Calder Cannons girls show bravery in grand final heartache
Written by Jarryd Barca
The Calder Cannons Under 18 girls lost no supporters when they fell 33 points short of the Northern Knights in the 2019 NAB League grand final.
A large crowd flocked to the Ikon Park stands to watch the first edition of NAB League grand final since the competition underwent a name change from the TAC Cup in previous years.
Calder cruised to the big dance after a massive win against the fancied Geelong Falcons in last week’s preliminary final in Dandenong.
But that momentum couldn’t continue.
The undefeated Knights kicked with a slight breeze advantage in the opening quarter and managed to kick three unanswered goals in what proved to be match-winning.
Despite the Cannons’ brave efforts to neutralise the contest thereafter, they were unable to make the most of their forward opportunities in the 6.3 (39) to 0.6 (6) result.
“Despite not winning the premiership cup in the end, the girls’ efforts over the course of this season has been worthy of much more than that,” Female Talent Coordinator Russell Humphrey said.
“Just to make the grand final and being a part of the occasion was a fantastic effort, they all played to the best of their abilities and that’s all we could ask of them.
“The better team won on the day.”
Captain Georgia Patrikios was her usual self and worked tirelessly up and down the ground to lead the entire field for total disposals (24) and inside 50s (six).
Terira Fry (seven disposals and three rebound 50s) tried hard in defence all game, while Georgia Sampson’s improvement over the course of the season continued in another impressive performance in the ruck.
Zoe Hardiman (nine touches and six tackles) and Georgie Prespakis (20 disposals) were also named in the best players.
Calder limited Northern to a solitary goal in each term after quarter time but inaccuracy again plagued the side as they sent the ball forward on countless occasions but to no avail.
“The coaching staff was proud of the way the girls managed to battle out the entire game and never give up – that’s the Cannons way,” Humphrey said.
“We would like to congratulate them on a great achievement this season. To all the girls graduating – you’ve done the whole club proud and all the best with your footballing future.
“We look forward to seeing the bottom-age players continue their improvement.”