Mark Lanyon - Team Manager.
The U12's had a rare home game at HE Parker last weekend and was greeted with cold and wet conditions. We were celebrating 50 games for Austin and Gabriel and being the first game back after school holidays expectations were high for a competitive match.
The first quarter started with rain coming down and we had a positive start to the match with the first center clearance via Cameron. Some good clean play in the conditions had Kai linking up with Jordan who passed forward to a mark to Nathan. Our midfield was getting on top with Ethan J in the ruck and Patrick getting plenty of the ball in the wet. Jordy and Thomas helped repel most attacks forward from Mitcham and we started to move the ball well. It wasn't long until we were rewarded when Nathan kicked a goal to put us on the score board. Another center clearance followed and Nathan popped up again with his second in 2 minutes. Ethan A was playing well across half forward and getting the ball deep into our attack. Another highlight with a minute to go was Patrick who kicked his first goal for the year to put the Jets 18 points up at quarter time. One of our best starts of the year!
We expected Mitcham to respond in the second quarter and soon our defense was under pressure. The team responded though with Zac and Luke setting the example with strong tackling and spoiling which was perfect in the conditions. Campbell and Elijah were also thriving in the mud and giving their parents plenty of work to do after the match! Gabriel and Keiran took some critical marks to stop forward entries throughout the quarter and by half time we were still 15 points up as we went into the soon to be demolished changerooms.
After half time we continued to display some great skills in the wet. Clean disposal and taking our marks continued with Luke, Ethan A, Jordy and Frash all getting plenty of possessions. We never allowed Mitcham any space and pressure from Zac, Thomas, and Elijah with some great tackles put the ball down forward again. We had two more shots at goal which only registered points before Dylan started to influence up forward and soon had his first goal for the day. The midfield and defence held out well and kept Mitcham scoreless for the quarter as we extended our lead to 23 points.
The last quarter continued Dylan's purple patch and he soon had his second goal for the game. Cadyn, Jordy, Patrick, and Thoms all took strong marks as Mitcham couldn't get back in the game. Frash and Elijah were thriving in the muddy center square. Cameron continued to get plenty of the ball and Ethan A also played one of his best for the year. Mitcham scored one goal back but Dylan again scored with a few minutes remaining to put us 30 points up at the final siren.
The team sang the song for the second time this season and showed that they can match it with any side when we perform a four quarter effort like this. We take confidence into next week's game against the Basin as we look to lock in a finals spot.