Mark Lanyon - Team Manager
The U12's travelled to Mullum Mullum Reserve on Sunday to face Norwood. Expections were high of a good contest after we had come close to wins in the last few weeks. Wet weather overnight didn't seem to impact the surface and we kicked off the match in sunny, but windy conditions.
In what seems to be a regular pattern, we started the game strongly again. Harry was getting plenty of the ball early with some strong play to setup Dylan with the first goal of the match. We were dominating the play around the ground and soon had the ball back down forward where Frash took advantage with a 30m kick for goal - his first playing for the Jets! Ethan J was continuing his good form in the ruck from last week and Harry again was back in the play with a strong tackle and free kick. A further entry forward by Patrick found Dylan with a great mark who went back and kicked his second for the quarter. At quarter time we led 3.2 to 1.0 and were looking good.
The second quarter was always going to be a challenge with a strong breeze to kick into. Norwood started strongly with 2 quick goals but we managed to steady with strong marks from Thomas and Harry in defence. Ben and Cameron had a run on the ball this quarter and Shannon was winning plenty of possessions around the ground. The back line was under pressure again late in the quarter with Gabriel and Macsen (with a great saving smother) playing well but a late goal put Norwood up at half time 4.4 to 3.2.
Third quarter we were again kicking with the wind and soon Campbell and Jordan playing in the middle had the ball down to Dylan who unfortunately missed the first chance. Jordy was hunting the ball on the wing and won a free to again push forward. A great contested mark by Shannon on the wing (and followed up a by a smother and mark a few moments later) was another highlight of the quarter as the Jets pressed. The backline again was being held up with 2 tough marks by Gabriel and Keiran was providing some run from full back. Zac was performing well in the ruck before a tough contest that forced him off injured. After a quarter were we had the bulk of play we unfortunately didn't make the most of the breeze on the scoreboard and still trailed at three quarter time 3.5 to 4.5.
It was going to take a massive effort in the last to regain the lead kicking against the wind but the players never gave in. Gabriel was back in the action with another great smother. Patrick was winning the ball around the ground with a great 4 quarter effort. Luke had a run on the ball out of the middle. Shannon, Ethan, and Harry again kept the pressure on the opposition with great tackles. Nathan took a great mark but we were still struggling to get that elusive goal. Kai played deep forward and was looking dangerous around the packs. Another 2 points put us back needing a straight kick to hit the lead with a few minutes to go. Norwood were defending well however and running the ball out of defense with good speed. Our backline also held up well only conceeding 2 points for the quarter with Ethan, Dylan, Shannon, Harry, Cameron, Elijah, and Austin all repelling Norwood entries that would have put the game out of reach. A late forward entry wasn't enough for the Jets as we ran out of time still behind.
Team highlights were our first quarter were we hit the lead early and the last quarter in which we fought out the game against the wind to the very end. With the final scores Jets 3.7.25 to Norwood 4.7.31 this game could have gone either way!
The team will be determined to continue improving next week against Rowville.