U18 Boys Match Report – Round 1
Written by Jarryd Barca
The Calder Cannons Under 18 Boys went down to a strong Sandringham Dragons side in Round 1 of the NAB League season.
The Dragons looked a superior outfit from the get-go at RSEA Park, booting the first nine and final 10 goals of the game and flexing their muscles to record a 19.13 (127) to 1.12 (18) victory.
Cannons gun Sam Ramsay showed his class in the defeat, converting the first and only goal for the away side in the third term among his 19 disposals.
The hard-running wingman also laid four tackles in the side’s lowly tackle count of 27 for the match.
Key defender Brodie Newman showed resilience in defence and displayed the very attributes that made him this season’s captain, topping the team for disposals (24), marks (nine) and rebound 50s (six).
Tye Browning and Daniel Mott can also both hold their heads high collecting 19 disposals each and showing glimpses of footy that will excite Cannons fans over the course of the season, while the left-footed Curtis Brown showed plenty of promise across half-back.
Cannons midfield coach Brett Gourley said it’s important for the players to remain positive despite the heavy loss.
“Obviously (it’s) a really disappointing result but we have to take it with a grain of salt,” he said post game.
“It’s Round 1, we know that Sandy is going to be a really good team this year so although it’s disappointing there are going to be some positives for us to take out of the game.”
Sandringham collected 57 more disposals and 18 more inside 50s than Calder in the commanding result, but spirits never wavered.
“During the game you’ve got to continue to reinforce what we’re all about as a team, as a club and as individuals as well, we’ve got to make sure that we keep them positive otherwise these results keep happening,” Gourley said.
“I think it’s important to focus on what we’re about as a team, the things that we’ve been talking about as a group and focussed on over the course of the pre-season, not so much the result.
“We know that this competition is not necessarily all about the results so what we want to do is try and focus on the things that we know are going to hold us in good stead come next week.”
Trailing by 33 points at quarter time, the Cannons defence tightened up in the second term to allow the Dragons just three majors.
The Cannons weren’t without their chances either recording three behinds for the quarter in an inaccurate display.
“I thought there were some really good individual performances down back, obviously there was a lot of ball down there so Brodie Newman did some really good work I thought,” Gourley said.
“At times we moved the ball really well, I don’t feel like we ever gave up, obviously goal-scoring accuracy has got to be something that we improve on a little bit but we had opportunities to move it forward, their pressure was just too good around the footy.
“I don’t see too much changing in training, we’ll lift the intensity probably and just make sure that we come with the right attitude and be really positive this week heading into the Oakleigh game.”
The result puts the Cannons momentarily on the bottom of the ladder, but they’ll gear up and look to bounce back this Sunday against the Oakleigh Chargers at Highgate Recreation Reserve. J