The Black Diamond Plate team hosted one of the Club’s fiercest rivals in Newcastle City as the team looked to continue building the momentum towards the finals having notched up some solid recent wins. With a number of key players out, this was going to prove a mighty task against the defeated ladder leaders who had an average winning margin of over 20 goals per week.
With the support of the Old Dogs behind them, the boys were keen to prove they were not going to be another walkover and were conscious of the need to avoid another slow start as Daniel Gray deputised himself as Captain and gave the troops a rousing pre-game address.
It was clear early on that the boys had come to play as they were first to the contest regularly and restricting their opponents from having the space and freedom they had become accustomed to. Some nervous clearing kicks from defence made it hard for the team to get the ball forward but the hard work was rewarded when Leigh Anderson hit the scoreboard for the Bulldogs to take us into the first break with a 1 point lead.
As the game progressed, the wind picked up which made it very tricky for both teams as it continued to swirl, without favouring either team. Again the contest was tight and hard fought and the game was turning into a slog with City grinding to a 13 point half time lead with Coach Chair very happy with the effort so far.
The third quarter continued much like the first half, but City were proving increasingly difficult to hold out, despite our defence doing a superb job continuing to frustrate their forwards with Ian Bird, Lachie Dennis, Zach Moore, Ryan Clarke and Nick Pattey hellbent on making this Newcastle City’s most difficult assignment to date.
The final quarter saw City finally get some reward for their relentless forays forward as they edged clear for a 53 point win but a result that everyone involved should be proud of knowing they were able to match it with City for large parts of the game.
With a bye this week the team will look to be much closer to full strength from here in with another big game against Killarney Vale around the corner.
Round 13 saw the Warners Bay women face their most devastating loss of the season. The girls took to their home ground committed to a hard game of football against the Nova’s, who are sitting in the top three spots on the ladder.
Warners Bay dominated the game from the first bounce, holding the ball in their scoring end for majority of the game. Forward pocket Leesa Wholohan popped the first goal of the game, raising the energy levels for Warners Bay on the field. Newcastle City Nova’s scored the next two goals in the second quarter, taking the lead by three points at half time.
Coach Tracey Baker locked in the first goal of the second half, putting the Doggies back into the lead. Unfortunately, the girls were unable to lock in the goals, even though they completely dominated the play. In the final moments the Nova’s had a few break-away moments which were shut down by the Warners Bay defenders. A penalty kick against Warners Bay gave Nova’s the opportunity to kick a goal to take back the lead, taking the final score to 2.8-20 to 3.5-23.
Katie Johnston had another solid game before suffering a fractured collarbone in a hard hit, which is a devastating loss for the Doggies and one of their key players. Baker and fellow midfielder Amy Pittman were again two of the best on ground making terrific plays through to the forward line. Defender Hannah Gow was a stand out in the back line as usual, always first to the ball and making perfect clearances. Kirsty Jedrzejak made her impact on the came with her consistent marking and feeding the ball into the forward line, keeping the Nova’s defenders under pressure.
Although it was a heavy loss for the girls, the team should be able to walk away proud of how far they have come this year. The past two weeks have demonstrated the way that the Warners Bay girls are right up there with the ability to strongly contest the top teams of the league. The girls will no doubt continue this form for the remainder of the season, proving the Doggies are always going to be a tough and challenging team.
Premier Grade Review
It was a big occasion for the boys as we hosted Newcastle City for our annual Old Dogs Day and after 3 solid wins at home and with a few players returning from injury we were confident of making a real game of it against competition heavyweights Newcastle City. The boys have been putting in the hard yards at training and were certainly preparing for another tough contest against a side who will be right up there at the end of the season. In prior years putting in a competitive performance would have been a pass mark but not for the boys as they approached the game with some real belief.
In cold and blistery conditions most footy pundits would agree that they had seen better weather for a game of footy. Nevertheless, the game started with some real intensity on display by both sides as they jostled for possession and to win the clearances. With Benny Hunter continuing his strong season there was some hard hitting early as we had our opportunities to clear the ball out of the stoppage into space. If not for handling errors and the pressure applied by the city midfielders we may have won a few more clearances but it was tough going on the inside of the contest. Both sides were not giving an inch as the scoreboard remained at a few behinds a piece deep into the 1st quarter. Unlike prior games, the forward space that the boys enjoyed in previous games was not as vast as they were in for some real contested marking up forward from the close checking defenders. Riley Warner and Matty Spinks started the game well managing to rack up a few possessions and use the ball well as our half forwards in Macca, Lukey Roach and JD were looking threatening as they began to get their hands on the footy and provide leading targets. City have been a good defensive side for a long time now and the boys were feeling the heat as they were on the receiving end of some tackle pressure. With the wind holding the footy up in flight it gave the City defenders more time and opportunity to spoil our inside 50 entries. As the quarter ended the scores were tight with both sides registering one major on the scoreboard, to go with a few wayward behinds.
The 2nd quarter found our defenders feeling the heat as City began to link up well through the midfield and gain the ascendancy needed to start kicking a few goals. Our boys in the back half have been solid all year and today was a really good gauge to see where we were at with our development. Josh Nicol and Nick Turner along with Lachie Deverell were again busy as they roved the spoiling efforts of Key backmen in Linc, Madge, Gibbo and Riley. With the pressure getting the better of the boys the volume of turnovers began to increase as we were rushed for space and with our decision making when in possession. It was great to see the boys really hang in there and stay in the contest physically and mentally even when things weren’t going our way as this really kept the boys in the game and prevented any cheap goals from lapses of concentration or ill-discipline. As we entered the half time break we were only two goals down with plenty of positives to take out of a strong half.
The 3rd quarter didn’t start the way we would have liked with Sorro sustaining a shoulder injury and our mercurial forward Cougs injuring his foot so this left us with two remaining on the bench. As has been the case against the three sides above us all year the boys have had to contend with injuries and with Kayne copping a heavy knock and coming from the field things weren’t looking good from an interchange point of view with one healthy player remaining. But as has been the case all year the boys showed some real Bulldogs grit to stay composed and start to win a bit of the footy and keep City on their toes. Young Riley Warner played his finest game in the Red, white and blue as he comes on in leaps and bounds in his debit season to really establish himself in our backline. Corey Deverell is another emerging youngster who did a solid effort of keeping one of City’s better players quiet while also battling away hard all day. As we entered the last quarter with only 19 points in it the boys were still in the hunt for a victory at home.
The 4th quarter saw the weather take a turn which made conditions tough for the boys as we kicked into the wind. The message was clear that we needed to run and carry the footy to have a chance of posting a winning score on the blues but they put an end to that with a few quick goals to take the sting out of the game and put it beyond reach with 10 minutes to play. With some really promising signs from the way our back 6 linked up well and showed really improved cohesion to the workrate of our midfielders the boys were doing their best to give our forwards a chance but a well drilled City outfit saw us off at every junction. There were some really promising signs that proved the boys have improved since last year and closed the gap between the top sides of the competition and ourselves so the coaches were buoyed by the performance. Sometimes in footy you learn a lot from a loss and the boys certainly didn’t have their colours lowered today but instead made all the supporters, and particularly a parochial Old Dogs crowd, proud and happy with their efforts. We lick our wounds and will learn from our mistakes and turn our focus back to the training track to continue working hard as we progress through the season. With a bye this weekend it will be a good chance to freshen up before we make the trip down the F3 to take on Killarney Vale in a few weeks.
Warners Bay 3.9-27
Newcastle City 7.15-57
Goal Kickers: J. Downing, B. Hunter, L. Roach
Best Players: B. Hunter, L. Stewart, C. Deverell, M. Spinks, N. Turner, R. Warner
Scores around the Grounds
KILLARNEY VALE v WYONG LAKES @ Adelaide St Oval
Killarney Vale 2.3, 4.10, 6.11, 10.18 (78)
Wyong Lakes 1.1, 1.1, 2.6, 2.6 (18)
Killarney Vale : Scott Reed 3, Bryce Singleton 2, Brady Rankin 1, Liam Banfield 1, Joshua Mifsud 1, Samuel Jabour 1, Ryan Coughlan 1
Wyong Lakes : Mitchell Ede 1, Lee Moore 1
Killarney Vale : Brendan Lewis, Connor Reilly, Benjamin Simpson, Calvin Bond, Brady Rankin, Joshua Mifsud
Wyong Lakes : Emanuel Edwards, Lee Moore, Christopher Koop-Folkes, Mitchell Ede, Brayden Tos, Gavin Stokes
LAKE MACQUARIE v. GOSFORD @ Tulkaba Park
Gosford 4.3, 6.9, 7.11, 10.13 (73)
Lake Macquarie 0.0, 1.0, 1.0, 3.0 (18)
Gosford : Joshua Barty 3, Adam Miller 2, Daniel White 1, Lachlan Henderson 1, Mark Haywood 1, Matthew Noble 1, Harry Thompson 1
Lake Macquarie : Josh Ford 1, Christopher McKay 1, Riley Janissen 1
Gosford : Scott Burkinshaw, Tristan Carter, Daniel White, Alexander Remy, Lachlan Henderson, Joshua Barty
Lake Macquarie : Daniel Zuzek, Ben Taylor, Jakson Bertoli, Riley Janissen, Rory Sleeth, Damian McIntyre
MAITLAND v. SINGLETON @ Max McMahon Oval
Singleton 1.8, 3.9, 4.11, 6.16 (52)
Maitland 1.1, 3.1, 4.5, 5.5 (35)
Singleton : Jackson Kolatchew 3, Alex Mitchell 2, Brandon Quinn 1
Maitland : Jason Adlington 2, Hayden Taylor 1, Jai Rory 1, Christopher Pedler 1
Singleton : Scott Moore, Andrew Scott, Jacob Welsh, Alex Mitchell, Oliver Moody, Andrew Macpherson
Maitland : Patrick McMahon, Daniel Rainey, Thomas Grimmer, Mitchell Greaves, Christopher Pedler, Michael Norton
NELSON BAY v. CARDIFF @ Dick Burwell Oval
Cardiff 5.2, 10.2, 15.6, 22.14 (146)
Nelson Bay 1.3, 2.3, 2.6, 2.6 (18)
Cardiff : Jack Lennon 6, Lachlan Price 4, Cameron Jones 3, Josh Murphy 3, Lucas Borrow 2, Andrew Walker 1,
Tom Yensch 1, Nick Tomlinson 1, Trent Thompson 1
Nelson Bay : Mark Spencer 1, Alec Clark 1
Cardiff : Jack Lennon, Bryce Graetz, Mattie Vukovich, Tom Yensch, Lachlan Price, Brandt Job
Nelson Bay : Jarryd Rymer, Ryan Reedman, Joel Erickson, Billy Barton, Alec Clark, Christopher Eddy
TERRIGAL AVOCA – Bye
Ladder: Cardiff 92%, Terrigal Avoca 91%, Newcastle City 82%, Warners Bay 64%, Singleton 58%, Killarney Vale 50%, Gosford 50%, Wyong Lakes 25%, Nelson Bay 25%, Maitland 17%, Lake Macquarie 0%