Editor’s Note: We’ve got an update from Jake Cutler and he’s talking about lacrosse down under! Jake is recapping the Western Australia Division 1 Lacrosse Grand Final that pitted Wembley against Wanneroo. When CW was down in Perth in 2001, Wembley and Wanneroo were the two bottom teams in the state league, and now Wembley has won 4 Premierships in a row! Maybe we’re biased, but we just LOVE how Aussies write about sports!!!!
The State League Grand Final score was 12-3 in favour of Wembley. It was a really entertaining game to watch even with the low score from Wanneroo. That score line just goes to show how good the Wembley defence unit truly is.
Sam Williams is the senior Australian goalie and it shows, but his long poles – all of them – are easily the best in the state, perhaps even in Australia as well. Special mention must go to Adrian White, he is an absolute jet with the long pole and should be playing for Australia. His defensive footwork is amazing, he has a huge repetoire of checks that regularly strip attackers and is really game smart. The Bentley Brothers are all great players as well, with each having a slightly different body shape, and all providing a really versatile trio of long poles. And then there is Callum Wong, a player from this year’s under 23 Australian side, that is also dominating as a middy long pole offering a solid body compared to the majority of the smaller short stick middies and attackers.
In the midfield and attack Wembley also outplayed Wanneroo, and the centres (face-offs) were dominated by Lochlan Bunbury, who also took out the Wembley players’ and coaches’ fairest and best this season (Basically an MVP). Running in the midfield was Alex Brown, another member of the senior Australian team, and one of the captains of Wembley, who showed his class and fitness capabilities with endless up and down runs. It impressed, as Brown still had the ability to finish with some great assists and goals. Alex Brown received the MVP of the grand final for his display of skills and leadership during the game.
The Wembley offensive unit consists of relatively smaller players compared to the defensive unit, with the exception of Wembley captain and Australian U23 co-captain Matt Diver, which generates a lot of super quick feet on the ground. This quickness, mixed with great stick skills and a knowledge of how each other plays, creates a very potent attacking group. As much as the defensive unit holds out a lot of teams. the other great factor about this team over the season (and in this game) was the attacking unit’s ability to ride once they turned the ball over. Wanneroo found it quiet difficult in clearing the ball over the centre line due to the forward pressure applied by the Wembley offensive unit.
For more photos of the game from Jake, check out the LAS facebook page!
Lucas Wood, yet another member of the Australian U23 side, played a great game showing his ball control skills under pressure, great vision creating goals, and his finishing capabilities.
The big story about this game though is the fact that it ended up being the head coach John Denic’s last game for the club. After a ten year tenure at the club, he called a time out with 17 seconds remaining and thanked the players for a great journey (winning 4 premierships in a row!) and that it was his last game.
Running parallel to the above fact was also another fairy-tale story featuring midfielder Mick “Pickle” Waddel. Over the last few seasons Pickle has been the unfortunate player to miss out (a couple times too) from the state league group and has been the “12th man” so to speak in Aussie cricket terms. That means he just barely missed the cut. After JD’s timeout with 17 seconds to go the Wembley boys wanted to send JD off on a high note and decided that a goal in the dieing stages of the game was indeed appropriate. Ball starts in the Wembley Offensive half, probably under 10sec to go and boom, Wembley gets this goal with a lot of emotional meaning to it – because even though up 11-3, and about to win the GF, who scores this goal? …none other than Pickle himself.
Great finish to a great game and to a great ending of the John Denic era at Wembley. Congratulations to Wanneroo as well on a great season and a hard-played Grand Final.