COLBINABBIN’S first home game for the Heathcote District Football Netball league season saw it play host to Lockington-Bamawm United on a hot and sunny Good Friday.
Although there were mixed results throughout, there were some promising signs from the juniors.
Seniors: The seniors showed plenty of upside but were outclassed in their important clash against LBU.
An extremely slow start that saw the Hoppers struggle to adjust to the pace of LBU’s game style, meant that Colbo would be playing catch up, finding themselves six goals down at the opening break.
Positively the Hoppers bounced back in the second, piling on 6.1 to 1.4 to get themselves back within 10 points at half time.
The revival took its toll though, as Colbo lost spearhead Ryan Hon (foot), the classy Natty Nixon (hamstring) and youngster Hugh Hamilton (shoulder) to injury.
Despite being reduced to one rotation off the bench, the Hoppers battled hard in the second half and controlled a decent amount of play but were unable to apply scoreboard pressure and keep themselves within striking distance.
The Cats eventually running out 36-point winners.
Ben Southam was terrific for the second week in a row, he created a plethora of drive off half-back, his second best on ground performance in as many weeks.
Hugh McMurtrie was rock solid in defence, showing his versatility in shutting down opponents of all shapes and sizes. Sauce Ezard showed off his cleanliness and composure around the contest.
Hadleigh Sirett did a power of work in the ruck and was influential around the ground.
Other better players included Mick Battista who booted three majors and Sam Vale who won plenty of contested ball through the middle of the ground.
Reserves: The reserves put together a much more complete performance than last week, comprehensively outplaying LBU in all aspects of the game.
The Hoppers raced out of the blocks, dominating the clearances and entering their forward 50 at will but were slightly wasteful again as they wobbled through 5.4 to the Cats 1.0 in the first quarter.
LBU lifted their pressure in the second and restricted Colbo’s scoring, the Hoppers adding a wayward 1.4 to the Cats single behind to extend their half time lead to 37 points.
Colbo responded by cracking the game wide open with a 4.2 to 1.1 third quarter, blowing the lead out to 56 points at three-quarter-time.
It was party time in the last as the Hoppers ran riot, sharing the spoils and booting 6.4 while restricting the Cats to just two behinds to seal the 94 point victory.
Jono Barnett was outstanding through the midfield, doing plenty of grunt work around the stoppages and working hard to transition defensively.
Sam Bowers was superb in his first game for the club, dominating the clearances and slicing up the Cats defence with his precise foot skills.
Spencer Page played beautifully across half forward, consistently hitting up at the ball carrier and working hard to repeat his leads.
Will Falland’s strength over the footy and raking left boot were highlights of his game.
Rounding out the better players were Geordie McMurtrie who was electric up front and Braden Brown who was reliable in defence.
Thirds: The thirds recovered from a slow start to record their first victory of the season against last year’s grand finalists in LBU.
The Hoppers gained the ascendency early, booting 2.3 to 1.1 to take an eight point lead into the opening break.
However, Colbo were second to the footy in the second term, allowing the Cats to move the football with little pressure and hit the scoreboard kicking 3.3 to Colbo’s 1.1 to snatch a six point half time lead.
After a few structural changes the Hoppers clicked into gear and got back to playing their brand of football in the second half, hitting up through the corridor and controlling the tempo of the game.
They piled on 10.3 while keeping the Cats scoreless to finish the game 53-point victors.
Charlie Ryan’s workrate and skill execution where highlights of his best on ground performance.
Sam Ryan dominated in the air at either end of the ground.
Rhys Bolton was lively up forward and showed plenty of dash when rotating through the midfield.
Other better players included Hugh Kerlin who booted three goals and Hamish Wallace who clean at ground level and covered plenty of territory.
A grade: Good Friday for our A Grade netballers started off as a close and physical match.
Jess Geary was a welcome addition through goal attack and provided options and connection through the attacking end.
Lou and Jac Dupuy combined brilliantly and kept the LBU goalers to just four goals in the second quarter and allowed Colbo to push away and take a 34 goal win, in what was another solid performance on the board.
Best on was Jessie Geary, Liv McEvoy and Carly Geary.
Score: Colbo 60 d LBU 26
A reserve: Second round back vs LBU was a hot, sweaty well contested game.
With intensity throughout the defence, Harper Pearson, Meg Hill, Morghan Cains and Hannah Fuller combined to share the defensive roles.
Meg’s strong intercepts and defensive drives all down the court led her to get best on.
Against LBU’s strong defence, our attacking end showed great determination with their strong drives and consistent flow down the court giving it off well to the shooters Mardi Ryan and Lilly Wareham.
Score: Colbo 36 lt LBU 46
B grade: Colbo came out firing with everyone putting in 100 percent on the court.
Macy and Gabby worked seamlessly together through the midcourt with Meg and Tiff shooting well; always going up for a rebound.
New recruit Naomi worked hard for four quarters putting pressure on every ball.
Some great passages of play and it came right down to the final minute with the game ending in a draw. Best on went to Gabby McCaig. Well done girls.
Score: Colbo 37 drew LBU 37
B reserve: This week’s game against LBU, was a tough game for the girls.
There were some strong plays throughout the game around all parts of the court, but in the end the girls just couldn’t come away with the win.
Best on this week went to Georgia Waters.
Score: Colbo 22 lt LBU 44
U17: The girls put in another solid effort to take home their second win.
In a great display of teamwork the girls managed a 63 goal haul against an impressive Lockington side.
The quick reflexes of Anna Lowe helped provide the goalers with many opportunities in the first quarter but it was the second where the side really ran away from their opponents.
Laura Budge played another great game and was rock solid in defence. Ella Kerlin who shot accurately under pressure and provided countless options around the court, was instrumental in the team’s 35 goal win.
Canteen Award: Ella Kerlin. Subway Award: Laura Budge.
Score: Colbo 63 d LBU 28
U15: The day began with the unfurling of last year’s premiership flag.
The girls tried hard all game but LBU were an impressive team and were too strong for our young side.
With lots of position changes and rallying around each other, the girls can take away lots of positives to draw on for next week.
Score: Colbo 4 lt LBU 54