Older players provide a positive
COACH Andrew Johnston says he was able to draw positives from Sunday’s TAC Cup defeat against Oakleigh Chargers.
The Cannons were beaten 14.10 (94) to 7.9 (51) despite the best efforts of Ben Caluzzi, captain Brad Bernacki, Daniel Hanna and Jean-Luc Velissaris in torrid conditions.
The boys willed themselves to each contest in driving rain, but were made to pay the price for not capitalising on their opportunities inside forward 50 by a clinical Oakleigh side.
“I think the first half was OK and then the rains came,” Johnston said.
“We knew it was going to come. We wanted to start well, which we did to an extent.
“But I suppose when the rains came and the wind dropped, it took away that advantage that they probably had in the first quarter.”
Kicking with the aid of a breeze, the Chargers built a five-point quarter-time lead.
Goals from Mohammed Moustafa and Matthew Borg kept Calder in touch at the opening break, although a major 54 seconds into the second quarter stretched the margin again.
Jean-Luc Vellisaris answered the challenge, but a run of three consecutive goals in the middle of the term ensured Oakleigh took a handy buffer to halftime.
The visitors managed seven goals to three after halftime at Rams Arena, dealing the Cannons their third loss of the season.
Johnston said the club’s top-age players had stood up after having the heat put on them to perform.
“There’s been a lot of question marks of our top-age guys,” he said.
“But I thought a lot of the top-age guys were really good, they certainly did their job.
“Caluzzi, Bernacki, (Podhajski), Hanna, all those guys I thought were good as top-age guys and tried to show the way.
“But unfortunately we have just got to keep plugging away.”
The Cannons are at home again on Sunday, April 23 against Greater Western Victoria Rebels.
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