The Open Naracoorte Football team made their way to Adelaide recently for the Knockout School Sports Australian Football Pool B Competition Final. This was the first time the Open age had made the final since 2002 and unfortunately we were not successful on that occasion. Travelling on the Tuesday night, the boys seemed very keen to continue their winning form to give it one final crack for the final. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have a full-strength team due to family holidays, injuries, and work and school commitments. The final was to be played at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval, which is the home ground of Woodville West Torrens. The day consisted of Naracoorte High School taking on St Marks College (Port Pirie). Following our game was the Pool A final between Brighton High School and Henley High School. We started the match slowly going down by a couple goals by the end of the first, but felt that we weren’t too far out of the game. The second quarter was a tug of war with hardly any scoring from either team.
In the third quarter, a few of the lads stepped up and we got on top coming back a few goals to only be a goal down going into the last quarter. Billy Blacker found a few contested marks and got a goal. Harrison Rayner, generally a backman, also found a goal out of position. Nicholas Albrecht was throwing himself at everything and Sam Thomson continued to win the ruck but also countlessly cut the ball off in defence to give us rebound forward. With only one minute left on the clock St Marks had a shot which was almost a certain goal if not for Mitchell Ludwig who flew, knocking the ball through. However, he also connected with the goal post, corking his thigh and putting him out for the rest of the game.
Going into the last quarter, the boys and all involved were full of belief that we could close the remaining goal deficit and win the final. However, in the first five minutes the opposition had a mark called that clearly hit the ground in front of the player resulting in a goal. The same player bobbed up and was involved in another goal, meaning we needed 4 goals to hit the lead in 15 minutes. No matter how much the boys tried it was all in vain and unfortunately the final score line was still 3 goals the difference. Naracoorte 5.7 (37) to St Marks 8.7 (55).
Our best on the day were Oscar Peltz, Elijah Owen and Thomas Moyle-Read who led from the front all day, followed by excellent performances from Nicholas Albrecht who threw himself at everything all day and won almost anything that came his way. Sam Thomson who rucked all day and was the key reason why the team got back into the game and Chad Borg who gave great drive from the backlines all day. These were the chosen best players, however, every player played their roles and gave it their all.
Goal Scorers were Billy Blacker 2, Fraser Williams, Harrison Rayner and Oscar Peltz 1.
We should all be extremely proud of the result and the boys showed excellent character, receiving special recognition for this from the School Sports Co-ordinator – “….Of all the teams there yesterday, I thought Naracoorte conducted themselves especially well. Many of the boys said thank you to me on the way out, were happy to put the padding on the posts and just generally behaved well. It was very pleasing to see. Your Captain, Tom, showed some outstanding leadership skills organising and preparing your team. Scott and Nick were fantastic as staff also. Well done to you, Chelsea and all involved….” Wade Hall, School Sport Officer., School Sport SA.