At the Club’s 2016 Presentation Night, Head of Coaching, Michael Cousens, summed up the performance of the Division Five team simply as “achieving the right balance between participation and aspiration”. In a nutshell, he encapsulated two core values of the Pennant Hills Footy Club … namely, it’s about having a go and providing the opportunity for men and women, young and old, to compete in a team environment with shared values and goals, but at the same time, giving it your best shot … having a crack … while you’re at it! Over the past two seasons our Division Five side has provided the opportunity to anyone wanting to give footy a go, regardless of experience, ability or age. All that is asked of anyone is that they give their best, respect the team and their team-mates and have fun! The success over the past two seasons, culminating in a premiership in 2016, demonstrates that, with the right attitude and commitment, it is possible to give every player a fair go on the field and to be a competitive unit nonetheless.
In season 2016, Division Five were Minor Premiers finishing two games ahead of UNSW/ES Bulldogs. Penno and the Dogs were clearly the two best teams in the competition. Penno only lost one match all season (to the Bulldogs) and on the way to the Grand Final, Penno also met the Bulldogs in the second Semi Final. Penno won this encounter with a stirring five goals to one, come-from-behind effort in the final quarter to win by 16 pts.
The Division Five Grand Final was played at Blacktown ISP on Sunday, 4th September 2016, starting at 11.30am. Penno went in firm favourites, but the Bulldogs, who had beaten our boys once in Round 11 and led for much of the second semi, would be no push-over. The weather was fine, a little cloudy, around 18o C and the playing surface was in good condition. A light breeze blew to the scoreboard end but didn’t appear likely to have much of an influence on the game. They were perfect footy conditions.
The Bulldogs had first use of the breeze. Despite this Penno kicked the first goal inside two minutes and the match was then on in earnest.
- 01:30” Michael Baglin kicks the opening goal of the match for Pennant Hills;
- 03:00” Bulldogs kick their first goal; scores tied at 1 goal each;
- 14:00” David Owen kicks a point for Penno after Bulldogs added 2 pts; Bulldogs lead by 1 pt;
- 15:00” Jarrod Myers kicks his first of 5 majors to put Penno up by 5 pts and Nick Baglin adds a behind to close out the first term; Penno lead by 6 pts.
Quarter-time score: Pennant Hills 2.2-14 to UNSW/ES Bulldogs 1.2-8
Pennant Hills has its first use of the breeze.
- 1:45” A point to Penno increases the lead to 7 pts;
- 4:40” Jazz Myers kicks his second goal with a left foot snap over his shoulder; Both teams exchange points and then Jazz kicks his third; Penno by 17 pts;
- 11:00” Michael Baglin gets a behind followed by Leo Nunn with a poster; Penno by 19 pts;
- 16:30” Teams exchange points again before Bulldogs kick their second goal; Penno by 13 pts;
- 20:15” Bulldogs mark 20 metres out from goal but only manage a poster; Quarter ends with Penno up by 12 pts.
Half-time score: Pennant Hills 4.6-30 to UNSW/ES Bulldogs 2.6-18
Penno has been the better side, although it’s not really showing on the score-board. The game is very much alive and either team could win it from half-way.
- 7:00” Bulldogs came out hard after half-time and had Penno under great pressure. They kicked 2 pts before landing their third goal and Penno’s lead had been whittled down to only 4 pts;
- 11:00” Jazz Myers steadied the ship when he kicked his fourth goal for Penno … he was having a great day-out, just hanging around the goal square; Penno back out to 10 pts;
- 15:00” The tide shifted back in Penno’s favour although scoring was still hard to come by. Nick Baglin swooped on a loose ball crumb in the Bulldogs goal square and made it six for the Demons; Penno by 16 pts;
- 16:00” Drew Burden kicked his first for the day; Penno’s 7th and now lead by 22 pts;
- 18:00” Leo Nun is awarded a holding the ball free kick and kicks truly from 30 metres out. Penno now has a game high lead of 28 pts;
- 19:50” The Bulldogs manage to get one back and at 22:00” they have a flying shot at goal which goes out-of-bounds on the full; Penno by 22 pts at the final change.
Three quarter time: Pennant Hills 8.6-54 to UNSW/ES Bulldogs 4.8-32
At three quarter time, Penno looks to be home, but the Bulldogs are far from done and Penno will need to play the game out to the very last.
- 1:30” The Bulldogs open the scoring in the final term – goal! Penno need to stay calm and clean and avoid any panic!
- 2:45” Jazz Myers fifth goal settles the nerves and Penno is back out by 22 pts;
- 6:30” Bulldogs grab back a point and then Nick Baglin kicks a captain’s last quarter goal, left foot over the shoulder. This is his second and the team’s 10th goal; Penno up by 27 pts;
- 10:00” Bulldogs mark 35 metres out and goal; Penno by 21 pts;
- 13:30” ‘Bone’ Wolnizer marks inside 50 metres, but only manages to score a point;
- 18:00” Bulldogs in the attack but their shot on goal goes OB; Penno by 22 pts;
- 19:00” Bulldogs get hold of a loose ball after a marking contest in Penno’s goal square and manage to scramble a goal and keep their hopes alive; Penno by 16 pts … heart’s in the mouth .. can we hold on?
- 21:15” Penno hits the post to go ahead by 17 pts; Not long to go now, surely Penno can’t lose it from here?
- 22:30” With time almost up, the Bulldogs kick a final consolation goal and finish 11 pts in arrears;
- 24:04” Final siren sounds.
Full time score: Pennant Hills 10.8-68 defeated UNSW/ES Bulldogs 8.9-57
So Pennant Hills Division Five won in a closely fought battle and were deserved winners. Jazz Myers was awarded Best on Ground for his impressive 5 goal haul. There was much joy and elation for the players as well as for the good crowd of Demon’s supporters in attendance.
Well done boys … Go Penno!
Written & compiled by John Acheson who was in attendance on the day of the Grand Final
11 February 2017