Cannons Over Rebels
An undermanned and inexperienced North Ballarat Rebels outfit has been beaten by premiership contender Calder Cannons by 67 points in Horsham Sunday.
In a high-scoring affair, the Rebels fought gallantly despite having just 21 players, but were eventually overrun by the much more experienced Cannons team, 24.16 (160) to 14.9 (93).
North Ballarat were missing 13 of their regular 22 players, most of which were absent due to playing in the MCC Herald Sun Shield Grand Final with St. Patrick’s College.
On a very warm day for football both sides were quite efficient when going forward early on, with Rebels key forwards Brayden Ison, Sam Dobson and Darcy Watchorn all getting amongst the goals.
The Cannons held just a seven-point lead at the first change, but that would be as close as North Ballarat would get, as the fresher legs and extra experience of Calder proved to be too much to contend with as they slowly increased the margin.
North Ballarat coach David Loader remained upbeat about the side’s performance despite the heavy loss.
“We found out today that we have seven or eight great workhorses that will give you absolutely everything they’ve got,” said Loader.
“And of course we got some game time into some kids who now know what it’s like to play against a good side in tough conditions.”
Rebels midfielder and Horsham native Sebastian Ross enjoyed his homecoming, picking up 34 disposals in a terrific ‘grunt work’ performance.
Defender Tony Lockyer also continued his strong form, beating his opponent both in the air and on the ground to repel many opposition attacks forward.
North Ballarat weren’t without a chance to snatch an unlikely upset ten minutes into the final quarter after bringing the margin back to within four goals, however with most players having to play longer games due to the short numbers, coupled with the heat, they weren’t able to sustain the pressure and Calder ran away with the game.
With just two games to go in the home and away season, the Rebels must create their own luck if they are to capture a prized top four berth in this year’s finals series, but are set to regain some very handy inclusions over the next fortnight.
“There could be 11 or 12 to come back, but once again there are a couple who have put their hand up,” Loader said.
“Before today they may not have been in the mix but maybe now they are.”
The Rebels once again travel to one of their regional areas this week, Wangaratta, to face off against the Murray Bushrangers in what is always a great contest.
North Ballarat Rebels 4.3 7.5 10.6 14.9 (93)
Calder Cannons 5.4 10.10 17.12 24.16 (160)
North Ballarat Rebels: Dobson 3 Ison 3 Watchorn 3 McMeel 2 Lloyd Lockyer Bennett
Calder Cannons: Atkins 8 Sahlberg 6 Solomon 3 Iudica 2 Ellis Brown Burgess Markworth Madden
North Ballarat Rebels: Ross Lockyer McMeel Schache Ison Dobson
Calder Cannons: Atkins Sahlberg Grenfell Ball Dale Uysal