2016 Round 11 Under 16's vs IK

Phillip Island: 4. 8. (32) Inverloch-Kongwak: 2. 4 (16)

Goals: Jai Asbury,1, Brodie Anderson,1, Nick Anderson,1,Brandon Lloyd,1.

Best: Brodie ‘Chip’ Anderson, Noah Bee-Hickman, Tarquin McMillan, Riley Weinzierl, Cale Farrell, Jai Asbury.

 

It was wet, cold and slippery at the Cowes oval early Saturday morning when the Bulldog pups took on the inform Inverloch-Kongwak Sea Eagles. The ground has taken a beating over the last week with heavy rain and hundreds of Auskick kids running around on Friday night. The pups have not played a lot of wet weather football recently and the conditions including the rain, which was coming in sideways and the soft and muddy ground only added to the challenge.

The pups started well with Tarq McMillan winning the first tap and the Island midfielders driving the ball quickly forward. Unfortunately they only managed a point handing possession to IK. The Sea Eagles are a good side and moved the ball well despite the conditions but they were unable to penetrate the pup’s defence early in the match. The pup’s pressure around the contest was outstanding, Brodie ‘Chip’ Anderson led the way and was well supported by Noah Bee-Hickman who continues improve and read the football well all match. Jarrod Pearsall left the ground injured after a fair but strong bump and did not return to the field. The game settled to a scrappy affair as the rain started to pelt down. The pups struggled to get clean possession but continued to move the ball forward anyway they could. They were rewarded mid quarter when Brandon Lloyd found himself in the right spot as IK’s full back tried to clear the ball from the square. Brandon snapped and scored the only goal for the quarter.  Despite their pressure and obvious skill IK were unable to score in the first quarter.

IK came out more determined in the second quarter. They hit the contests harder and their tackling pressure was immense. They repeatedly tried to break free of the pups but could not get through the Bulldog’s defensive 6. Tarq McMillan continued to dominate the ruck and Chip Anderson was unstoppable. The ball was water logged and heavy and both teams fumbled at critical times. The pups had chances but struggled in the conditions and were inaccurate in front of goals. They added 4 points in the second quarter before their perseverance paid off with a goal from Nick Anderson. The Sea Eagles worked hard but were only able to manage a single point in the first half.

At half time, Coach Zac Wagner told the pups IK were not done and warned the boys not to slacken off. His prediction proved accurate as IK turned the game on its head and dominated the third quarter kicking 2 goals 2 points as the pups appeared to go to sleep. They bounced back late in the quarter with a captain’s goal from Chip Anderson that gave the pups a much needed lead going into the final break. Cale Farrell and Riley Weinzierl were excellent down back and prevented the Sea Eagles from scoring on multiple occasions. 

The fourth quarter was a fierce battle with neither side dominating. IK seemed to manage the conditions better and had some good passages of play with quick handballs and a strong running game but the pup’s determination and pressure held them at bay. IK managed to score another point but were held tightly again by the pup’s defence. Jai Asbury played well up front and continually provided options. He capitalised on a loose ball in the goal square in the first minutes of the final quarter, kicking a goal off the deck to give the pup’s a healthy lead. IK tried hard but the pups didn’t give an inch and held on for a good win. The scoreboard did not reflect the nature of the contest. It was a good win and should give the pups some confidence heading into the second half of the season.