Contributed by: Beau Newman
Blue skies, sunshine and blustery conditions greeted those who turned out to St. Francis Xavier College in Officer for the Division One clash of Canada Northwind taking on the Great Britain Bulldogs.
The first quarter started with an arm wrestle for ascendancy, as both teams played a physical, smash-mouth style of football. The deadlock was finally broken through a great roving goal by Rob Tersigni to give the Canadians the lead. Although Great Britain had plenty of the football, they struggled to hit Marc Cashman, who was consistently presenting an option up forward. The intensity at both the ball and the player with the ball was on show, as both sides showed no fear on their attack on the ball or in the tackle. The highlight of the quarter came as Northwind forward Adam Nash took an imposing pack mark, about 35 meters out, in the right forward pocket, calmly walked back and slotted a great drop punt for the second major of the quarter to set the Northwind up heading into the quarter time break with a 13 point lead.
Great Britain coach, Dean Thomas gave a clear message at quarter time to his troops, saying that they needed to run the ball against the wind, play the top side of the ground and bring it back into the middle of ground. This was because they were trying to play into the wind too much, causing a lot of turnovers and interceptions, which led to the scoring opportunities for the Canadians. With ruckman Alexander Watson providing them first use of the ball, the Bulldogs had the majority of possession, but exactly like the first quarter, failed to convert that into scoring chances. The major moment of the second quarter came when Canadian captain, Justen Oertel suffered an injury in a tackle and was taken from the ground and later taken to hospital with a suspected meniscus tear. This dealt the Northwind a severe blow, and the only score in the quarter came as Great Britain scored a behind in the 16th minute and went into the main break 12 points behind.
As the blustery wind started to die down, the Bulldogs came out full of fervour at the beginning of the third quarter and it had an immediate impact on the scoreboard with the Bulldogs kicking two quick fire goals in the space of four minutes. The second of the two goals, kicked by Andrew Walkden, a right foot snap from the nearside pocket boundary, 25 meters out was reminiscent of Eddie Betts in his pocket at the Adelaide Oval. This drew the scores level, but just as the Bulldogs clawed their way to parity, the Canadians quickly broke the deadlock with a much needed goal from Kyle Graham. Yet again though, another possible leg injury to Mitch Home was a talking point of the third quarter, as the Canadians took a 5 point lead into the last break.
The final quarter saw an arm-wrestle in the centre in the fight for midfield supremacy, as both Morgan Whyte and Alexander Watson were going tit-for-tat with the hitouts, but it was the Canadian midfield that took control first. This lead to the Canadians kicking a crucial, yet controversial goal, as a blatant push from Adam Nash was not spotted by the umpire who had clear vision of the incident, with Nash marking unopposed 30 meters from goal. He calmly kicked the goal which gave the Northwind an 11 point lead, but the Bulldogs weren’t done with yet. They had a chance to bring the margin back to a goal when Douglas Houston had a set shot 15 meters out, but put it through for a minor score. A quality pack mark by Clay Lund was a highlight of the last quarter and as he put it through for a major score, he crushed the hopes of a comeback by the Bulldogs as the Northwind ran out as the victors by 15 points with Dean Thomas after the game saying “That result was not a true reflection of who we are. The character of this group cannot be questioned”
|Avg Ht cm||183.6||182.2|
|Avg Wt kg||85.6||83.6|
|St Francis Xavier (Officer) 12:30 pm
Canada vs Great Britain
Goal Kickers: Canada:Adam Nash 2 Clay Lund, Rob Tersigni, Kyle Graham 1 Great Britain: Jack Coughlan 1 Andrew Walkden 1 Best Players: Canada: Morgan Whyte, James Duggan, Trent Loosemore, Mike Aspell, Eric Klein, Giancarlo Brancati Great Britain: Luke Booth, Myles Hudson, Douglas Houston, Jason Hill, Alec Markham, Owain Ryland
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