Another early start against a very competitive team, and a game we needed to win. NO PRESSURE….
The game unfolded as we expected with a mixture of frenetic play and intensity by both sides which tested the blood pressure levels of all the parents on both sides. The boys started brightly pushing Prouille around and moving the ball from midfield out to our wings. When this occurred, Prouille were forced on the back foot as they found it hard to cope being run at. The challenge was getting the ball into the middle with the time and space to attack the goal and their defence scrabbled to cope. Though, when Prouille had the ball, they were doing the same against us and naturally causing us the same concerns. Defences for both sides were holding up well under the circumstances yet as the half progressed our wing-backs started to become more defensive. This made our half a lot more congested and Curtis started to become a bit more isolated. So whilst chances were difficult to carve out, both teams were still able to get on the scoreboard before the half break. So with the score at 1-1 the coaches used the break to re-iterate our strengths and style of play. The boys took this to heart and were trying their best to score. As hard as we pushed forward, you can expose yourself which happened a few times. Alex (and some goal line scrambled clearances) kept us in the game. It was a very heart in mouth scenario that was unfolding but the amount of running the midfield were doing was taking is toll which eventually allowed space for Prouille to score. This may have deflated the parents; but not the coaches or the boys whose lethargy dissipated, and boy did the game change. It was an old-fashioned football match going end to end. Keepers and defence were called upon to keep the score at 2-1 to Prouille but as a spectator it was great to watch, even with some niggle between some players. Yet the persistence paid off with a log ball over the top for Curtis, their defender and keeper to sprint to the ball; only for Curtis to get there a half second ahead of the keeper to get a touch to the ball to score the equaliser. Then, the game went up another level again with us attacking in waves and Prouille just hanging in there. Unfortunately, we just could not quite get that necessary goal to win and keep us in the playoffs. So, with the blow of the final whistle, the score finished at 2-2.
Whilst our season is now over and It may not be what we wanted, it has been a good year where a group of boys who have not really played with each other before have all learnt a lot from the coaches and each other and always showed a lot of character. Very proud of the team. Roll on next year!
By John Grant