Another cracking day for footy and netball at the Kindra Koliseum on Saturday to take on the powerful Swans Club. We certainly finished the day in front on collective wins, but the Club effort overall just keeps getting stronger. It’s obvious to anyone how well everyone is working together to make the Club a great place to be. Well done to every member, official, volunteer and supporter that contributes to the Hoppers.
Next Game: Round 15 v Narrandera at Narrandera on Saturday 3 August.
Shout out of the week to the young blokes putting their hand up to do boundary in U17s, called on when a couple of U15s organised to do boundary ended up playing in the game, and especially to Lachie Owens for coming out and boundary umpiring first grade after a full Reserve Grade game, at no notice, filling in for an injured Magoo that was rostered on. Massive effort Lachie!
Week after week the boys talk about putting in four quarters, maintaining effort and intensity and sticking together for the full 100 or so minutes. And on Saturday, certainly for the first time this season and probably a couple more, it happened. And it needed to, taking on a Griffith Swans side that has been the pillar of persistence for the past season or two, with stars stacked all over the park and coming fresh off a bye, while the Hoppers went into the game with several players with sore bodies, as is expected at this time of year. And the task became even more difficult when co-coach Jamie Maddox failed to get through the warm up due to a leg issue. A shout out to Bay Leary for stripping off his reserve grade boundary umpire outfit and throwing his jumper back on after already suiting up for a full game of U17s to fill in for Ox.
The Hoppers were on from the first bounce and there on throughout the game. At quarter time we were a kick in front and at half time a bit over two kicks in front, with the sides trading goals pretty much throughout each quarter and the intensity as high as any game experienced at Kindra Park in a long time. After the long break the Swans lifted even further, jumping in front at one stage by a point, only for the Hoppers to wrestle back the lead and head into the three quarter time break up by two kicks. In the final quarter, with the game on the line, both sides showed desperation with and without the footy and a bit like a tug-of-war, it was the Hoppers that broke the game open suddenly around the ten minute mark, kicking a couple of quick goals that broke the spirit of the Swans. Another four goals in the final term saw the Hoppers end up 39 point winners, a score on its own that didn’t reflect the closeness of a highly spirited and heavily contested game of footy.
For the Hoppers, Joe Redfern was a colossus. If he wasn’t nailing one of his seven goals around the arc, he was fierce with his defence and if he wasn’t doing either, his leadership was inspirational to his team mates. Younger brother Luke wasn’t far behind, with his blistering pace through the midfield and his willingness to push right back, offer as an option, then run and carry the ball forward, not only a highlight of the game, but massive in forcing his opponents to burn a lot of fuel all day trying to get to him or other Hoppers freed up by his efforts, and seriously impacting on the outcome. Meanwhile, Josh Buchanan continues to be the pulse of the Hoppers backline, his uncanny ability to read the play, drop back into the hole, take contested marks, make second efforts and launch our rebound, is just a super reliable contribution to his side week after week.
Other notables included Jake Barrett, whose ability to find another level when the intensity lifts around him is second to none; Anthony Atkin, who mightn’t be the tallest ruck man in the comp, but definitely offers amongst the best all round games to this position, highlighted by his second and third efforts at every stoppage; and co-coach Connor Neyland for not only his defensive pressure and presence around the footy, but also his leadership across the backline, marshalling the troops with reset pressure all game. Special mention to Will Graetz for his 60m goal to get off the nudie run, to Matt McGowan for dropping off the marking contest to free Willy up, and for Luke for making ‘no comment’ about Joe’s seventh goal!
Hoppers 17-12-114 defeated Griffith Swans 10-15-75
Goal kickers: J. Redfern 7, L. Redfern 2, J. Barrett 2, B. Glyde, M. McGowan, W. Graetz, M. Hillier, A. Atkin, H. Bradley
Notable Mentions: J. Redfern, J. Barrett, L. Redfern, J. Buchanan, A. Atkin, C. Neyland
Award Winners: Joe Redfern (Commercial Club), Luke Redfern & Josh Buchanan (Bottom Pub)
The Magoos had a huge battle on their hands taking on the undefeated Swans, a side that clearly show the benefits of playing together for a few years. Coming off a disappointing loss to Turvey Park, the Ressies needed to bounce back and that’s exactly what they did. In a hugely competitive and physical first two quarters, only nine points separated the sides at half time and we were still in the game at three quarter time. In the end the Swans finished stronger and went on with it very late to blow the game out, but the men in green were far from disgraced. They battled every contest and fought for every possession, but in the end were beaten by a slightly better team that generated momentum and made the most of it when they did.
The Magoos have now played the best side in the Reserves comp and know what the standard is. If they continue the hard work they’re putting in on the training track right now, they’re up to that standard, and with August around the corner and September in sight, they know that competition for spots is about to get real serious.
Jarrod Edyvean had a cracking game for the Hoppers, whether spending time around the footy, in and under at the contest, or working hard off it. Ben Edyvean was monstrous in the ruck to give his on-ballers first use all game and leading the younger blokes with his experience, especially in the physical exchanges in the first half. Meanwhile Ben Baker, who continues to improve every week, put in his best game of the year, contributing well for all four quarters.
Hoppers 4-5-29 defeated by Griffith Swans 10-12-72
Goal Kickers: T. Besgrove, H. Petty, L. McLoughlin, R. Maslin
Notable Mentions: B. Edyvean, J. Edyvean, L. Pleming, T. Besgrove, A. Gain, R. Maslin
Award Winners: Jaz Edyvean (Commercial Club), Ben Edyvean & Ben Baker (Bottom Pub)
Last time the young Hoppers played Griffith it was miserable, windy and cold at Griffith and after four intensely competitive but sometimes low skilled quarters, they finished the game in front by three points at the final siren. This game was a step up. It had aggressive defence, open running and plenty of second and third efforts from some desperate players. It also had some guile, crafty switches in play, back attack and some fantastic signs of a young side playing smart footy, working their way through a tight contest and definitely showing they know how to find a way to win.
The Swans brought their physical game early and led by a couple of points at quarter time. From there though, like a slow boil, the green men built pressure and points, leading by 16 at half time and 23 at three quarter time, before cashing in on the momentum deep into the game and running out 31 point winners, in what was their best win of the season. And it wasn’t just point scoring. The pressure acts from the Hoppers created a lot of turnovers and misdirected shots, a key factor in determining the outcome when both sides had a similar number of shots on goal.
Mitch Stibbard is well known for his courage around the footy, but in this game he also showed a stack of maturity and leadership, benefiting from a game in the seniors the week before and leading his team mates with voice and direction all game. Jake Fifield, meanwhile, was outstanding down back, intercepting a stack of forward raids by the Swans and turning pressure situations into rebound break outs, in his best game for the year. At the other end of the field Will McGowan showed what he’s capable of leading for and marking the footy, offering options all game and showing glimpses that he’s starting to understand his power in the aerial contests.
Hoppers 12-11-83 defeated Griffith Swans 6-16-52
Goal Kickers: W. McGowan 4, J. Manley 3, H. Wakefield 2, M. Stibbard 2, A. Crawford
Notable Mentions: M. Stibbard, R. Fifield, W. McGowan, B. Leary, J. Manley, L. Crawford
Award Winners: Mitch Stibbard, Dicky Fifield, Will McGowan.
Some sensational wins and a couple of losses for the Hopperettes.
Score: Coolamon 43 Griffith 38
The win the girls needed and what a game!!! All the girls gave it their all to ensure the Hoppers ended up securing 4th place position in the competition.
Ruby Alchin - her determination and persistence is second to none and it certainly showed in a sensational game.
Taylah Frazier - her relentless attack at the ball and providing options to assist move the ball down the court was instrumental in the team performance.
Score: Griffith 35 Coolamon 33
WOWEE what a game. Everyone just put their heart soul and energy into 4 quarters of netball. Everyone should be very proud of their efforts!!! Unfortunately didn’t quite secure a win but Griffith were sure made to work for it.
Ebony Worland - some sharp shooting certainly kept Hoppers in the game and her passionate talk to her team mates kept everyone up and about!!!
The Robbo Defensive connection - both Tayla and Jordan taking on the Griffith attack with everything they had. Displaying some sensational combinations to move the ball out of danger and into Hoppers attacking zone.
Score: Coolamon 43 Griffith 26
What a terrific game for these girls. Everyone stepped up and played outstanding netball. They took on the game from the very start and that left Griffith with no answers - well done girls!!!!
Sofie Winter - controlled the centre court like she owned it and gave her all right to the end.
Molly Campbell - this girl just never gives up. Her defensive efforts are relentless and her determination is inspirational!!!
Score: Griffith 39 Coolamon 22
Welcome addition of Bec Keatley and Grace Smith certainly had the girls up and about for most of the game, Griffith just getting away from them in the end.
Rose Alchin - awesome defence with some gutsy rebounds.
Grace Smith - absolutely dominate as a defensive dynamo, pouncing on every ball that came her way.
Score: Coolamon 34 Griffith 31
Terrific effort by all the girls is to get such a great win and some reward for their efforts.
Mackenzie Mitchell - sensational shooting, nailing every goal she put up to assist in securing the 4 points.
Ellie Mason - dynamic in defence. Made the most of every rebound and sent it back down Hoppers end.