailey Johnson, Mitchell Gray, Riley Tracey, Andrew Steizer & Brenden Dimevski were noted but Brendans (Dees) 9 goal haul will undoubtedly be remembered.
The opposition, to their credit, never capitulated, fought strongly to the end but to no avail.
Well done boys!
The late game on a balmy Saturday night, in front of your footballing heroes from Prems, Ressies, Div 1 and a smattering of our finest female players, is always a difficult task. Add to that the spectre of COVID, the smells of a sizzling sausage, and the crack of the odd can under the stars all located at the colosseum of AFL, Olds Park, spreads anticipation and excitement through the crowd.
This situation hasn't gone missing on coach Cairnduff, with quiet whispers from Coach Quinn, mentors Travers, Clift, Wynne, West and other club legends, all present to see if the hype is real. Interestingly, the Coach of the mighty Camden Cats, is the wise man of sport Mark Seily, who actually coached many of us in the late 70's early 80's in U19's at St George. Whilst the years may have not been that kind to his knees, there was still a youthful spring in his step, with the challenge of bringing his young chargers up the M5 for a contest against his old club, and many of his great mates.
The change room was filled with nervous smiles, anticipation, determination, and a quick round up of the days betting from some of the in form punters in the group. Coach Cairnduff settled the lads into a well timed build up of quiet words, instructions and calculated strategies that were hopefully going to be the winning strategy. No pressure but the aforementioned mentors came in for the final rev up for the lads, getting around each other, a spread of youth, class, and the X factor that only U/19 football can deliver. The skipper Brenno gathered the boys in for a final huddle and laid the law done that was to be the final platform to deliver what the crowd had come to watch.
The first quarter was a dour struggle mixed with glimpses of some fantastic chances, smattered with the crap that you would normally see from a first competition match after a protracted and interrupted season that only COVID could deliver.
The lads fought hard and were committed to effort and running, slowly grinding towards some semblance of the strategy that Coach Cairnduff had asked for. At the bell at quarter time the score was 9 - 3 up to the mighty dragons, an indication of the night to be.
Coach Cairnduff whispered some quiet words of wisdom to the team in his quarter time speech, which could only just be heard in the lounge rooms of Kangaroo point, some ten kilometres away. This fired up the team who came out and scored 4 straight goals against 2 goals to the cats who attempted to claw their way back into the fight. Oh, did someone mention fight...........well you couldn’t really call it a fight, more a melee or brooh haha, with testosterone and adrenaline surging, some of the young bucks of the team got sucked into the oldest trick in the U/19's game of who can grab a jumper the strongest, or who can talk the biggest game. Get rid of it lads, Coach Cairnduff instructed the youthful runner Crozzo, who dashed around the boys and reminded them of the game strategy for the day.
The game was still in the balance with poor use of the footy when in possession, but the tackling and pressure continued to provide a distinct lack of opportunity for the courageous cats. Legends Clift, Quinn, Travers and Wynne moved around the lads, providing quiet instruction and support to individuals. On the first bounce at Q3, after a massive rev up from Coach Cairnduff, Crozzo taps down to the skipper who slotted on from 68 metres, the outcome of the game was about the change. The tempo and flashes of brilliance that stuttered across the first two quarters started to gel, with some great touches from our mids and spine including Pringle, HP, Hughy,Chris,Sims, Skipper, Watto, Frankie and Brownie.
The fourth quarter put any chance of a comeback from the cats to bed with the final result 76 - 40 at the sound of full time. The lads got around each other and sung the song, many for the first time of what will be a great lifetime of memories at the Colosseum of AFL for the red and the white!! Coach Cairduff was delighted with the win, see quietly fist pumping and slapping backs of the mentors present.
Goals to Brennan 1, Buncle 2, Combs 2, Duncan 1, Pringle a lazy 6!!
Best on ground was Pringle, who has returned from a serious shoulder injury to demonstrate a football lesson to many who were there to witness. He was also assisted by Skipper Brennan, Crozzo in the ruck, Hugh Africa on the wing, Josh Watson on ball and Browny in the back line who held the defensive team solid across the night.
In summary, this was an Ugly Win but a great win to get under the belt. Gear up for Sydney Uni this week boys as this will be a true test. Get to training and work on your skills and decision making.