SENIOR football at the Gemfields Giants may be on the back-burner, however the junior league ranks are still in with every chance with three grades turning out for the first hit-out of the 2011 season.
THE Gemfields under-8s kicked off proceedings with their opening game against the visiting Blackwater outfit.
With a number of their Alpha contingent unavailable due to other commitments, the Gemmies could muster just seven players for Saturday’s clash.
In generous Central Highlands spirit, Blackwater very sportingly supplied a few junior players from their own side.
Trinity Stegart, Nathaniel Taylor and Ethan Leahy had their first game of footy and were well supported by the Gemfields regulars of Hamish Kirby, Alex McLeod, Sunny Adams and Dominic Nonan.
THE Gemfields under-10 clash was not looking all that promising either, with the Alpha crew also down on players.
Blackwater again answered the call and generously supplied some of their own players.
The game was a real arm-wrestle with Gemfields tearaway Declan Sandilands claiming two tries, Aaron Moore three tries and one conversion and Cody Tilford one conversion. Casey Simpson lucked out in scoring points but his defence was second-to-none.
Playing his first game in the code, Brandon Cavanagh never missed a beat and looked like he had been playing for years.
DUE to the shortage of Alpha players the Gemmies under-12s were also short on numbers, fielding only 11 players. The day didn’t get any easier as they faced a full 19-man Blackwater squad.
Blackwater pounced early, putting on two tries before Gemfields even touched the ball.
With the first set of six in possession came the Gemmies’ first points and it was game-on.
Try-scorers included Blake Edwards with two tries, Aiden Deely one try and Declan Sandilands one try. Paul Cavanagh had his first game of footy with some fantastic defence. Liam Gibson was proving very hard to bring down and easily had the best game of his career.
The Gemfields coach commented on how proud he was of the way players kept their legs ticking over despite the warm conditions.
He said with no reserves it was understandable if players struggled to keep the pace with their 19-man opposition.
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