****Under 16s semi finals will be held at City Mazda Stadium on Sunday 28th of May
West (1st) v Norwood (4th) 12pm
Round 7 vs Eagles, City Mazda Stadium, Thursday April 18th
After a 5 day turn around, we decided to give a number of players a game off with the aim of freshening them up for the upcoming final. We continued to offer opportunity to players within the squad that had limited opportunity throughout the season. This resulted in a significantly different side from last week with 14 changes. Our team began a little slowly but settled well and went into the first change 4.3 to 2.2.
The 2nd quarter began well as we stretched the lead to 25 points before a determined Eagles side refused to give in and fought back late. We won the quarter and entered half time with a 3 goal lead 7.3 to 4.3 but I sensed we were being stretched in defence and had trouble finding a key forward. We lost our Captain Connor Blackwell with an injury and a few of our key on-ball players were struggling to get into the game. This game meant everything to the Eagles with a significant win giving them a chance of making fourth position and a final spot.
The 3rd quarter saw us struggle and the Eagles won the quarter and closed the gap within 5 points at the final change.
To the Eagles credit they continued to win contested football, out work us and brought excellent tackling pressure. We were second to the ball and they were using their taller side to significant advantage. This saw us headed for the first time this year in the last quarter to which we responded to take the lead back. This was short lived and with the Eagles running hard and continuing to get repeated forward entries, 19 o 7 in the last quarter. Our defence finally broke with the significant pressure and they ran away kicking 4.5 to 2.1 in the last quarter to inflict our first loss for the season by 11 points. The Eagles just missed the finals by 0.4% to Norwood.
The result had no effect on who we play in the first final with Norwood securing 4th spot on the table and with us still finishing first. The loss hurt, which hopefully provided a small wake up call to a number of the players that success doesn’t just happen without continued effort and hard work.
We will definitely settle the side leading into the first final and ensure our players are focused and prepared to bring the high intensity, fierce contested ball and work rate that has ensured success so far this year.
Final Score: West 11.5-71 to Eagles 12.10-82
Goal kickers: C.Oueiss 2, Desira 2, Woods, Camilleri, Matters, Bennetts, Ryan, White, Pridham 1
Best: Thackeray, Thomson, Desira, McArdle, Pridham, Ryan, Matters.