WHAT a beautiful day to kick off the 2019 Heathcote District Football Netball League season.
Colbinabbin headed to Elmore to play for the new Bendigo Bank Community Cup and mixed results were had on the day, however, some great potential was shown in all games.
Seniors: The team faced an improved Elmore line-up, though they would have enjoyed a bigger victory had it not been for lacklustre goal kicking.
The Bloods raced out of the blocks with a 5.3 to 4.3 opening term, seeming to adjust to the frenetic pace of the game earlier.
The Hoppers were able to absorb the pressure and counter in the second, piling on 6.4 to Elmore’s 3.1 to take a 15-point lead into half-time.
Instead of carrying the momentum through the half and closing out the game, the Hoppers wasted simple opportunities in front of goal, kicking 2.8 for the quarter leaving Elmore within 20 points.
Despite being two rotations down, Colbo was able to steamroll the Bloods in the final term, booting 6.4 to 2.1 to complete an emphatic 47-point victory.
First gamer Ben Southam was brilliant on debut, amassing 31 disposals, five marks and five tackles in a best on ground performance.
Damien Carmody was enormous in defence, intercepting and rebounding at will. Xavier Walsh was prolific through the midfield, winning plenty of the ball and working hard defensively with eight tackles.
Nick Knight relished his new role in defence, creating plenty of drive with his elite foot skills.
Rounding out the better players was Ryan Hon who booted five goals and Sauce Ezard whose inside work at the stoppages was top shelf.
Reserves: The premiership defence got off to a shaky start as the reserves were met head on by a strengthened Bloods outfit.
A wasteful performance in front of goal meant that the Hoppers would leave the door ajar for Elmore until the final siren.
A 2.3 to 3.5 opening term was where the woes began, taking a small eight point lead into the opening break.
Colbo had opportunities to blow the game away in the second term, but could only manage one goal from their seven scoring shots.
Both sides were wayward in the third, kicking 1.4 a piece to leave the Hoppers with a slender 13 point lead at the final change.
The Bloods took their chances in the last adding 3.1 but it wasn’t quite enough to snatch the lead as Colbo wobbled through 1.5 to seal a gritty five point victory.
Stephen Tuohey was electric through the midfield, using his pace to break the lines. Mick Battista was lively up forward booting three goals and having a hand in a few more.
Geordie McMurtrie had plenty of the ball through the middle of the ground. Will Hayes was the general in defence and set up plenty of play in transition.
Other better players included Liam Vale who worked tirelessly in the ruck and Jeremy Morgan who did his chances of a senior call up no harm.
Thirds: The thirds began the day with a terrific first up effort given their minimal pre-season preparation, eventually going down to a strong Elmore side by 27 points.
A sluggish start saw the Bloods boot 2.4 to the Hoppers 0.1 giving our boys plenty of work to do.
Colbo worked themselves into the game in the second, hitting the scoreboard but still allowing Elmore to find avenues to goal as they reduced the half time deficit to 14 points.
The Hoppers settled after the main break and put together a much cleaner, more composed second half, kicking 4.4 to 6.6 and having plenty of the play despite the final margin.
Darcy Brown set the tone with his physicality and leadership. Charlie Ryan was superb through the middle of the ground and was damaging when resting forward with two goals.
Sam Ryan’s work rate, presentation and aerial work were highlights of his game.
Other better players included Cooper Hamilton who dominated the clearances and first gamer Bodey Abbot who won plenty of contested ball
A grade: A solid start for our A grade girls with a convincing 29-goal win over a new look Elmore.
In what was a solid, physical match, it was great to come away with a win and start to gel together.
Colbo were bolstered by the inclusion of Jacqueline Dupuy, who was a force at either end, and Lou Dupuy who was best on at goal keeper.
It was nice to get the first game and nerves out of the way and now start to look forward to the rest of the season.
We look forward to welcoming Jess Geary back into the side and building on what was a fantastic start to the 2019 campaign.
A reserve: A beautiful sunny day in Elmore had the A reserve girls pumped and ready to go for their first game of the season.
All playing together for the first time we were excited to see how we would perform.
Unfortunately we were unable to get on top of Elmore, however we came away with some strong combinations and great potential.
With a great bunch of girls, I’m sure the season is going to be a fun one!
Congratulations to Harper Pearson for earning herself best on court for her long arms and defensive skills.
B grade: An eager Colbo team was looking forward to the first game of the season.
With some old faces rejoining the team, Tiff Mclean and Uddles Potae brought experience and guidance with them.
Tiff and Meg shot beautifully together with the new combination working well.
Gabby McCaig, a new face to the club, played her role through the mid-court beautifully.
Shanee and Milly worked hard in defence. Best on went to the versatile Hannah Coghill, swinging back to mid court.
Although the outcome wasn’t what we hoped, we have a lot of positives to take into next week.
B reserve: Whilst they didn’t come away with a win in the first round, there was plenty of promising play happening on the court.
The combination of Trish, Sophie and Georgia W in attack was strong, while Steph and Georgia M put pressure on every ball down in defence.
Congratulations to Courtney who, whilst playing her first game for Colbo, came away with best on court.
Well done girls and looking forward to an exciting season ahead!
U17: The girls started their season with a 25 goal win over the reigning premiers.
After shaking off a few early nerves the young Colbo side gained a handy lead and capitalised in every quarter.
The defence team of the Myers sisters was strong, spoiling many opposition scoring shots.
The intensity from the mid court lifted as the game went on with Keely Parker and Laura Budge successful against strong opponents.
The goaling partnership of Ella Kerlin and Dominique Palmer proved formidable, shooting 60 between them.
Best on court: Zara Myers (Sportspower), second best: Keely Parker, Community Bank award: Dominique Palmer
U15: The new look team started out strong in the first quarter with a great defence combo of Stella, Zoe and Jo and accurate shooting from Dana.
A few changes due to the warmer conditions saw Summer, Mon and Zoe shoot well in the second and third quarters but Elmore proved too strong overall.
A great first game for our newest club members Ryllie and Kenzie who were strong in the mid-court all game.
Best on court incentive from Mussared’s Bricklaying was Kenzie and the Community Cup award went to Stella for a strong game in GK for four quarters. Well done girls!
D primary: Colbo netball is in good hands if the newest netballers are anything to go by.
Primary D had a great start to the season with all 12 players (10 first time players) making the trip to Elmore.
Elmore had the height, but Colbo brought the enthusiasm. Well done everyone on a fun first game.
Best player went to Henry McFadzean for his amazing intercepts, an award also to Macey Ryan. Well done Colbo.