Midway Metals Qualifying Finals Review – Narre v. Beaconsfield (Seniors); v. Berwick (Under 18)
Last Saturday we travelled to Berwick for Qualifying Finals in Seniors and Under 18s, while our Ressies had a break as reward for finishing on top. On a wet muddy surface our Seniors played copybook wet weather footy for a confidence-boosting win. Our Unders struggled to adjust to the conditions and went down by 5 goals.
Seniors – Narre went into the match one man down, with Senior coach Matt Shinners confined to home following a leg operation on Friday. But from adversity arises opportunity. Our regular playing Assistant coach and inspirational skipper Dylan Quirk took the reins and we didn’t miss a beat. In the most trying conditions, not only was Quirky among the best on the ground in a typical in-and-under performance; he led our coaching group that clearly out-coached their counterparts in the Beaconsfield box.
The game plan was simple – don’t over-finesse, keep the ball moving forward; a 20 metre pass is likely to miss its target in the wet, so try to kick it 50. Our boys put their heads over the footy and implemented the plan to a tee. We played the physical brand of footy expected in finals. We took the game on early and opened up a four-goal break by quarter time. Beacy showed some resolve to hold the margin to four at half time, but after the long break they couldn’t find any more goals while Narre kicked another six for a ripper 10-goal win .
As usual, Narre’s multiple scoring options were one of our major assets – our 13 goals coming from 10 different contributors, in a team performance with no passengers. Nathan Foote, Soz and Tommy Miller were outstanding – but ask ten supporters and you’d get ten versions of who were our best. It was that type of game and all our boys were awesome! Richo… Tonna… Cody… Collo churning through the mud like a tractor… Lachy Benson growing in stature with every outing. A win to savour that should take us in with confidence for another crack at Berwick next week.
Under 18s – The Under 18s copped the worst of the weather conditions with constant rain and sheets of surface water across the ground.
In a match where goals would be at a premium we got the first through Ryan Stephenson but after quarter time we lost our way. It takes discipline and concentration to dispense with your natural footy instincts. Ability, pace, skill all go out the window. In these conditions it would be rugby style grunt that would win the day – and Berwick adapted far better to kick the last six goals of the match while keeping Narre scoreless after quarter time. But we’ve bounced back after losses during the season and will be up for it again next week.
Of those who never gave up even when the game was lost – Makaio Haywood, Jake Stuart and Ash Williamson were our best.