Airport West 4.4-28 def Taylors Lakes 2.2-14
What a game of footy! In a tight tussle it took the boy’s best to get over the line – and boy did they bring it.
Noah Candotti and Flynn Gentile led the way; Noah showed his usual commitment to the team through his attack on the footy and strong marking. He also kicked an important goal in the second quarter – a great way to celebrate his last day as a 9 year old! Noah was also terrific in the ruck, tapping the ball cleanly to our on-ballers. Flynn played with his usual flair and reliability – he was great all day but when the game was on the line in the last, he really stepped up and demanded the footy. Early in the game, his clever kick over the head of the opposition backmen bounced perfectly for Jack Thomson to kick the team’s first for the day and his first for the season – well done Jack!
Taylors Lakes really used the wind to advantage in the third quarter and kicked 2.2 to nothing to level the game – but it could have been much worse if it wasn’t for Tommy Macumber using his footy smarts to run down from the wing and cover the last line of defence. In the last quarter though, he really made his presence felt. Through hard work, he just kept getting the footy and kicked one of the two goals that sealed the game. Tommy and Dante Munoz had the ball so often in the last it looked like they were playing their own game. For Dante, second efforts aren’t enough. He goes back again and again and again – until he wins the ball. And he doesn’t just wait for the easy ball – he goes in and earns it. In the last quarter, with the game on the line and against opposition with their tails up, Dante inspired his teammates by taking on and beating three opponents, then delivering the ball cleanly to our forwards.
Liam Cox was also a big contributor on the day. Liam just keeps taking the big marks when the team needs him to; there was no better time to do so than in the final quarter, when he marked strongly in the square against what seemed like a pack of about 1000 kids, then went back and slotted a ripper.
But the game was really won by the defenders and special mention goes to Max Guarnaccia. Again in the last quarter, Taylors Lakes moved the ball all the way down the ground, getting past the best we could throw at them – a goal looked certain – then up stepped Max. He laid a final, desperate tackle that prevented the Lakers from scoring, only to handball out to Thomas Borg who kicked down the flank to the astronaut, Marcus Kanavas – and we were away.
You can succeed at almost anything if you have unlimited enthusiasm. Max’ passion for the game is unsurpassed and it’s contagious.
Nothing defines teamwork better than an individual’s commitment to the success of the group. Mitchell Pontin is the living embodiment of that definition. Mitchell played an unbelievable game. On the sidelines, I just kept hearing people mentioning Mitchell – “Did you see Mitchell lay that tackle?”, “Mitchell’s marked it again, how many’s that?”, “Geez that was a strong shepherd by Mitchell”, “How good was that kick by Mitchell?”. He had a blinder.
It was so important for the backline to be strong and in the last, collectively they were superb. Marshaling them all from centre half back was Zak Doyle. Zak has really stepped up to be one of the team’s true leaders – his encouragement for his team mates at training and on the field shows a mature approach to football. He also leads by example, not looking for the easy kicks but attacking the contest hard (but fair!) and earning the right to take possession of the footy.
‘5 gamer‘ Dylan Fsadni looked like a seasoned veteran – his ‘see ball, get ball’ approach wins him a lot of footy, but on the weekend it was his marking on the forward flank that was most impressive. Eyes on the ball, getting underneath the flight, bringing the ball to his chest – text book stuff. Dylan took some heavy knocks but didn’t wane from his commitment to win the footy, he just bounced back up and had another go.
A hard fought win is a good win and the team really showed that when the pressure’s on, they can step up. It wasn’t our biggest win for the year, but in my eyes it was our best. Well done boys.