Round 3 Match Report
It was a case of playing for pride when The Reds strode out onto the field for the final metro of the spring season. With a strong turnout with a lot of tall timber, expectations were high. The Clowns were without Willow but had picked up Ben as a ring in who proved to be very handy around the ground. The scene was set for what was to become a grueling hit out.
The first quarter opened in similar fashion to previous metros with the Clowns sending the ball forward early and getting an early lead. The Reds gathered themselves and dominated the second portion of the quarter to jump into the lead and have the momentum leading into the first change. Holub was showing his dominance in the ruck but The Reds were failing to truly capitalize on their chances, with Power getting the key clearances from the centre bounce and Holwerda and Lane converting truly. Reds: 3.2.20, Clowns: 2.1.13.
The Reds continued with the momentum in the second quarter and sent the ball forward with consistency to T. Donnelly who battled with Edge in The Reds forward line all day. T. Donnelly converted truly on multiple occasions to pull The Reds right back into the contest. Bryant moved himself out of the pocket and further up the ground which proved instrumental with his silky skills and delivery of the ball creating opportunity after opportunity for The Reds. For the Clowns, Holwerda and Lane continued to present consistently up forward but were well pressured by Livingston, Vaughn and Gelbs. Straight kicking from The Clowns and missed opportunities continued to dog The Reds.
The main break had the Clowns holding onto a slim lead and both sides knew it was anyone’s game! Reds: 5.3.33, Clowns: 6.2.38.
The Clowns came out of the main break fired up, but poor kicking and finishing proved costly and The Reds made them pay. Stevens pushed himself into the contest and with Gelbs’ drive from Half back, started to dominate through the middle. The Clowns backline held strong and limited the damage on the scoreboard. S. Donnelly found his rhythm in the ruck and started applying more and more pressure to the leaping Holub.
At the final change, the scores were Reds: 7.5.47, Clowns: 9.4.58, with both sides feeling tired and sore from the first three quarters.
Power and Ben made some early key clearances that resulted in goals for The Clowns that pushed the margin out to 4 goals. The game started to look out of The Reds reach. With tired legs, The Reds stepped it up another notch and started sending the ball forward with consistency. Weikel and Ruggles kept up the pressure and provided rebounds from defense, but The Reds kept coming. T. Donnelly continued his form up forward, presenting strongly and unselfishly giving a handpass over the hapless Edge to Veitch for an easy major. Some forced errors by The Reds and last ditch defense by The Clowns saw the ball rebound quickly down field for a Clowns major. The resulting flurry of goals put the final result out of reach for The Reds.
The final whistle was welcomed by both sides as a victory for both teams and a testament to how far the Houston Lonestars have progressed as a team. Final score Reds: 9.6.60, Clowns: 12.7.79.
Rodeo Clowns: S. Donnelly, Power, Edgy, Florida Ben, Lane
Houston Reds: T.Donnelly, Holub, Stevens, Gelbs
Rodeo Clowns: Lane 3, S. Donnelly 3, Holwerda 2, Nick P, Jordan, Ollie, Power
Houston Reds: T. Donnelly 5, Stevens, Holub, Veitch, Cameron