Duke's Post-Season Wrap

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 12:44 PM

It’s been nearly a week since our last game against Peel and the disappointment is still raw. To not take the opportunity that beckoned will be a bitter pill for everyone to swallow, but most of all for the playing group, as they continue to carry the burden of our 22 unfruitful years around with them.

One certainly couldn’t question their effort as even in the dying seconds we were pressing hard forward and if not for a timely fist, CJ would’ve taken a chest mark 15 metres out, to kick the winning goal after the siren. Football can be a cruel game.

Where I think we did go wrong was our inability to take the game on consistently enough. We looked like rabbits in the spotlight in the first quarter and although we settled into the game a bit better after that, we still looked reluctant to take the calculated risks associated with our best footy during the year.

Luck, which played a big part in our 5-0 start to the year, also deserted us in our hour of need. A couple of fickle bounces could’ve been the difference, however I’m a firm believer in the old adage “you make your own luck” and we certainly can’t say we deserved to win.

We had opportunities in previous games against West Perth & Claremont to cement a spot in the 5, but couldn’t sustain the level of play that saw us lead both those games at half time, albeit not by as much as we should’ve, and get run over in the second half.

I said it at the start of the year, “our best football will beat anyone, but our worst football will get beaten by everyone” and this proved to be the case. It is part of our progression that started in 2017 where we won 10 first quarters out of 20, but only 22 quarters (out of 80) and 3 games for the whole year and rolled into last year where we won 28 quarters (out of 72) and 7 games.

This year we got up to 34 quarters and 9 games, a huge improvement over that period of time. The last part of our progression is always the most frustrating as we’ve seen this year, where small lapses have large consequences.

A trusted and respected member of our match day staff summed it up best: "Our end destination is not finals, it’s a premiership and as frustrating and disappointing as this result is, it does not make this lofty goal further away."