Cottesloe Fourth Grade Take Out The Championship
The mighty “fours for life” were far superior to rivals Wests Scarborough in Rockingham on Saturday, winning the final by a score of 20 points to 14. The score actually did not reflect the dominance of the two blue in what was a disciplined and accurate performance. With the sun beaming in the sky, the conditions were conducive to expansive football and from the first minute Cottesloe looked to move the ball and attack in the wide spaces. Wests on the other end looked to use their scrum and lineout to try and march up field. Cottesloe struck first after fifteen minutes when some intricate play on the right hand side allowed Billy Cooper to weave his way over. The conversion was missed and Cottesloe took the lead 5-0. In fairness to Wests, their dominance at the scrum gained them a lot of sympathy from the referee and when this was compounded by a couple of unforced handling errors from Cottesloe, they were able to put themselves in position to score. The conversion was kicked and although Cottesloe were visibly superior to Wests they found themselves 7-5 down. Cottesloe instantly responded by picking up the pace and they began to go through phases. Huge carries from Jeremy Wallcroft and John Cameron began to punch holes through the Wests midfield. The sheer amount of tackles that Wests had to make began to take some steam from their big forwards. With a minute to go, a fantastic break from Matt Barbour began a serious of phases and eventually a cynical foul by the Wests ten resulted in a sin binning and the penalty was kicked to put Cottesloe 8-7 on front at the break.
Coaches Black and Fairbairn tinkered with the team at the break and deployed Shane Byrne, Conan Godrich and Israel Karena into the team and the boys in blue went up another gear. Cottesloe virtually camped inside the Wests’ twenty two metre line but it took roughly 20 minutes for them to eventually crack when Glyn Roberts outmuscled his opposite number to dot down. The conversion didn’t go over but Cottesloe went out to 13-7 on front. Cottesloe effectively kept their foot on the throat of Wests for the next ten minutes and perhaps fittingly, el presidente himself John Cameron bulldozed his way to the line for what was effectively the winning score. Coaches Black and Fairbairn ran the bench to consolidate their position and closed up shop. Wests went on to score a consolation try in injury time but it was too little too late.
It was a wonderful performance by the fourth grade and no less than they deserve after a fabulous season. So many players put their hand up and delivered on the day. Jeremy Wallcroft and Billy Cooper were direct and destructive all day long in the midfield. John Cameron and Cedric Pagot, playing their last ever weekend’s football didn’t leave anything out there and made a huge difference for Cottesloe. Sam Turner and Kellen Lachman-Murphy were absolute menaces at the breakdown. Harold Burnett was rock solid at the back and Mike Gallagher and Israel Karena were both superb at half back in their respective halves playing there. For this writer though, Troy Pixley stood out. His relentless ball carrying from the base of the scrum tormented the Wests nine and ten and his dogged work at the breakdown slowed all of Wests’ ball down to a crawl. He is a young man that can definitely play up the grades if he wished.
Congratulations on the year boys, and as usual you did the club proud!
Cottesloe Threes Go Down Fighting Versus Powerful Neddies
Cottesloe put up a stolid and brave performance versus a physically powerful Nedlands side in the third grade premiership final, but went down by a score of 30 points to 10. The weather was superb in Bayswater on Sunday and it incentivised Cottesloe to try and take Nedlands on in the wide channels in the first ten minutes. Cottesloe were the first to strike when after sustained phases and big carries from Tom Wilcox and Tony Ansell, Sam Parker changed the direction of the attack and put Dr Johnny Iliff over on the right hand side. The conversion was missed but Cottesloe lead 5-0. This score stung Nedlands into action. They made an absolute mess of the breakdown from this point forward and it set the tone for the remainder of the match. Their simple piston style of alternating right and left no more than five metres from the side of the ruck forced Cottesloe to make a lot of tackles. The referee quickly lost patience with Cottesloe’s attempts to contest for the ball and Nedlands scored a penalty from one such offence. The brutal physical nature of the battle took its toll on Cottesloe and legendary veteran Davie Kirton had to take his leave from the field in his last game. Nedlands were able to strike for two quick tries in succession within ten minutes from the break after resisting Cottesloe pressure, capitalising on turnovers. At half time the score was 17-5 to Nedlands.
Coaches Owen and Wallcroft attempted to reignite Cottesloe’s efforts by injecting freshness from the bench and indeed for the first ten minutes of the second half, Cottesloe enjoyed a lot of possession in the Nedlands 22. But the lack of size and power compared to Nedlands showed and Cottesloe just could not breach them. Nedlands countered on the break and scored a try against the run of play and it knocked the stuffing out of Cottesloe temporarily. Cottesloe attempted to take chances with ball in hand but Nedlands pressure forced errors and they picked off another penalty. With ten minutes to go, with Cottesloe again enjoying a period of possession, Nedlands were able to turn the ball over and hit on the counter to score in the left corner. That was more or less that. Cottesloe elected to fight to the bitter end and their efforts were rewarded when big Irish lock Ciaran intercepted a loose Nedlands pass and sprinted up the field. A clever ball to the left was caught by Cedric “Chou Chou” Pagot, in his last game for the club, and the fiery Frenchman scored.
Although the thirsty thirds were comprehensively defeated, the great season they have had must be acknowledged. They came second in the ladder and came up against a team that had not been defeated all year long. On the day there were many solid and brave performances. Sam Parker, despite receiving a substantial head knock, never stopped trying to move the team into position to score. Cedric Pagot and Jarrad Myatt made dozens of tackles each alongside Dr Johnny Iliff and Captain Tony Ansell. Israel Karena fresh off winning the fourth grade championship the previous day, injected pace and attitude into the team, as did Matt Barbour. For this writer though, the best player for Cottesloe was Tom Wilcox. He was brave in defence and a pest at the breakdown. He carried the ball all day long into the teeth of the Nedlands defensive line and made dozens of tackles in a vain attempt to keep Cottesloe in it. It was a fantastic performance from a talented player in a beaten team.
You lads did the whole club proud this year and we know you will bounce back next year,