It wasn’t to be for the youthful Dragons as they went down by 30 points to an impressive Calder Cannons.
With the State Carnival Championships beginning this weekend, it gave the opportunity for five new dragons to don the blue, white, and pink, showcasing their talents as the future stars of the Dragons.
The game was very contested to begin, with both teams strangling for midfield domination, however, neither was able to convert early on.
After eight minutes, some great forward pressure rewarded Sciberras as she won a holding the ball free-kick and went back to slot the set shot, giving us the first goal of the game.
The ball was unable to find either team's goals and the contested, physical battle only led to one more rushed behind for the Dragons, putting them up by seven at the first break.
The second quarter was owned by the Cannons, with the Dragons being unable to sustain high levels of pressure across the ground, failing to create numbers around the ball.
The Cannons kicked their first goal after 33 minutes of play, coming off a well-read ball through the pack inside forward 50, in which the ball was ran into an open goal.
The Dragons were unable to hit the scoreboard all quarter and went into the main break down by five points, 12-7.
The Cannons brought more of the same in the third quarter, bringing the pressure and owning the stoppages across the ground.
The Dragons however had the first chance of the third with some good offensive transition from Jones, which was unfortunately not capitalised on from a missed snap by Zielinski.
The Cannons applied the scoreboard pressure and added four straight goals to their tally to increase the margin all the way out to 31 points going into the final quarter.
Whilst the game seemed over for the Dragons, this didn’t stop the last quarter resurgence, with the Dragons kicking the first two goals of the quarter in quick succession to reduce the margin to three goals with 14 minutes remaining.
The two goals came off two 50 metre penalties that were converted in set shots from Luca and Zielinski.
Unfortunately, the Cannons finished strong and booted the last game to put the result out of reach for the Dragons.
The result combined with the Western Jets’ victory on Saturday makes finals impossible for the Dragons heading into their final clash with the GWV Rebels.
Midfield coach Cheyne Webster and debutant Annabelle Embleton spoke post-match on the result.
Embleton spoke on the experience for the debutants who were able to get valuable minutes at the NAB League level.
“We were all very excited, a bit nervous at the beginning, but turned that into adrenaline and we really went out there and tried our best.”
Webster spoke on the flow of the game and the girl’s intensity across the four quarters.
“I think early on, uh, we certainly dominated the play and, and probably didn't take our opportunities.”
“I thought during the middle two quarters our effort probably wasn't there and probably veered away from playing the way in which we've played when we've had positive results.
“The last quarter the effort both individually and collectively was much better. So we've just gotta put together a four-quarter effort against everyone we play.”
The Dragons will gain their Vic Metro stars back next week to take on the GWV Rebels at RSEA Park in their final game of the season.
SD: 1.1 1.1 1.2 3.4
CC: 0.0 1.6 5.9 7.10
BOG: Anderson, Aylen, Zielinksi, Webster, Staltari, Embleton, Ryan