Calder Cannons defeat Geelong Falcons for first time since 2014
Written by Jarryd Barca
The Calder Cannons Under 18 boys snapped a five-year losing streak on the weekend after surviving a seven-point thriller against the Geelong Falcons at Highgate Recreation Reserve.
A win was crucial for Calder in the Round 5 NAB League contest who had lost three of its first four matches of the season and was coming off a dour loss against Tasmania before the Easter bye weekend.
The last time the Cannons were victorious against the Falcons was the 36-point win in Round 7, 2014 in the then-called TAC Cup.
But the tables have now turned with Calder edging past its opponent and recording an 8.11 (59) to 8.4 (52) win on home soil.
Calder was inspirationally led by captain Brodie Newman, whose 36-possession, 17-mark and seven-rebound 50 game steered the side to its second 2019 victory.
Daniel Mott (29 touches) and Sam Ramsay (27) were the best of the midfielders and thrived on the output of ruckmen Oscar Sasalu and first-gamer Josh Hotchkin.
Cannons small Ned Gentile also wore the number 27 VCMG guernsey with pride in a 21-disposal, three-goal outing.
In a game full of momentum swings, a case of ‘same old’ was looming after again being slow out of the blocks and coughing up the first two goals of the match.
But Geelong’s 12-point quarter-time margin was short-lived as the home side began to turn up the heat.
The Cannons’ efforts to dominate the territory battle in the second quarter went off without a hitch, but errant kicking at the goal face meant the home side put through five behinds before registering a goal.
Jacob Martin broke the dam wall after converting a set shot 14 minutes into the second term, before three majors in the next five minutes of the game saw the Cannons establish a handy 17-point half-time margin.
The Cannons appeared to be well on the way to recording their second win of the season and shutting the curtains on a five-year losing streak against the Falcons, but the away team burst out of the blocks in the premiership quarter to ensure the fans a nail-biting finish.
Geelong rattled on the opening four goals of the windy third term and sent the challenge back on the home side after taking a one-goal lead.
Gentile put the home side’s nose in front with a goal against the run of play and with scores locked at 40-39 at the change of ends a tug-of-war contest was awaiting.
The 17-year-old Gentile emerged as the potential match-winner when he snapped his third goal of the game to kick off proceedings 40 seconds into the final stanza, taking the game by the scruff of the neck.
From there it was goal for goal in an enthralling quarter, with Martin and Sasalu both saluting to add to the drought-breaking result.
The boys will now regroup and look to win its first back-to-back game of the season when they host the Bendigo Pioneers in another double-header this Saturday.