Seniors vs Northcote Park - Elimination Final
A cut throat elimination final versus the clubs oldest rivals in Northcote Park on the big stage of Preston. The anticipation couldn’t have been higher, and while the wide expanses of Cramer Street have been a happy hunting ground for the roosters in recent years, season 2012 has ended on a disappointing premature note, falling to a well-drilled and desperate cougars outfit by 28 points on Sunday.
Returning to the sight of their 2010 glory, the Roosters were brimming with confidence at the prospect of returning to the wide expanses of Cramer Street. While the sides form had been shaky in the 2nd half of the year, a comprehensive win against Eltham in the final round of the season suggested that the boys were priming themselves for the business end of the season. While minus injury stricken Simon Prestigiacomo, the inclusions of Northern Knights young gun Chas Bromley and ex-Collingwood superstar Anthony Rocca bolstered the side immensely, and the roosters were brimming with confidence heading into the do or die clash.
Kicking against the breeze in the first quarter, the side fought hard against the persistent attack of the silky Northcote Park midfield, headed by superstars Paul Scanlon and Bronik Davies. The roosters defence stood tall in the first quarter, with Daniel Bisetto repelling a number of forward thrusts from the cougars. Skipper Jake Williams provided plenty of hardness and intensity and the side head into the first break just 4 points in arrears, a huge effort considering the stiff wind they kicked against toward the market end of the ground.
Anthony Rocca's performance at Cramer street in 2011 were nothing short of brilliant, kicking a swag of goals and almost dragging the roosters single handedly into the final game of the year . With the side going goalless in the first quarter, the big fella stepped up after quarter time dragging the side onto his enormous shoulders and producing a brilliant 3 goal quarter, while also setting up Billy Micevski for another goal. Heading into half time the side had grabbed an 8 point ascendancy.
Going back against the breeze in the third term, the side was holding up well until a number of controversial decisions turned the ascendancy. A dubious deliberate out of bounds decision and 50m penalty gifted a cougar goal. However this was only the tip of the iceberg. Star utility Billy Morrison was yellow carded after a clash with his opponent then the biggest blow, when Rocca was sent from the ground following an off the ball incident. Billy Micevski was sent from the ground and suddenly the roosters were left with only 1 on the bench. The cougars then grabbed the ascendancy with the West Preston Big men off the park, and were never really headed from then on, running out with a 28 point win.
A second consecutive season had ended just short of the final hurdle. However with some strong young talent coming through the under 19s ranks, the club will continue to remain a force in division 1 football and should look to head into the pre-season looking to atone for their mistakes and bring the flag back to J.E Moor park in 2013