|HMAS Ballarat become victim number 4 in 2011|
After starting the year 3-0, the Singapore Wombats entered the fourth game of the “touring” season fairly confident of making it four-on-the-trot. Determined to end the ‘Bats streak were the visiting Navy boys from the HMAS Ballarat. The Ballarat boys were keen to say the very least, suited up and ready to go a full hour before kickoff. The Wombats looked as if they might have a tough day at the office ahead.
In scenes akin of the Collingwood Malthouse-Buckley succession plan, Coach Hotton handed over the reins to budding understudy CK for the afternoon. Having found a neat little spot in the Wombats backline playing on the flank (a backline that had been conceding a miserly whisker under 5 goals per game) chances of me escaping the shackles of defence looked grim. That was until CK decided to change things up and throw me forward for the start of the match. The move may had been spurred on by my inspired last quarter efforts up forward last time out that saw me rack up some handy “goal assists” on the stat sheet, or it may have just been because I was wearing CK’s jumper that he didn’t want to get dirty, fact was heading into the fourth game of the year my mission was simple – kick a bloody goal!
With a midfield engine second only to the Judd-led Carlton football club the Wombats fired out of the blocks sending the ball forward. The Ballarat boys quickly tried to mop up, getting first hands on the loose ball and looking for a clearing kick to an open player in their defensive pocket. Swooping in, about to lay a tackle the Ballarat back pocket – now very aware of my presence – try to flick off a quick handpass. In a scene that could have been plucked straight out of the Matrix and was, as they say, more ass than class, I intercepted the ball in midair with my left hand, pinned it back to the chest of the stunned Ballarat player and tackled him into the turf before he (or I for that matter) had realized what had happened. Free Kick for holding the ball. You beauty! From around 30 metres out on a tightish angle I lined up and kicked possible the straightest ball of my life for goal number one of 2011. This was followed a few minutes later by another ball that has dribbled along the boundary just metres from our goal line. With three opponents to beat I got my hands on the ball, ducked, weaved and ducked some more before kicking POINT of the year. A narrow miss from a hurried snap hard up against the behind post made it Wombats 1.1 7 (via my 1.1) to the HMAS boys yet to score. The rest of the quarter was all Wombats as we pushed out to a five goal first term lead. The news wasn’t any better for the Navy boys in the second, despite having some class players around the ground – the Blue and White brigade’s best player was literally bare foot and keeping his charges semi-competitive, a late second quarter charge by Ballarat saw them keep within 5 odd goals heading into halftime.
Having had a reasonably good first half up front the rotation policy saw me return down back for the second half to mind the opposition Centre Half-Forward who had taken a fair dose of angry pills and was hell bent on smashing a few ‘Bats into the turf. Giving away 10cm in height and about 10kg I copped the brunt of a few cheap shots but was able to get the job done – angry man possession-less and dragged and the ‘Bats firmly in control cruising home to a whopping 81 point win.