Written by Jarryd Barca
The Calder Cannons have finally kicked off their season after overcoming the Western Jets by 12 points in Round 3 of the NAB League Boys season.
There were just three points separating the two sides at three-quarter time of the clash at highgate Recreation Reserve, with Calder peppering away at the goals – although inaccurately – to break away 10.14 (74) to 9.8 (62).
Calder was lead by midfielders Harrison Minton-Connell (26 disposals and one goal), Daniel Mott (24 and two) and Flynn Lakey (20 and one), who were well-served by a combative Oscar Sasalu in the ruck.
Sixteen-year-old Jackson Cardillo and key forward Harrison Jones were key targets up forward, while small Ned Gentile was a live-wire and caused headaches for the Jets defence.
The Cannons got off to an absolute flyer booting the first three goals of the contest within seven minutes courtesy of Mott, Cardillo and Jack Keeping.
Jets forward Aaron Clarke converted his side’s first major just before the 10-minute mark, before an eight-minute dry patch was expelled by a characteristic Sam Ramsay goal on the run – his third in three matches.
Things were looking rosy for the Cannons who held a 19-point lead going into the second quarter and the momentum continued as Minton-Connell and Gentile handed the side a 32-point lead.
But the Jets lifted and drew the margin back to 15 points at half time after kicking three goals in succession to end the term.
When Cardillo stepped up to the plate to convert the first goal of the second half it seemed the Cannons would once again establish dominance, but an audacious Western side booted the final three goals of the quarter to put the challenge back onto the home side.
With Calder’s three-point lead under fire, coach Ross Smith ensured a few of the boys were hot under the collar heading into the final term.
And those that were challenged responded.
In the first 16 minutes of the last quarter just three behinds were registered by the Cannons who dominated the territory battle but to no avail, until youngster Campbell Edwardes broke the deadlock with an easy set shot.
Top-ager Tye Browning, whose 17 disposals and seven inside 50s were crucial on the day, kicked his first and only goal of the game two minutes later and from there the Cannons held on for their first victory of the season.
Calder will look to continue its winning form into this weekend’s clash against the Tasmanian Devils at Penguin Stadium.