||Derby Day return leg Our young Bluies travelled to St Johns for the long awaited return leg of the local derby and as expected it was a tight affair befitting the top two positions. The two teams played totally different structures with the blues controlling the ball from the backs all the way through the midfield to the forwards while Redbacks sat back all game and relied on the counter punch of their very fast forward. The midfield worked tirelessly throughout the whole game continually having to back track in support of the backs who try as the might did struggle against the speed of the opposition strikers. Whilst the forwards plugged away they were out numbered on most occasions. It was a trend that continued most of the game and whilst the game in truth could have gone any way it was the bluies that missed out on the better opportunities. Bri and Ashley got plenty of good supply from the midfield particularly Morgan and Wade but had few traditional type breakaway runs and on those occasions when we broke through the attack was off centre and the cover defence was quick to recover. A hard day at the office for the strikers. The first goal came towards the end of the second half after sustained attack and a swift Michael on the break pushed the ball wide of the keeper for a 1-0 lead. Second half saw the Redbacks step up a gear and the kick and chase game became obvious and whilst reading it well bluies went in search of another goal to seal the game but it would be Blaxland that evened the ledger midway through the second half with their striker beating the pair of Dan and Tim who battled on brilliantly throughout the game. Most of the attack came down Olivia’s side who proved a real obstacle and combined with Morgan’s support started slowly to wear away at our fitness and compressed the midfield. With little to be gained the bluies went all out for the win and pressed through Rebecca, Lauren and Wade while poor old Michael and Jordon covered a lot of ground. Katie and Hanna’s wing had less of the attack but was no less solid and Hanna’s defensive work was impressive. Dan Mc provided effective defensive support and a typically gutsy stint in goals while Ben looked flamboyant in goals and midfield and both lads ran themselves ragged in the field during their stints. But it was between the midfield and the backs where the action was and it was really a game for the mids where the most attractive football was played. This is where Brendan filled the gap and drifted left and right and tried to snuff dangerous play whilst supporting the mids, certainly a busy assignment. Of the sizable crowd, estimated around 300, numerous comments were made to the coach about the formation of the team and the attractive nature of their football. Comments from neutral observers like this really make the coaching staff proud. Particularly when we look back at the seasons start, this team looked and played more attractive footy using the whole field. Again our girls showed they could mix it with the Blaxland boys. All in all a pleasant outing but unfortunately we pulled up short of our objective, an away win. Still we take plenty of heart from the game and the knowledge that they haven’t beaten us to date and the final are not that far away fro a team on the improve.