The Hornets were once again playing at the Hornets’ Nest. Looking to replicate the fine performance they had last time they played at the Nest; the Hornets turned up ready to fire. Unfortunately, the weather didn't get the message and the heavens opened just before the game, meaning it would be wet weather footy.
Wet weather football is a game leveller meaning the top teams may struggle to take clean marks and the contest would be on the ground where the Hornets play their best. In the first quarter, the experienced Magpies were able to link well and pick out targets inside their forward 50. Both Hornets ruckmen Oli Tabaillou & Andy Cook dominated the contest winning the ball almost every time. Unluckily, the wet conditions made it hard for the Hornets 'on ball' players to get the ball in hand and give the team forward momentum.
The Hornets battled through the first two quarters against a vastly experienced team. Waitakere applied pressure to the Hornets backline as the Hornets struggled with kick outs and working the ball out of the defensive 50m. Waitakere finished the quarter kicking 9 goals to Howicks 2.
The Hornets took the half time break as a time to regather. Traditionally playing better football in the 3rd and 4th quarters the Hornets looked to turn the tables. In the 3rd quarter; the Hornet midfielders were able to shift the ball quickly out to Logan Kinnear (best on ground) on the wing who provided the pivotal forward momentum and a link from the midfield to the forwards. Elliot Bennetts was the pick of the bunch up front, scooping up the ball from spoiled marks and using his pace to beat the defenders, kicking 3 goals.
The Hornets back line bolstered with the experienced Tim Elsley, they started to click and halted the Waitakere attack. The wet ball played to the Hornets strengths, playing off the ground rather than in the air. Unfortunately, the score deficit was too much for the Hornets but the team played very well in the second half; outscoring Waitakere 4 goals to 3. There is plenty of positive points to take out of the game as the team sets their sight on Manurewa away next week.
Sadly, the Hornets were unable to produce the preferred result as they played in front of the home crowd and their invited sponsors. The Hornets hosted representatives from the sponsor companies in the clubrooms. The sponsors were able to enjoy food and beverages whilst they watched on from the best seat in the house.
A big thank you all our sponsors for coming to our clubs and for your continued support of the Howick Hornets AFL team.
Up the Hornets!
Final Score: Howick Hornets 6.5 (41) to Waitakere Magpies 12.9 (81)
Goals: Elliot Bennetts (3), Andy Cook (1), Jayden Trembath (1), Jonah Tau (1)