The Hornets club had a massive day on Saturday. The club was taking on the defending premiers for the first time in 2018 and was also the clubs Mary Jury day in support of Mary Jury.
Pregame the Hornets held a champagne brunch for the supporters, raising money for Mary Jury. The supporters wined and dined in the club rooms whilst the developments prepared for their match.
The development side took on North Shore's reserve side in a closely fought match. Both sides had experienced line ups which made for a great game of football. The Hornets started strongly; quick centre clearances moved to quick forward 50 entries which converted into goals. The Hornets quick starts saw them lead on the score board at the end of the first half. North Shore looked to their experienced players in the second half and quickly took control of the game. North Shore controlled the ball and with straight hard running were able to find the gaps in the Hornets defence and kicking goals. Eventually North Shore won the game 6 - 4 against a valiant Hornets.
The Premiers were then to face the defending premiers. The Hornets fired up from the purpose of the day and the eager to play in front of the largest home crowd. The premiers ran out in their special edition pink jersey in commemoration of the day. The Hornets were a bit slow to start and a composed North Shore outfit were able to control the middle of the ground. North Shore were able to have repeat entries into the forward line but a spirited defence from the Hornets kept the Tigers within reach. The Hornets were inaccurate in front of goal to begin with converting points on the scoreboards rather than goals.
The second quarter saw the Hornets fire up. Their accuracy in front of goal improved in the second quarter which saw the Hornets close the gap on North Shore. Pressure from the Hornets forward line kept the football up in an attacking position which the allowed Howick to kick some much needed goals. The first half finished with only a few goals difference which left the Hornets with a chance of an upset over the defending premiers.
Regathered after half time Howick looked to stake their claim on the game. Knowing the importance of the third quarter, the win was their for the taking. Unfortunately the Hornets fell off the pace of the North Shore middle and weakened their forward defensive pressure which allowed North Shore to get back on top of the game. The Hornets were clinging on and welcomed the end of the quarter rest.
With the game still in the balance the Hornets gave everything in the last quarter. Running their tanks down to empty they were able tighten up the defence and clear the ball out of their danger zone. They were able to play the ball up the park and into the attacking 50 which they converted into goals. The Hornets always finish strong in the final quarter and it was unfortunate they could not have played their best footy for all four quarters. Had they not fell off during the 3rd quarter they final score may have been different.
Final Score: Howick Hornets 12.9 (81) to North Shore Tigers 15.9 (96)
Goals : Andrew Azzopardi (4), Daniel Bushett (4), Tim Elsley (2), Steph Tabaillou(1), Elliot Bennetts (1)
Post match the Mary Jury day festivities continued. The supporters were treated to a comedian and a musician as the players got ready. After the post match formalities, the main event was the jersey auction. Each of the players jerseys were auctioned off, some players left without a jersey as other players, supporters and even North Shore Tigers all out bid each other. The day was able to raise over $10,000 for Mary Jury which will go towards her alternative treatment.
The day was a great success and is a credit to all those who were involved in organising the day. The Howick Hornets AFL club have always been about family and were privileged to get around the cause that is so close to one of our own.
Thank you to the North Shore Tigers who also supported the day by chartering a bus as transport to and from The Nest, so they were able to join in the festivities. North Shore also purchased a jersey and donated a bottle of spirits which was raffled off with the proceeds going towards the cause. Full credit to North Shore for participating in the day and helping Howick build the sport and club to something more than just a game.
Up the Hornets!!