AFTER a disappointing start to the season, the Ex-Servicemen’s Club Nowra Blues were keen to turn their fortunes around at West Street last Saturday.
During the week, training was ramped up, and the general feeling around the club was that the Barry Cruickshank Shield match against the Albatross Demons was going to be the best opportunity to silence the critics.
The weather declined slightly before the game, with a light drizzle setting in over the ground during the warm up and the first quarter, and most thought the game would be set to reduce to a scrappy ground contest.
However it was evident from the first five minutes that the boys in blue were determined to take the game on.
Within the first five minutes the Blues scored two goals and a behind, and the morale was high.
The Blues managed to find opportunities all over the ground with various goal scorers, and only looked like relaxing their grip on the game in the third quarter after a high hit on key midfielder Jordan Pearson saw him removed from the ground by ambulance.
The Albatross Demons managed to score a single behind in the first quarter but remained unable to get the ball into their forward 50 until late in the third quarter when they managed to score a further three behinds, with one goal scored in the final term.
This was the fourth year of the Barry Cruickshank Shield, with the Nowra Blues retaining the shield for another year, with final scores displaying a 129 point win to the boys in blue.
Final scores: Nowra Blues (19:25-139) defeated Albatross Demons (1:4-10).
Leading goal scorers for the Blues were Adam Weller (5), Jayden Cook (3), Ashley Balazic (2), Jake Evans (2), Brendan Barnes, Josh Cocoran, Lachlan Holmes, Jordan Pearson, Jack Rodda, Liam Walsh, and Bryce Byrne (1).
The Barry Cruickshank best on ground was awarded to Cabbot Browne, who also received the East Nowra Butcher award, with the Coaches Cup being awarded to Jake Evans.
The Trevi Fountain award went to Ashley Balazic.
Tomorrow the Blues will travel to Keira Oval to take on the reigning premiers Wollongong Bulldogs.
The boys will be out to prove the game against Albatross was not a one off and they can match it with the top four teams.
Thank you to the club’s sponsors Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Trevi Fountain and East Nowra Butchers.
Carn the Blues.